Zosimus, New History 4.57

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.


[4.57.1] Although when the emperor heard of it, he was regardless of what had been done, and suffered them to kill each other as they pleased. In the mean time, having deluded the ambassadors with presents and fair words, he sent them home, and soon as they were departed, continued his preparations for war.

[4.57.2] Conceiving the principal object, as it really is, to be the choice of commanders, he gave the command of the Roman army to Timasius, and next to him to Stilicho, who had married Serena, the niece of Theodosius. The barbarian allies he placed under the conduct of Gainas and Saulus,

[4.57.3] with whom Bacurius was likewise joined in commission, who was of Armenian extraction, a man expert in military affairs, and devoid of evil inclinations. Having thus made choice of his principal officers, he was hastening to march, when his wife Galla was delivered of an infant, but was no sooner eased of her burden than deprived of life.

[4.57.4] The emperor (having mourned for her a whole day, according to the rule of Homer), proceeded with his army to the war, leaving behind him his son Arcadius, who had some time previously been made emperor. This prince being young, his father, in order to amend the defects of his nonage, left with him Rufinus, who was prefect of the court, and acted as he pleased, even as much as the power of sovereignty enabled the emperor himself to do.