Zosimus, New History 2.54

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.


[2.54.1] Thus died Magnentius, having been emperor three years and six months. He was of barbarian extraction, but lived among the Leti, a people of Gaul. He understood Latin, was bold when favored by fortune, but cowardly in adversity, ingenious in concealing his natural evil disposition, and deemed by those who did not know him to be a man of candor and goodness. 

[2.54.2] I have thought it just to make these observations concerning Magnentius, that the world may be acquainted with his true character, since it has been the opinion of some that he performed much good, who never in his life did any thing with a good intention. Decentius, whom Magnentius had called to his assistance, being now on the road to Italy, soon heard of the misfortune, of Magnentius; meeting with some units and troops from which he saw no hope of escaping, slew himself.