Zosimus, New History 5.15

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.


[5.15.1] Leo in the meantime continued in the vicinity of the Hellespont, and was prevented by fear from engaging with Tribigild, excusing himself, that he was afraid lest Tribigild should send out a part of his forces and lay-waste all the country near the Hellespont, availing himself of his absence. 

[5.15.2] By these means Tribigild was enabled to take all the towns without opposition and to put to death all their inhabitants together with the soldiers. Not a single barbarian would fight for the Romans, but in the conflicts joined their own countrymen against the subjects of the empire.

[5.15.3] Meanwhile Gainas pretended to be moved by the misfortunes of the Romans, yet professed to admire the artifice and bravery of Tribigild, declaring that he was invincible by reason of his prudence and that he gained victories more by his conduct than by force.

[5.15.4] Therefore, when he had crossed into Asia, he made no attempt to prevent the destruction of the towns and provinces, but confined himself merely to following the enemy, expecting that Tribigild would proceed into the east, and privately sent forces to his assistance. He had not yet disclosed his present intentions. 

[5.15.5] If Tribigild had passed into Phrygia, and from thence had proceeded not into Pisidia, but directly into Lydia, he could have encountered no obstacle, but when he had made himself master of that country, might likewise have devastated Ionia. By crossing the sea from thence into the islands, he might have procured as many ships as he desired, by which, there not being any army able to resist him, he would have been enabled to overrun the whole east and to pillage every country there, as well as Egypt.

[5.15.6] But not thinking on these advantages, resolved to march into Pamphylia, which borders on Pisidia. He there fell into difficult roads, through which his horse could not by any means pass. As no army resisted their progress, an inhabitant of Selge (a small town of Pamphylia), named Valentinus, who possessed some learning and was not inexpert in military affairs, collected a band of slaves and peasants who had been accustomed to contend with the robbers in that quarter.