Zosimus, New History 4.55

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.


[4.55.1] When these events were related to Theodosius, his wife Galla filled the whole court with confusion by her lamentations for the death of her brother. The emperor likewise was overcome by grief and anxiety, having not only lost his associate in the empire, who was a young man and so nearly related to him, but the empire having fallen into the hands of men disaffected to himself, and likewise invincible; Arbogast being brave and skilful, and Eugenius learned and virtuous.

[4.55.2] Although he made these reflections and frequently revolved them in his mind, yet he resolved at once as it were to throw the die for all that he possessed, and therefore made every preparation for war. In pursuance of his design he intended to make Richomer commander of the cavalry, having experienced his courage in many wars, and to appoint other officers over the legions.

[4.55.3] But Richomer dying of disease he was compelled to make a different choice. While the emperor was deliberating on this, an embassy arrived from Eugenius, to learn from the emperor Theodosius whether he would acknowledge the title of Eugenius, or declare his election void.

[4.55.4] The person sent on this embassy was Rufinus, an Athenian, who neither brought letters from Arbogast, nor made any mention of him. While Theodosius deferred the time in order to consult on the answer to this mission, another occurrence intervened.