CAPTURE OF ABYDOS, OF PHILIPPOPOLIS, AND OF NICOMEDIA - THEODORE LASCARIS PRETENDS TO THE EMPIRE
At the feast of St. Martin after this (11th November 1204), Henry, the brother of the Emperor Baldwin, went forth from Constantinople, and marched down by the straits to the mouth of Abydos; and he took with him some hundred and twenty good knights. He crossed the straits near a city which is called Abydos, and found it well furnished with good things, with corn and meats, and with all things of which man has need. So he seized the city, and lodged therein, and then began to war with the Greeks who were before him. And the Armenians of the land, of whom there were many, began to turn towards him, for they greatly hated the Greeks.
At that time Renier of Trit left Constantinople, and went towards Philippopolis, which the emperor had given him; and he took with him some hundred and twenty very good knights, and rode day by day till he passed beyond Adrianople, and came to Philippopolis. And the people of the land received him, and obeyed him as their lord, for they beheld his coming very willingly. And they stood in great need of succour, for Johannizza, the King of Wallachia, had mightily oppressed them with war. So Renier helped them right well, and held a great part of the land, and most of those who had sided with Johannizza, now turned to him. In those parts the war with Johannizza raged fiercely.
Tle emperor had sent some hundred knights over the straits of Saint George opposite Constantinople. Macaire of SainteMen,ehould was in command, and with him went Matthew of Wallincourt, and Robert of Ronsoi. They rode to a city called Nicomedia, which lies on a gulf of the sea, and is well two days' journey from Constantinople. When the Greeks saw them coming, they avoided the city, and went away; so the pilgrims lodged therein, and garrisoned it, and enclosed it with walls, and began to wage war before them, on that side also.
The land on the other side of the straits had for lord a Greek named Theodore Lascaris. He had for wife the daughter of the Emperor Alexius, through whom he laid claim to the land - this was the Alexius whom the Franks had driven from Constantinople, and who had put out his brother's eyes. The same Lascaris maintained the war against the Franks on the other side of the straits, in whatsoever part they might be.
In Constantinople remained the Emperor Baldwin and Count Louis, with but few people, and the Count of St. Paul, who was grievously sick with gout, that held him by the knees and feet; and the Doge of Venice, who saw naught.