"Bohemond had neither less cunning nor less talents than his father, Robert Gruiscard. Contemporary authors, who never fail to describe the physical qualities of their heroes, confirm us that his height was so great that it exceeded by a cubit that of the tallest man in his army ; his eyes were blue, and appeared full of passion and haughty pride. His presence, says Anna Comnena, was as astonishing to the eyes as his reputation was to the mind. When he spoke, his hearers believed that eloquence had been his only study ; when he appeared under arms, he might be supposed to have done nothing but wield the lance and the sword. Brought up in the school of the Norman heroes, he concealed the combinations of policy beneath an exterior of violence ; and although of a proud and haughty character, he could put up with an injury when vengeance would not have been profitable to him. Everything that could contribute to the success of his designs appeared to him to be just. He had learnt from his father to consider every man whose wealth or states he coveted as his enemy ; he was neither restrained by the fear of God, the opinion of men, nor his own oaths."
"Of the writings which contribute eye-witness testimony to but a portion of the history of the Crusade, the Alexiad, by Anna Comnena, is one of the most important. The writer was the daughter of Alexius, and, though she was barely fourteen years of age when the Crusaders came to Constantinople, it may be assumed that the presence of so many rude strangers in the imperial city made a most vivid impression on her mind. Both Anna and her husband, Nicephorus Briennius, had been highly educated, and when the palace intrigue in which they were both concerned proved unsuccessful and she was shut up in a convent by her brother's order, she undertook to complete the history which her husband had begun. Forty years after the first Crusaders had passed through Antioch she began her task. In the meantime there had been various bands of Crusaders from the West. Bohemund had taken Antioch in defiance of the Emperor and had even made war upon him. The relations of Alexius with Count Raymond of Toulouse had undergone changes, and many other events relating to the Latins and the Crusades had occurred. Thus, with so much to confuse her memory, her chronology is uncertain, her statement of fact often inaccurate, and her style highly rhetorical and affected. Never very certain of the identity of the Latin leaders, as she herself confesses, she calls them all counts and confuses one group with another in hopeless fashion. Nevertheless, her work is exceedingly valuable as a presentation of the Byzantine attitude toward the Latins, and her conception of her father's feeling toward the Westerners can probably be relied upon as correct. A MS copy of the account, corrected by Anna herself, is preserved at Florence. Other fragments also remain."
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