Zosimus, New History 2.06

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.


[2.6] But when a hundred years and ten are past 
Which is the longest time man's age doth last, 
Romans! be sure (it is fatal to mistake 
In any point) due offerings to make 
To heaven, and see you bring the sacrifice 
Into that field which on the Tiber lies: 
And do it, in that season, when the night 
Deprives men least of the diurnal light. 
After sun set; Then to the Parcae pay 
Your homage; and upon their altars lay
Young sheep and goats: next the Lucinae please
With decent rites, who childing women ease,
Those finished offer a black hog and sow
To Tellus, for the product of the plow,
But to Jove's altar bring the bulls milk-while
For victims, in the day-time, not by night:
(For heavenly deities accept of none
But what are offer'd in the day alone.)
And next to Juno sacrifice a cow
Spotless all o'er, and pure as fulling snow,
Then let Apollo, whom they call the sun,
And Phoebus, have his equal honors done.
Whilst in the temple Latin girls and boys
In sacred hymns make a triumphant noise.
But let them be apart, the girls to stand
And sing on this, the boys on t'other hand;
Besides this caution I must farther give
That all the parents of them be alive.
As for the married women, let them pray
To Juno on their knees, that each one may
Have their desire, both men and women too,
But chiefly women. Then, let all of you
Bring from your houses what is fit to bring,
(As the first-fruits of every useful thing)
To the immortal gods an offering.
And let all that upon your altars lie,
Whence you may men and women both supply.
But to attend the gods be sure there be
Both night and day a numerous company
Of votaries both serious and free.
These laws observ'd not Latium alone
But Italy's extent your sway shall own.