Zosimus, New History 3.06

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.


[3.6.1] The barbarians in that quarter now began almost all to despair, and expected little short of the complete destruction of all that remained alive. The Saxons, who exceed all the barbarians in those regions, in courage, strength and hardiness, sent out the Quadi,note a part of their own body, against the Roman dominions. 

[3.6.2] Being obstructed by the Franks who resided near them, and who were afraid of giving Caesar a just occasion of making another attack on them, they shortly built themselves a number of boats, in which they sailed along the Rhine beyond the territory of the Franks, and entered the Roman Empire. On their arrival at Batavia, which is an island, so formed by the branches of the Rhine, much larger than any other river island, they drove out the Salii, a people descended from the Franks, who had been expelled from their own country by the Saxons. This island, though formerly subject to the Romans alone, was now in the possession of the Salii. 

[3.6.3] Caesar, upon learning this, endeavored to counteract the designs of the Quadi and first commanded his army to attack them briskly, but not to kill any of the Salii, or prevent them from entering the Roman territories, because they came not as enemies, but were forced there by the Quadi. As soon as the Salii heard of the kindness of Caesar, some of them went with their king into the Roman territory, and others fled to the extremity of their country, but all humbly committed their lives and fortunes to Caesar's gracious protection. 

[3.6.4] Caesar by this time perceiving that the barbarians dared not again engage him, but were intent on secret excursions, and rapine, by which they did great damage to the country, scarcely knew how to act, until at length he invented a stratagem to confound the barbarians.