Zosimus, New History 1.33

Zosimus (Greek Ζώσιμος): Early Byzantine, pagan author of a history of the Roman Empire, published in the first quarter of the sixth century CE.

The translation of ZosimusNew History offered here was printed in 1814 by W. Green and T. Chaplin in London, and was probably prepared by J. Davis of the Military Chronicle and Military Classics Office. The translator is anonymous. The text was found at Tertullian.org. The notes were added by Jona Lendering.


[1.33.1] Having there seized on the castle, and turned out the garrison, they advanced forward; and as they had a large navy into which they put all the captives who were able to manage an oar, they sailed with favorable weather, which continued almost the whole summer, towards Trapezus. This is a large and populous city, and was then guarded by ten thousand men above the usual complement. 

[1.33.2] When they commenced the siege of it, they did not therefore even imagine that they should succeed, as it was surrounded by two walls; but when they observed that the soldiers were addicted to sloth and inebriety, and that instead of continuing on guard, they were always in search of pleasures and debauchery, they piled against the wall trees which they had prepared for the purpose of scaling it, on which their troops mounted in the night and took the city. The soldiers within were struck with consternation at the sudden and unexpected assault; some of them succeeded in escaping through the gates; the rest were slaughtered by the enemy.

[1.33.3] Having thus got possession of the place, the barbarians acquired an incredible quantity of money, besides a very great number of slaves, for almost all the inhabitants of the country had fled for refuge into that city, as it was strongly fortified. Having demolished all the temples and houses, and every thing that contributed to the grandeur or ornament of the city, and devastated the adjacent country, they returned home with a great number of ships.