Zosimus, New History 4.12

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.


[4.12.1] While Valens was engaged in these preparations, the emperor Valentinian, having favorably disposed the affairs of Germany, made provisions for the future security of the Celtic nations. With this view he levied among the barbarians near the Rhine and the husbandmen in the countries under the Roman dominion a considerable number of young men. These he incorporated with the legionary soldiers, and brought to so good a state of discipline, that from the sole dread of their military skill, during the period of nine years, the nations beyond the Rhine did not dare to make any attempt upon any of the cities belonging to the Romans.

[4.12.2] About this time, a person named Valentinian for some offence was banished to the island of Britain, and endeavoring there to render himself absolute, was at once deprived of his life and his hopes. The emperor Valentinian was now attacked by a disease which nearly cost him his life. Upon his recovery the countries requested him to appoint a successor, lest at his decease the commonwealth should be in danger. To this the emperor consented, and declared his son Gratian emperor and his associate in the government, although he was then very young, and not yet capable of the management of affairs.