Zosimus, New History 1.39

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.


[1.39.1] The Scythians, who had dreadfully afflicted the whole of Greece, had now taken Athens, when Gallienus advanced against those who were already in possession of Thrace, and ordered Odaenathus of Palmyra, a person whose ancestors had always been highly respected by the emperors, to assist the eastern nations which were then in a very distressed condition. Accordingly, having joined to the remainder of an army that still remained in the country many of his own troops, he attacked Sapor with great boldness; and having taken several cities belonging to the Persians, he retook Nisibis also, which Sapor had formerly taken, and ravaged it at the same time. 

[1.39.2] Then advancing, not once merely, but a second time, as far as Ctesiphon, he blocked up the Persians in their fortifications, and rendered them content to save their wives, their children and themselves, while he disposed of the pillaged country at his pleasure. Shortly afterwards, whilst residing at Emesa, he lost his life by a conspiracy as he was celebrating the birthday of a friend. Zenobia then took upon her the administration of affairs. She was the wife of Odaenathus, but had the courage of a man, and with the assistance of her husband's friends, acted in every respect as well as he had done.