Zosimus, New History 1.64

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.


[1.64.1] An universal civil disturbance now arose, those of the east chosing Probus emperor, and those at Rome Florian. The former of these governed all Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, and Egypt; but the latter was in possession of all the countries from Cilicia to Italy; besides which the homage of all the nations beyond the Alps, the Gauls, Spaniards, Britons, and Africans was paid to him. 

[1.64.2] When both therefore were ready for war, Florian came to Tarsus, resolving to encamp there, leaving his victory over the Scythians at the Bosphorus unfinished, by which he gave them an opportunity of recovering themselves and returning home, though he had cut off their retreat. Probus protracted the time, because he came with less preparation for a battle. By these means it came to pass, that the weather, being exceedingly hot, a pestilential disorder broke out amongst the troops of Florian, most of whom were Europeans, and consequently unaccustomed to such excessive heat, by which many were taken off. 

[1.64.3] When Probus understood this, he thought it a proper time to attack the enemy. The soldiers of Florian, attempting what exceeded their strength, fought some slight skirmishes before the city, but nothing being done worthy of notice, some of the troops of Probus deposed Florian.

[1.64.4] Having performed this, he was kept in custody for some time, until his own soldiers said, that it was the will of Probus that he should share the empire. Florian therefore assumed the purple robe again, until the return of those who were sent to know the true resolution of Probus. On their arrival they caused Florian to be killed by his own soldiers.