Zosimus, New History 1.54

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.


[1.54.1] Zenobia was not a little disturbed by this defeat, and therefore consulted on what measures to adopt. It was the opinion of all her friends that it would be prudent to relinquish all pretensions to Emesa, because the Emesenes were disaffected towards her and friendly to the Romans. They advised her to remain within Palmyra, and when they were in security in that strong city, they would deliberate at leisure on their important affairs. This was no sooner proposed than done, with the concurrence of the whole assembly.

[1.54.2] Aurelian, upon hearing of the flight of Zenobia, entered Emesa, where he was cordially welcomed by the citizens, and found a treasure which Zenobia could not carry along with her. He then marched immediately to Palmyra, which he invested on every side, while his troops were supplied with provisions of every kind by the neighboring country. Meantime the Palmyrenes only derided the Romans, as if they thought it impossible for them to take the city, and one man in particular spoke in very indecent terms of the emperor's own person. Upon this, a Persian who stood by the emperor said, "If you will allow me, sir, you shall see me kill that insolent soldier." 

[1.54.3] To which the emperor consented, and the Persian, placing himself behind some other men that he might not be seen, shot at the man while in the act of looking over the battlements, and hit him whilst still uttering his insulting language, so that he fell down from the wall before the soldiers and the emperor.