A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 96 of 493
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EZZELINO DA ROMANO AS RULER 77
therefore concentrated his troops in Pieve di Sacco and Bovolenta,
the two most important strategic points on that side of
Padua, himself undertaking the command at Pieve. The Legate
brought his heterogeneous army, including a large and
bellicose body of clergy, to the South-Eastern corer of the
Paduan boundary. Now it was that Ansedisio committed his
first and most fatal blunder. The crusaders had come to the
frontier by boat. In order to stop them Ansedisio had the
water cut off from the canals in that part of the district. This
of.course prevented the vessels from coming any farther, but
deprived Padua of its strongest defence, the waterways, and
enabled the Legate to lead his army wherever he wished. His
advance indeed was more like a triumphal march than an invasion.
The rustics welcomed the crusaders as friends and deliverers.
The small garrisons in the outlying castles did not
dare to resist. When the invaders reached Bovolenta the castle
made a show of resistance, but quickly surrendered after the
town had been burnt. Panic-stricken, Ansedisio entrusted the
command of Pieve to other hands and hurriedly returned to
Padua, on the pretext of providing for the defence of the city.
All he did, however, was to exact large sums of money from
the citizens, till the popular discontent rose almost to boiling
point. Then, in terror of a general rising, Ansedisio
committed a second irretrievable blunder. On I6th June, he
recalled the garrison from Pieve, which was immediately occupied
by the Legate. Nothing now lay between the invaders
On the morning of the i9th the crusaders moved out of
Pieve. They were more like an ecclesiastical procession than
an army, for at their head marched the Legate supported by
his numerous clerical brethren, chanting the ancient hymn:Vexilla
Fulget crucis misterium.
A small body of troops came out from Padua in a vain attempt
to stop the Legate's advance, but on perceiving the
immense superiority of the enemy's numbers they fled without
striking a blow. On reaching the outskirts of the city the
crusaders halted, and consulted as to the advisability of burning
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/96/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .