Zosimus, New History 5.50

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.


[5.50.1] Affairs having thus been concerted, the emperor called ten thousand Huns to his assistance in the war against Alaric. In order that be might have provisions ready for them on their arrival, he ordered the Dalmatians to bring corn, sheep, and oxen. He sent out scouts to gain information of the way by which Alaric intended to march to Rome.

[5.50.2] But Alaric, in the mean time, repented of his intention of proceeding against Rome, and sent the bishops of each city, not only as ambassadors but also to advise the emperor not to suffer so noble a city, which for more than a thousand years had ruled over great part of the world, to be seized and destroyed by the barbarians, nor such magnificent edifices to be demolished by hostile flames, but to prefer entering into a peace on some reasonable conditions. 

[5.50.3] He instructed them to state to the emperor that the barbarians wanted no preferments, nor did he now desire the provinces which he had previously chosen as his residence, but only the two Norica, which are situated on the extremity of the river Danube, are harassed by continual incursions, and yield to the treasury a very small revenue. Besides this he only demanded annually as much corn as the emperor should think proper to grant, and would remit the gold. And that a friendship and alliance should subsist between himself and tbe Romans, against every one that should rise to oppose the empire.