Zosimus, New History 1.34

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.


[1.34.1] When the neighboring Scythians perceived the booty they had acquired, they determined on making a similar attempt, and for that purpose prepared a fleet, which their captives, and others who through necessity had taken up their abode among them, assisted them in building. They resolved however not to set out as the Borani had, because it was tedious and hazardous to sail that way, and they would have to pass through places that were already plundered. 

[1.34.2] They staid therefore until winter, and then leaving to their left the Euxine Sea, and to the right the Ister, Tomes, and Anchialus, while their land forces marched as quickly as they could along the shore, they arrived at the lake of Phileatina, which lies to the west of Byzantium near the Pontus. Finding that the fishermen of that lake had concealed themselves and their vessels in the neighboring fens, they made an agreement with them, to put their land forces on board the fishermen's boats, and sailed forward in order to pass the straight between Byzantium and Chalcedon.

[1.34.3] And though there was a guard from Chalcedon as far as the temple which stands at the entrance of the Pontus, which was strong enough to overpower the barbarians, yet some of the troops marched away under the pretext of meeting a general whom the emperor had sent there, and others were so terrified that when they first heard of it they fled with all possible precipitation. The barbarians then crossed over, took Chalcedon without opposition, and got possession of abundance of money, arms, and provisions.