Zosimus, New History 3.14

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.


[3.14.1] The emperor, on entering Persia, placed the cavalry on the right, and proceeded along the bank of the river, the rear guard marching at the distance of seventy stadia. Between these and the main body were placed the beasts of burden, which carried the heavy armor and provisions, the attendants, that they might be secure, being inclosed on every side by the army. Having thus arranged the order of his march, he thought proper to send before him fifteen hundred men, in order to reconnoitre and observe whether any enemy approached either openly or in ambuscade. Of these he made Lucilianus captain.

[3.14.2] Then advancing sixty stadia he arrived at a place called Lautha, and from thence to Dura, where were perceived the ruins of a city, which was then deserted, and the sepulchre of the emperor Gordian. In this place the soldiers found abundance of deer, which they shot and feasted on with great satisfaction. From thence he proceeded in seven days to a place called Phathusae, opposite to which was an island in the river, wherein was a castle containing a great number of men. 

[3.14.3] He therefore ordered Lucilianus with a thousand of his advanced guard to attack it. While it continued dark, the assailants proceeded without discovery, but as soon as it was day, being perceived by one that came from out of the castle to fetch water, the garrison was dreadfully alarmed. They all immediately mounted the ramparts, until the emperor came into the island with his engines and part of the army, and promised the besieged, that if they would surrender themselves and the castle, they would escape certain death. 

[3.14.4] They accordingly surrendered, and were sent, by the emperor into the Roman dominions conducted by a guard of soldiers. Their captain, Pusaeus, was not only made a tribune in the army, but on account of his fidelity was taken by the emperor into a familiarity which always subsisted.