Zosimus, New History 2.23

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.


[2.23.1] As soon as day appeared, the whole army of Licinius, or as many of them us had fled to the neighboring mountains and vallies, together with those that Licinius through haste had left behind him, surrendered themselves to Constantine. Licinius being arrived at Byzantium, Constantine followed and besieged him in that city. 

[2.23.2] His navy, as before related, had now left Piraeus and lay at Macedon. He therefore sent orders to his admirals to bring the ships into the Hellespont.

[2.23.3] This being effected according to the command of Constantine, the officers of his navy thought it not prudent to engage with more than eighty of their best sailing vessels, which were gallies of thirty oars each, because the place was too narrow for the reception of a greater number. Upon which Abantus, the admiral of Licinius, making use of two hundred ships, despised the smallness of the enemy's fleet, which he thought he could easily surround. 

[2.23.4] But the signals on both sides being given, and the vessels meeting stern to stern, the seamen of Constantine managed their ships so as to engage in good order; but the ships of Abantus, sailing against the enemy without any order, and being confined by the narrowness of the place, became exposed to the enemy, who sunk and otherwise destroyed them. Many were thrown overboard, till at length night put an end to the engagement. The fleets then separated and put in at different places, the one at Elaeus in Thrace, and the other at the harbor of Ajax.