Zosimus, New History 5.37

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.


[5.37.1] As affairs were thus ordered, Alaric began his expedition against Rome, and ridiculed the preparations made by Honorius. Being unwilling to enter on so important an affair with not more than nearly equal forces to his enemy, he sent for Athaulf, his wife's brother, from Upper Pannonia, to share with him in the enterprise, he having under him a very considerable force of Goths and Huns.

[5.37.2] However, he did not wait for the arrival of his brother-in-law, but marching forward with expedition, passed by Aquileia and the other cities beyond the Po, namely Concordia, Altinum, and Cremona. When he had crossed that river, being as it were at some festival, and having no enemy to obstruct him, he arrived at a castle of Bononia, called Oicubaria. 

[5.37.3] From thence, passing through all Aemilia, and leaving Ravenna in his rear, he advanced to Ariminum, a great city of Flaminia. Moving by that likewise with haste, and by all the other towns of that province, he came to Picenum, which is situated at the extremity of the Ionian bay.

[5.37.4] From thence marching towards Rome, he sacked all the castles and towns in his way. Thus if Arsacius and Tarentius, the two eunuchs, had not hastened to bring Eucherius, the son of Stilicho, from those quarters to Rome to be executed according to the command of the emperor, the youth would certainly have fallen into the hands of Alaric, and would have been saved.

[5.37.5] The eunuchs having fulfilled the injunctions laid on them to that effect, and having delivered Thermantia, the wife of Honorius, to her mother, went by sea to the emperor in Gallia Celtica, where he then resided, because they were not able to go to him by the same way they had come. 

[5.37.6] For these reasons, the emperor conceiving that he should render good service to the commonwealth by rewarding these two eunuchs for their great exploits in restoring Thermantia to her mother, and in putting to death Eucherius, appointed Tarentius imperial chamberlain, and gave the next post under him to Arsacius. Having then cut off Bathanarius, who was commander of the troops in the greater Libya, and had married the sister of Stilicho, he gave that command to Heraclianus, the person who had killed Stilicho, and who received this honor as the recompense of his action.