Zosimus, New History 5.26

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.


[5.26.1] In the mean time, Alaric, having marched, as I before related, out of the Peloponnese, and all the country through which the river Achelous flows, halted in Epirus, in which reside the Molopians, the Thesprotians, and those who lived in the land between Epidamnus and the Taulantians. He intended to remain there until Stilicho had completed what they had agreed on, which was to this effect. 

[5.26.2] Stilicho, perceiving that the ministers of Arcadius were averse to him, intended, by means of the assistance of Alaric, to add to the empire of Honorius all the Illyrian provinces. Having formed a compact with Alaric to this purpose, he expected shortly to put his design in execution. 

[5.26.3] While Alaric waited for his commands, Rhodogaisus, having collected four hundred thousand of the Celts, and the German tribes that dwell beyond the Danube and the Rhine, made the preparations for passing over into Italy. 

[5.26.4] This intelligence, when first communicated, occasioned a general consternation. While the several towns sunk into despondency, and even Rome itself was filled with apprehension of its danger, Stilicho took with him all the forces that were stationed at Ticinum in Liguria, which amounted to about thirty cohorts, and all the auxiliaries that he could procure from the Alani and Huns, and without waiting for the approach of the enemy, crossed the Danube with all his forces.

[5.26.5] Thus attacking the barbarians before they were aware, he completely destroyed their whole forces, none of them escaping, except a few which he added to the Roman auxiliaries; Stilicho, as may be supposed, was highly elated by this victory, and led back his army, receiving garlands from the people of every place, for having in so unusual a manner delivered Italy from the dangers which she so much dreaded and expected.