Zosimus, New History 4.52

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.


[4.52.1] When this action was rumored abroad, and had become the theme of general conversation, every moderate and sober-minded person was displeased at such enormities. Yet Rufinus, at the same time, as if in reward for some glorious deed, was made consul. Charges without reasonable foundation were then alledged against Tatianus and his son Proclus, who had given no other offence to Rufinus than that of having discharged without bribery, and as much as was possible according to their duty, their offices of prefect, the one of the court, and the other of the city.

[4.52.2] To effect what was designed against them, Tatianus, being first deprived of his office, was brought to trial, and Rufinus was appointed prefect of the imperial court. Although there were apparently other persons commissioned to sit as judges in this process besides Rufinus, yet he alone had authority to pronounce sentence.

[4.52.3] When Proclus discovered the plot, he effected his escape. Upon this Rufinus, who thought him an active person, and feared lest he should invent some mode of giving him uneasiness, went to his father Tatianus, and by deceitful oaths induced him to believe all that he said. He even persuaded the emperor to give both the father and son the most favorable hopes, until he had thus deluded Tatianus from a well-grounded suspicion into vain thoughts of security, and induced him by letters to recall his son.

[4.52.4] But as soon as Proclus arrived, he was seized and thrown into prison. Tatianus being sent to reside in his own country, they sat several times in judgement on Proclus, until at length the judges, as they had agreed with Rufinus, commanded him to be carried into the suburbs, called Sycae, and there to suffer death. The emperor, on hearing this, sent to recall the sword from his throat; but the messenger of Rufinus proceeded so slowly, that before he arrived at the place, the head of Proclus was severed from his body.