Zosimus, New History 5.51

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 Zosimus' New 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.

[5.51.1] When Alaric had made these extremely temperate propositions, his moderation being universally admired, Jovius, and the other ministers of the emperor, declared that his demands could not possibly be acceded to, since all persons, who held any commission, had sworn not to make peace with Alaric. For if their oath had been made to the deity, they might indeed probably have dispensed with it, and have relied on the divine goodness for pardon;

[5.51.2] but since they had sworn by the head of the emperor, it was by no means lawful for them to infringe so great a vow. So cautious were they who then held the chief management of affairs, as they were destitute of the care and protection of heaven.