Zosimus, New History 5.11

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.


[5.11.1] By these means, though at Constantinople, Eutropius had no person who dared even to look at him. He recollected however that Stilicho was master of everything in the west; and, therefore, formed contrivances to prevent his coming to Constantinople. 

[5.11.2] For this purpose, he persuaded the emperor to convoke the Senate, and by a public decree to declare Stilicho an enemy to the empire. This being accomplished, he immediately made Gildo his friend, who was governor of that part of Africa which belongs to Carthage, and by his assistance separating that country from the dominion of Honorius, he annexed it to the empire of Arcadius. While Stilicho was in extreme displeasure at this, and knew not what course to pursue, an extraordinary circumstance happened. 

[5.11.3] Gildo had a brother named Masceldelus, against whom he had formed a design through the barbarous ferocity of his disposition, and, therefore, compelled him to sail into Italy to Stilicho, to complain of the severity of his brother. Stilicho without delay gave him competent number of men and ships, and sent him against Gildo.

[5.11.4] Upon his arrival at the place where he heard that his brother was stationed, he attacked him with all his forces before he was prepared for battle, and after a furious engagement defeated him to such a degree, that Gildo hanged himself, in preference to falling into the hands of his enemies. By means of this victory, the brother of Gildo restored Africa to Honorius, and returned to Italy. Though Stilicho was envious of him for his great achievement, yet he pretended an attachment to him, and gave him favorable expectations.

[5.11.5] But subsequently, as he was going to some place in the suburbs, and was pacing over the bridge, Masceldelus among others attending on him, the guards, in obedience to a signal which Stilicho gave them, thrust Masceldelus into the river, where he perished through the violence of the stream.