Zosimus, New History 2.04

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.


[2.4.1] But afterwards, when they were oppressed with diseases and wars, which was in the year 502 after the building of the city, the Senate endeavored to deliver themselves from those calamities by means of the oracles of the Sibyls, and therefore commanded those whose office it was to consult those oracles. Having so done they told the Senate, that by sacrificing to Pluto and Proserpine an end would be put to all their miseries. They therefore chose a convenient place, which they consecrated to Pluto and Proserpine as they were commanded, when Marcus Popilius was in his fourth consulate.note

[2.4.2] And when the ceremony was completed, being delivered from their grievances, they again laid aside the altar in some extremity of the Campus Martius. These rites were afterwards neglected for many years, until some misfortunes befel them, and then Octavian Augustus renewed the games <which had  been celebrated for the last time> when Lucius Censorinus and Marcus Manlius Puelius were consuls.

Ateius Capito has explained the laws concerning them, and the fifteen men who had the care of the books of the Sibyls had found out the time when the sacrifice ought to be performed and the games held. 

[2.4.3] After Augustus was dead, these games were celebrated by Claudius, without any regard to the due time. After him Domitian, who paid no regard to what Claudius had done, computed the years from the time when Augustus kept that festival, and seemed to observe their original institution. And after them Severus in the hundred and tenth year restored the same game, with his two sons Antoninus and Geta, when Chilo and Libo were consuls.