Turificari

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This is part 3 of 3. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Nec mora, post haec flammarum globis alta astrorum sidera rutilantibus, qui bello affusi prolixo diei spatio legitimo certamine desudaverant, ut conspexerunt, agnoscunt se proditos fore, moxque istorum acie hinc redeuntium a tergo opperiuntur. quibus versa facie dum resistere vellent, inter medias acies fiunt simul ammixti, gravisque contra istos pugnae iactura decurrit. at ubi concito gradu illis insequentibus, et istis contraire nitentibus, telluris locum aliquanto spatio planiorem obtendunt, quem ex detruncatis ibi corporibus hactenus incolae vocant. omnium tela contra istos vertuntur: et concurrentibus cunctis, iam fessis artubus, non amplius resistere possunt. ruunt inter carnificum ictus. et quamvis ex ethnicis plurimi sint prostrati, tamen ex istis pauci superstites remanserunt. sed melius fuit occisis gladio, quam in captivitate ductis. denique peracta caede, cum in unum convenissent, servorum indicio fodientes hinc atque illinc, universum, ecclesiae thesaurum reppererunt, quem illorum pavore servi Dei iam pridem absconderant: et illum sibi in praedam dividentes, cuncta vastaverunt, plurima fregerunt, frumentum et legumina in fluvium, qui secus effluit, disperserunt. et cum iam quasi post laborem et triumphum exultantes discumberent, bibebat ille nefandissimus Saugdan in sacris calicibus, et cum turibulis aureis sibi turificari iubebat. facta est haec caedes beatorum pro Christo monachorum decimo die mensis Octobris, feria tertia, qua secunda lux Lucine rotam ducebat, ab aedificatione vero ipsius monasterii iam iverat annus centesimus sexagesimus quintus.
(John the Monk, Chronicon Vulturnense 1.364-365 Federici)

Immediately after this, sheets of scarlet flame rose up on high toward the stars in heaven. When those who had rushed into battle and labored for a whole day in a fair fight saw this, they realized that they had been betrayed, and soon they were attacked from behind by the men of this troop returning [from the church]. While the defenders wished to resist those who were in their rear, they were trapped between the two [enemy] forces, and the fortunes of battle turned against them. As the enemy pursued them violently, and they strove to fight back, they reached a stretch of ground that was for some way more level, which the inhabitants still today call “the place of headless bodies.” The weapons of all were turned against them, and everybody ran, though their limbs were weary, for they could make no further resistance. They fled amid the blows of the executioners, and although many were laid low by the foreigners, a few of them remained alive. But it was better to be killed by the sword than to be led into captivity. Finally, bringing the slaughter to an end, the enemy gathered together, and guided by the serfs dug hither and thither; and they discovered all the church’s treasures, which the servants of God had hidden through fear of them the day before. They divided the booty among themselves, destroyed everything around, broke many things, and cast the grain and vegetables into the river that flowed nearby. As they relaxed after their labors and rejoiced in their triumph, the most wicked Sawdan drank from the holy chalices, and ordered incense to be wafted on himself from the golden thuribles. This slaughter of the blessed monks for Christ’s sake took place on Tuesday 10 October, at the second hour, when one hundred and sixty-five years had elapsed from the building of the monastery. (tr. Graham Loud)

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