Zosimus, New History 5.42

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.


[5.42.1] The money being thus raised, they thought it advisable to send an envoy to the emperor to confer with him concerning the ensuing treaty, and to inform him that Alaric required not only money but the sons of certain noblemen as hostages, being willing on these conditions to make peace, and likewise to enter into an alliance with the emperor and to assist the Romans against all their enemies. 

[5.42.2] The emperor resolving to conclude a peace, the money was paid to the barbarians. This being done, Alaric gave the citizens a free market for three successive days, with permission to pass securely through certain gates of the city and to bring corn from the port. By these means the citizens, having a little recovered breath, by selling the remainder of their goods, or exchanging one article for another, to purchase necessaries,the barbarians departed from Rome, and pitched their camps in several places in Etruria. 

[5.42.3] Almost all the slaves in Rome then fled from the city, and enrolled themselves among the barbarians, to the number of forty thousand. Some of the straggling barbarians attacked the Romans who were going down to the port, and bringing up their provisions. When Alaric understood this, he used his utmost endeavors to prevent such proceedings, which were without his knowledge or consent. The Romans now appeared to possess a small respite from their misfortunes. The emperor Honorius was now entering on the consulship, having enjoyed that honor eight times, and the emperor Theodosius in the east three times.