Zosimus, New History 4.45

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.


[4.45.1] For this purpose (as Cynegius, the prefect of the court, had died on his journey homeward from Egypt) he considered on a person proper to succeed in that office. After having examined the character of many persons, he at length found one suitable, named Tatianus, for whom he sent to Aquileia. Tatianus had held other offices under Valens, and was in every respect a worthy person. Theodosius, therefore, declared him prefect of the court, sending him the ensigns of magistracy, and made his son Proclus praetor of the city. 

[4.45.2] In this he truly acted with wisdom, in committing the highest offices to such worthy men, who know how to make the most judicious dispositions for the advantage of the subjects in the absence of the emperor. He also provided for the army, giving the command of the horse to Promotus, and that of the foot to Timasius.

[4.45.3] When all things were prepared for his journey, he was informed that the barbarians, who were mixed with the Roman units, had been solicited by Maximus with the promise of great rewards if they would betray the army. Upon perceiving that the design was discovered, they fled to the fens and marshes of Macedonia, where they concealed themselves in the woods. Being pursued and searched for with great diligence, most of them were slain. The emperor, being delivered from this alarm, marched with great resolution with his whole army against Maximus.

[4.45.4] He, however, first placed Justina and her daughter on board a ship, committing them to the care of persons who were to convey them in safety to Rome; believing that the Romans would receive them with great pleasure, because they were disaffected towards Maximus. He intended to lead his army through the Upper Pannonia and over the Apennine Mountainsnote to Aquileia, in order to surprise the enemy before they were prepared.