Zosimus, New History 1.37

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.


[1.37.1] Such being the state of the east, an universal confusion and feebleness prevailed at that period. The Scythians unanimously collected into one body out of every nation and country within their territory, one part of their forces plundering Illyricum, and laying waste its towns, while the remainder penetrated into Italy as far as Rome.

[1.37.2] Gallienus in the mean time still continued beyond the Alps, intent on the German war, while the Senate, seeing Rome in such imminent danger, armed all the soldiers that were in the city, and the strongest of the common people, and formed an army, which exceeded the barbarians in number. This so alarmed the barbarians, that they left Rome, but ravaged all the rest of Italy.

[1.37.3] At this period, when Illyricum groaned under the oppression of the barbarians, and the whole Roman empire was in such a helpless state as to be on the very verge of ruin, a plague happened to break out in several of the towns, more dreadful than any that had preceded it. The miseries inflicted on them by the barbarians were thus alleviated, even the sick esteeming themselves fortunate. The cities that had been taken by the Scythians were thus deserted.