Zosimus, New History 4.56

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.


[4.56.1] When Theodosius was first made emperor, he admitted to his friendship and alliance some barbarians, whom he attached both with promises and large presents, nor did he fail by all civilities to endeavor to acquire the regard of the officers of each nation, but admitted them even to his own table. 

[4.56.2] Amongst these arose a debate, in which two different opinions were maintained. Some of them declared that it was better to break the oaths they had taken when they entered into the service of the Romans, while others on the contrary maintained, that they ought not on any consideration to act in opposition to their own agreements. The person who wished to trample on his engagements and persuaded his countrymen to the same, was Eriulph; and on the other side Fravitta maintained that they ought to observe what they had sworn.

[4.56.3] A considerable time elapsed before it was known that such a controversy existed among them, until on one occasion when they were at the emperor's table, and had drunk more than usual, they quarrelled with each other and declared their sentiments. The emperor, therefore, when he had discovered the opinion of each individual, put an end to the entertainment. As they left the palace, they became so warm, that Fravitta, unable any longer to contain his rage, drew his sword, and killed Eriulph. As his soldiers would have fallen upon Fravitta, the guards of the emperor interposed, and prevented the tumult, from proceeding farther;