Zosimus, New History 2.10

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.


[2.10.1] Maximian Galerius, when he had learned this, sent Severus Caesar note against Maxentius with an army. But while he advanced from Milan with several legions of Moors, Maxentius corrupted his troops with money, and even the prefect of the court, Anullinus, and thereby conquered him with great case. On which Severus fled to Ravenna, which is a strong and populous city, provided with necessaries sufficient for himself and soldiers.

[2.10.2] When Maximian Herculius knew this, he was doubtless greatly concerned for his son Maxentius, and therefore, leaving Lucania where he then was, he went to Ravenna. Finding that Severus could not by any means be forced out of this city, it being well fortified, and stored with provisions, he deluded him with false oaths, and persuaded him to go to Rome. But on his way thither, coming to a place called the Three Tabernae, he was taken by a stratagem of Maxentius and immediately executed.note

[2.10.3] Maximianus Galerius could not patiently endure these injuries done to Severus, and therefore resolved to go from the east to Rome, and to punish Maxentius as he deserved. On his arrival in Italy, he found the soldiers about him so treacherous, that he returned into the east without fighting a battle.

[2.10.4] At this period Maximian Herculius, who lamented the tumults which disturbed the public peace, came to Diocletian who then lived at Carnuntum, a town of Gallia Celtica,note and endeavored to persuade him to resume the empire, and not to suffer the government which they had preserved so long and with so much difficulty to be exposed to the madness and folly of those who had possessed themselves of it, and who had already brought it near to ruin. 

[2.10.5] But Diocletian refused to listen to him, for he wisely preferred his own quiet, and perhaps foresaw the troubles that would ensue, being a man well versed in matters of religion. Herculius therefore, perceiving that he could not prevail with him, came to Ravenna, and so returned to the Alps to meet Constantine, who lay there. 

[2.10.6] And being naturally a busy faithless man, he promised his daughter Fausta to Constantine, which he performed, but persuaded him to pursue Maximian Galerius, who was then leaving Italy, and to lay wait for Maxentius. 

[2.10.7] To all which Constantine agreed. Henote then left him, designing if possible to recover the empire, as he hoped to create a quarrel between Constantine and his son Maxentius. But while he attempted these things, Maximianus Galerius assumed Licinius, as his colleague in the empire, with whose assistance he hoped to cope with Maxentius.