Zosimus, New History 3.26

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.


[3.26.1] Upon the following day the emperor sent his army over the Tigris without difficulty, and the third day after the action he himself with his guards followed them. Arriving at a place by the Persians termed Abuzatha, he halted there five days.

[3.26.2] Meanwhile he consulted about his journey forward, and found that it was better to march further into the country than to lead his army by the side of the river. There being now no necessity to proceed by water. Having considered this, he imparted it to his army, whom he commanded to burn the ships,

[3.26.3] which accordingly were all consumed, except eighteen Roman and four Persian vessels, which were carried along in waggons, to be used upon occasion. Their route now lying a little above the river, when they arrived at a place called Noorda they halted, and there killed and took a great number of Persians.

[3.26.4] Advancing thence to the river Durus, they constructed a bridge over it for their passage. The Persians had burnt up all the forage of the country, so that the cattle of the Romans were ready to perish with hunger. They were collected into several parties awaiting the Romans, whom they imagined to be but a small number, and presently afterward uniting into one body they proceeded towards the river. 

[3.26.5] Here, while the advanced guard engaged with a party of Persians, an enterprising man, named Macanaeus, entered among them and killed four of them. For that bold action they all fell upon him and struck him down. His brother, Maurus, upon seeing this, attempted to rescue at least his dead body from the Persians, and killed the man who had given him the first wound; nor did he desist, though frequently shot at, until he had brought off his brother and delivered him to the army still alive.