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The foundation of the following Tale will be found, by any who may be curious enough to consult authorities upon such a subject, in most of the Greek historians of the period to which it refers ; more especially in Pachymer and Nicephoras Gregoras. A compendious statement of the principal events is also given by Gibbon; but by far the most graphic account is written by the Spanish Chronicler Moncada; whose work will well bear a comparison with the best historians. Some writers have compared
him to Sallust ; but, in addition to the pithy phrases of the Roman historian, there is about the Spaniard a racy quaintness of expression, which makes him a worthy rival of old Froissart. I have throughout preferred his authority.
The naked facts of history have scarcely been altered, except that the events of several years have been compressed into a period of not more than three. Two events which the reader may think difficult of explanation, namely, the departure of Ximenes from the army, for which he may not think the motive adequate, and the determined obstinacy of Roger de Flor in going to the meeting at Adrianople, are strictly in accordance with the chronicle.
One other matter may seem to demand a few words :-it is the situation of the palace of the Protostrator on the Golden
Horn. An antiquary might object to it as interfering with the locale of the sea wall, but it is known to have existed in
. Upon this subject it will merely be necessary to state that a great extent of this wall was destroyed during and after the siege by the Latins; and that the conflagrations consequent upon that event not only aided that destruction, but left wide spaces of unoccupied ground, which the Greeks on their return not improbably applied to the purposes of building. The same remark may be made upon the quays, mentioned as existing during the conflict between the Aimugavars and the Genoese.
Perhaps, “landing places” might have been a better phrase. I have, however, let the word quays stand as being more applicable to large spaces where the