Zosimus, New History 4.43

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.


[4.43.1] This so much surprised Valentinian, and rendered his situation so desperate, that his courtiers were alarmed lest he should be taken by Maximus and put to death. He, therefore, immediately embarked,and sailed to Thessalonica with his mother Justina, who, as I before mentioned, had been the wife of Magnentius, but after his decease was taken in marriage by the emperor Valentinian on account of her extraordinary beauty. She carried along with her her daughter Galla.

[4.43.2] After having passed many seas, and arriving at Thessalonica, they sent messengers to the emperor Theodosius, intreating him now at least to revenge the injuries committed against the family of Valentinian. He was astonished at hearing of this, and began to forget his extravagance, and to lay some restraint on his wild inclination for pleasure. Having held a consultation, it was determined that he with part of the Senate should proceed to Thessalonica.

[4.43.3] This journey they performed, and there again consulted what measures to pursue. It was at length agreed, with the unanimous assent of the assembly, that Maximus should receive the punishment due to his offences. Their opinion was, that such a person was undeserving of life, who had not only murdered Gratian and usurped his dominions, but after having succeeded in his usurpation, had extended his progress, and also deprived the brother of Gratian of the territory which had been allotted to him.