Zosimus, New History 4.41

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.


[4.41.1] While affairs thus hastened towards ruin under the reign of Theodosius, in whose time no virtuous action was thought commendable, but every species of luxury and licentiousness increased daily beyond all bounds, an insurrection arose among the inhabitants of the great city of Antioch in Syria, who were unable to support the continual addition of new taxes which the collectors invented. Having disgracefully thrown down the statues of the emperor and empress, they used expressions corresponding with their actions, which were mixed with humor and that species of raillery to which they accustom themselves. 

[4.41.2] When the emperor, who was highly incensed at these actions, threatened to punish them according to their fault, the senate of the city, dreading his resentment, determined to send ambassadors to excuse the actions of the populace. They made choice of the philosopher Libanius, whose commendations are contained in the writings which he has left, and of Hilarius, a man of a noble family and of great learning.

[4.41.3] The former of these made an oration before the emperor and the senate concerning the insurrection. He succeeded in appeasing the anger which the emperor had felt against the Antiochenes. The emperor, being now perfectly reconciled to that city, enjoined him to make a second oration on that subject, and appointed Hilarius, who was renowned for his virtues, governor of Palestine.