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Middle Ages

Before the time appointed for the coronation, the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat espoused the empress who had been the wife of the Emperor Isaac, and was sister to the King of Hungary. And within that time also did one of the most noble barons of the host, who bore the name of Odo of Champlitte of Champagne, make an end and die. Much was he mourned and bewept by William his brother, and by his other friends; and he was buried in the church of the Apostles with great honour.

The Marquis of Montferrat besieged Napoli, but he could there do nothing, for the place was too strong, and his men suffered greatly. James of Avesnes, meanwhile, continued to besiege Corinth, where he had been left by the marquis. Leon Sgure, who was in Corinth, and very wise and wily, saw that James had not many people with him, and did not keep good watch. So one morning, at the break of day, he issued from the city in force, and got as far as the tents, and killed many before they could get to their armour. .

At that time it happened that Johannizza, the King of Wallachia and Bulgaria, with all his host, marched against the marquis, towards a city called Seres. And the marquis had set a strong garrison of his people in the city, for he had set there Hugh of Colemi, who was a very good knight, and hi,h in rank, and William of Arles, who was his marshal, and great part of his best men. And Johannizza, the King of Wallachia besieged them; nor had he been there long before he took the burgh by force.

After Easter and towards Whitsuntide (June 1202) began the pilgrims to leave their own country. And you must

know that at their departure many were the tears shed for pity and sorrow, by their own people and by their friends. So they journeyed through Burgundy, and by the mountains of Mont-joux (? Jura) by Mont Cenis, and through Lombardy, and began to assemble at Venice, where they were lodged on an island which is called St. Nicholas in the port.

At that time the Marquis Boniface of Montferrat departed from Salonika, and went to Seres, which Johannizza had destroyed; and he rebuilt it; and afterwards rebuilt a castle called Drama in the valley of Philippi. All the country round about surrendered to him, and came under his rule; and he wintered in the land.

All started from the port of Abydos together. Then might you have seen the Straits of St. George (as it were) in flower with ships and galleys sailing upwards, and the beauty thereof was a great marvel to behold. Thus they sailed up the Straits of St. George till they came, on St. John the Baptist's Eve, in June (23rd June 1203) to St. Stephen, an abbey that lay three leagues from Constantinople. There had those on board the ships and galleys and transports full sight of Constantinople; and they took port and anchored their vessels.

Then was there much discord in the host, as had been oft times before on the part of those who wished that the host should break up; for to them it seemed to be holding together too long. And the party that had raised the discord at Corfu reminded the others of their oaths, and said: " Give us ships as you swore to us, for we purpose to go to Syria."

The Emperor Mourzuphles had not yet removed more than four days' journey from Constantinople; and he had taken with him the empress who had been the wife of the Emperor Alexius, who aforetime had fled, and his daughter. This Emperor Alexius was in a city called Messinopolis, with all his people, and still held a great part of the land.

At that time there happened a great misfortune at Constantinople, for Count Hugh of St. Paul, who had long been in bed, sick of the gout, made an end and died; and this caused great sorrow, and was a great mishap, and much was he bewept by his men and by his friends. He was buried with great honour in the church of our Lord St. George of Mangana.

Henry, the Regent of the empire, with all his power, rode towards Adrianople, and laid siege to it; and he was in great peril, for there were many, both within and without the city who so hemmed him in, he and his people, that they could scantl buy provisions, or go foraging. Therefore they enclosed their camp with palisades and barriers, and told off part of their men to keep guard within the palisades and barriers, while the others attacked the city.

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