Zosimus, New History 3.05

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.


[3.5.1] Having done this, and restored as many captives as it was probable had been taken out of the forty cities which they had sacked, Caesar was at a loss what course to adopt, perceiving the cities to be completely ruined, and that the land had remained long without cultivation, which occasioned great scarcity of provisions among those who were delivered up by the barbarians. For the neighboring cities could not supply them, having themselves felt the violence of the barbarians, and consequently having no great abundance for their own use. Having therefore deliberated on what course to pursue he formed this plan. 

[3.5.2] As the Rhine discharges itself at the extremity of Germany into the Atlantic ocean, and the island of Britain is about nine hundred stadia from its mouths, he cut timber from the woods on the banks of the river, and built eight hundred small vessels, which he sent into Britain for a supply of corn, and brought it up the Rhine. This was so often repeated, the voyage being short, that he abundantly supplied those who were restored to their cities with sufficiency for their sustenance, so likewise for the sowing season, and what they needed until harvest.

[3.5.3] These actions he performed when he had scarcely attained the twenty-fifth year of his age. Constantius, perceiving that Julian was beloved by the army, for his frugality in pence and courage in war, and for the self-command he possessed in regard to riches, and the other virtues in which he excelled all persons of the age in which he lived, became envious of his great merit, and concluded that Sallustius, one of the counsellors that had been allotted to him, was the author of the policy that had acquired Julian so much honor both in military and in civil affairs. 

[3.5.4] He, therefore, sent for Sallustius, as if he intended to confer the government of the eastern provinces upon him. Julian readily dismissed him, resolving to obey the emperor in all respects. Though Sallustius was removed, Julian still advanced in whatever was committed to his care; the soldiers improved in discipline as well as augmented in number, and the towns enjoyed the blessings of peace.