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The Deeds of Wiprecht


Hurrying more and more—and surpassing the rest of the army on the road—they were the first to cross over the summits of the Alps. Testing their strength, they devastated Lombardy in their barbaric manner; destroyed cities and castles by plunder, slaughter, and fire; and violently subjected to their servitude all the strong men they captured. They threatened death to those with local knowledge, if they did not reveal the places that were filled with riches. They forced many fortifications to surrender. Soon they had increased their army to a thousand armed men. When the emperor crossed the Alps after them, he rejoiced with not a little happiness at the things boldly discovered and accomplished by those who had preceded him. After the multitude of the whole army had come together into one and been duly arranged, from there Henry came to Milan and was received both peacefully and honourably by the consuls and leaders of the town. With additional help from them, and also from those whom the emperor had joined to himself from diverse provinces, he finally forced to surrender all the other cities, towns and castles situated roundabout—namely Cremona, Pavia and Lodi, Mantua and Crema, and other fortifications as well (except Verona)—by a four-year campaign and much labour, and not without the loss of his own men.