Zosimus (Greek: Ζώσιμος [ˈzosimos]; also known by the Latin name Zosimus Historicus, i.e. "Zosimus the Historian"; fl. 490s–510s) was a Greek historian who lived in Constantinople during the reign of the Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I (491–518). According to Photius, he was a comes, and held the office of "advocate" of the imperial treasury.[1] Zosimus was also known for condemning Constantine’s rejection of the pagan gods.

Historia Nova

Zosimus' Historia Nova (Ἱστορία Νέα, "New History") is written in Greek in six books. For the period from 238 to 270, he apparently uses Dexippus; for the period from 270 to 404, Eunapius; and after 407, Olympiodorus. His dependence upon his sources is made clear by the change in tone and style between the Eunapian and Olympiodoran sections, and by the gap left in between them. In the Eunapian section, for example, he is pessimistic and critical of Stilicho; in the Olympiodoran section, he offers precise figures and transliterations from the Latin, and favors Stilicho.[2]

The first book sketches briefly the history of the early Roman emperors from Augustus to Diocletian (305); the second, third and fourth deal more fully with the period from the accession of Constantius Chlorus and Galerius to the death of Theodosius I;[1] the fifth and sixth cover the period between 395 and 410, when Priscus Attalus was deposed; for this period, he is the most important surviving non-ecclesiastical source. The work, which breaks off abruptly in the summer of 410 at the beginning of the sixth book, is believed to have been written in 498–518.

The style is characterized by Photius as concise, clear and pure.[1] The historian's object was to account for the decline of the Roman Empire from the polytheistic point of view. Zosimus is the only non-Christian source for much of what he reports.

In contrast to Polybius, who had narrated the rise of the Roman Empire, Zosimus documented the events and causes which led to its decline.[3] Though the decline of the Roman Empire was Zosimus' primary subject, he also discussed events connected with Persian, and Greek history, perhaps in imitation of Polybius. It is clear that Photius and Evagrius did not have any more of Zosimus' work than what survives today. Yet it is likely that either a part of the work has been lost or, more likely, that Zosimus did not live to finish it; for it does not cover all the areas that Zosimus himself tells us he intended to discuss.[4] There does not seem much probability in the conjecture that the monks and other ecclesiastics succeeded in suppressing that portion of the work in which the evil influences of their body were to be more especially touched upon.[5] If the work was thus left incomplete, that circumstance would account for some carelessness of style which is here and there apparent. There may appear some difficulty at first sight, however, in the statement of Photius, that the work, in the form in which he saw it, appeared to him to be a second edition. But it would seem that Photius was under some misapprehension. It is called in the manuscripts Historia Nova (in what sense is not quite clear). This may perhaps have misled Photius. He himself remarks that he had not seen the first edition.

Zosimus was a polytheist, and is by no means sparing of the faults and crimes of the Christian emperors. In consequence of this his credibility has been fiercely assailed by several Christian writers, and has been sometimes defended merely because his history tended to the discredit of many leading persons in the Christian party. The question does not, as has sometimes been supposed, turn upon the credibility of the historians whom Zosimus followed, for he did not adhere in all cases to their judgment with respect to events and characters. For instance, although Zosimus followed Eunapius for the period 270–404, he entirely differed from Eunapius in his account of Stilicho and Serena. Of modern writers, Baronius, Lelio Bisciola, C. v. Barth, J. D. Ritter, Richard Bentley, and G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, have taken the derogatory side. Bentley in particular speaks of Zosimus with great contempt.[6] On the other hand, his historical authority has been maintained by Leunclavius, G. B. von Schirach, J. Matth. Schrockh, and Reitemeier.


The history of Zosimus was first printed in the Latin translation of Leunclavius, accompanied by a defence of the historian (Basel, 1576, fol.). The first two books, in Greek, with the translation of Leunclavius, were printed by H. Stephanus, in his edition of Herodian (Paris, 1581). The first complete edition of the Greek text of Zosimus was that by F. Sylburg (Scriptores Hist. Rom. Min., vol. iii., Frankfurt, 1590). Later editions are those published at Oxford (1679), at Zeitz and Jena, edited by Cellarius, with annotations of his own and others (1679, 1713, 1729). The next edition is that by Reitemeier, who, though he consulted no fresh manuscripts, made good use of the critical remarks of Heyne and other scholars (Leipzig, 1784). Bekker produced a reliable edition in 1837 at Bonn. There is a German translation by Seybold and Heyler, and also an English and a French translation. (Schöll, Gesch. d. Griech. Lit. vol. iii, p. 232 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. viii. p. 62.)

The single good manuscript, in the Vatican Library (MS Vat. Gr. 156), was unavailable to scholars until the mid-19th century. Ludwig Mendelssohn (Leipzig 1887) edited the first dependable text. The modern standard edition is F. Paschoud Zosime: Histoire Nouvelle (Paris 1971) which has a French translation, introduction and commentary. A later edition in English, "Zosimus: New History" a translation with commentary by Ronald T. Ridley, was published in 1982 by the Australian Association of Byzantine Studies.


  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Zosimus (historian)" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 1044.
  2. ^ Sorek, Susan (2012). Ancient Historians: A Student Handbook. A&C Black. p. 211. ISBN 9781441179913.
  3. ^ i. 57
  4. ^ iv. 59. §4, 5, i. 58. §9, iv. 28. §3
  5. ^ v. 23. §8; Harles. ad Fabr. vol. viii. p. 65; comp. Voss. de Hist. Gr. p. 312
  6. ^ Bentley, Remarks upon a late Discourse of Freethinking, Part. ii. p. 21

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Aemilianus (Latin: Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus Augustus; c. 207/213 – September 253), also known as Aemilian, was Roman Emperor for three months in 253.

Commander of the Moesian troops, he obtained an important victory against the invading Goths and was, for this reason, acclaimed Emperor by his army. He then moved quickly to Italy, where he defeated Emperor Trebonianus Gallus at the Battle of Interamna Nahars in August 253, only to be killed by his own men a month later when another general, Valerian, proclaimed himself Emperor and moved against Aemilian with a larger army.


Athanaric or Atanaric (Latin: Athanaricus; died 381) was king of several branches of the Thervingian Goths for at least two decades in the 4th century. Throughout his reign, Athanaric was faced with invasions by the Roman Empire, the Huns and a civil war with Christian rebels. He is considered the first king of the Visigoths, who later settled in Iberia, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom.


The Bastarnae (Latin variants: Bastarni, or Basternae; Ancient Greek: Βαστάρναι or Βαστέρναι) were an ancient people who between 200 BC and 300 AD inhabited the region between the Carpathian mountains and the river Dnieper, to the north and east of ancient Dacia. The Peucini, denoted a branch of the Bastarnae by Greco-Roman writers, occupied the region north of the Danube delta.

The ethno-linguistic affiliation of the Bastarnae was probably Celtic, which is supported by earliest historians. However, later historian sources imply a Germanic or Scytho-Sarmatian origins.

Often they are associated with the Germans, or the peoples "between the Celts and the Germans". The most likely scenario is that they were originally a Celtic tribe, originally resident in the lower Vistula river valley. In ca. 200 BC, these tribes then migrated, possibly accompanied by some Germanic elements, southeastwards into the North Pontic region. Some elements appear to have become assimilated, to some extent, by the surrounding Sarmatians by the 3rd century.

Although largely sedentary, some elements may have adopted a semi-nomadic lifestyle. It has not, so far, been possible to identify archaeological sites which can be conclusively attributed to the Bastarnae. The archaeological horizons most often associated by scholars with the Bastarnae are the Zarubintsy and Poienesti-Lukashevka cultures.

The Bastarnae first came into conflict with the Romans during the 1st century BC, when, in alliance with Dacians and Sarmatians, they unsuccessfully resisted Roman expansion into Moesia and Pannonia. Later, they appear to have maintained friendly relations with the Roman empire during the first two centuries AD. This changed from c. 180, when the Bastarnae are recorded as participants in an invasion of Roman territory, once again in alliance with Sarmatian and Dacian elements. In the mid-3rd century, the Bastarnae were part of a Gothic-led grand coalition of lower Danube tribes that repeatedly invaded the Balkan provinces of the Roman empire.

Large numbers of Bastarnae were resettled within the Roman empire in the late 3rd century.

Battle of Adrianople (324)

The Battle of Adrianople was fought on July 3, 324, during a Roman civil war, the second to be waged between the two emperors Constantine I and Licinius; Licinius suffered a heavy defeat.

Battle of Naissus

The Battle of Naissus (268 or 269 AD) was the defeat of a Gothic coalition by the Roman Empire under Emperor Gallienus (or Claudius II) near Naissus (Niš in present-day Serbia). The events around the invasion and the battle are an important part of the history of the Crisis of the Third Century.

The result was a great Roman victory which, combined with the effective pursuit of the invaders in the aftermath of the battle and the energetic efforts of the Emperor Aurelian, largely removed the threat from Germanic tribes in the Balkan frontier for the following decades.

Carpi (people)

The Carpi or Carpiani were an ancient people that resided in the eastern parts of modern Romania in the historical region of Moldavia from no later than c. AD 140 and until at least AD 318.The ethnic affiliation of the Carpi remains disputed, as there is no direct evidence in the surviving ancient literary sources. A strong body of modern scholarly opinion considers that the Carpi were a tribe of the Dacian nation. Other scholars have linked the Carpi to a variety of ethnic groups, including Sarmatians, Thracians, Slavs, Germans, and Celts.About a century after their earliest mention by Ptolemy, during which time their relations with Rome appear to have been peaceful, the Carpi emerged in c. 238 as among Rome's most persistent enemies. In the period AD 250-270, the Carpi were an important component of a loose coalition of transdanubian barbarian tribes that also included Germanic and Sarmatian elements. These were responsible for a series of large and devastating invasions of the Balkan regions of the empire which nearly caused its disintegration in the "Crisis of the Third Century".

In the period 270-318, the Roman "military emperors" acted to remove the Carpi threat to the empire's borders. Multiple crushing defeats were inflicted on the Carpi in 273, 297, 298-308 and in 317. After each, massive numbers of Carpi were forcibly transferred by the Roman military to the Roman province of Pannonia (modern western Hungary) as part of the emperors' policy of repopulating the devastated Danubian provinces with surrendered barbarian tribes. Since the Carpi are no longer mentioned in known documents after 318, it is possible that the Carpi were largely removed from the Carpathian region by c. 318 or, if any remained, it is possible that they mingled with other peoples resident or immigrating into Moldavia, such as the Sarmatians or Goths.


Marcus F. Ru. Jotapianus (died c. 249) or Jotapian, he was also known as Iotapianus or Iotapian. Jotapianus was a usurper in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire during the reign of Emperor Philip the Arab, around 249. Jotapianus is known from his rare coins and from accounts in Aurelius Victor (Caesares xxix.2), Zosimus (i.20.2 and i.21.2), and Polemius Silvius (Laterculus).

Magnum opus (alchemy)

The Great Work (Latin: Magnum opus) is an alchemical term for the process of working with the prima materia to create the philosopher's stone. It has been used to describe personal and spiritual transmutation in the Hermetic tradition, attached to laboratory processes and chemical color changes, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and literature. The magnum opus has been carried forward in New Age and neo-Hermetic movements which sometimes attached new symbolism and significance to the processes. The original process philosophy has four stages:

nigredo, a blackening or melanosis

albedo, a whitening or leucosis

citrinitas, a yellowing or xanthosis

rubedo, a reddening, purpling, or iosisThe origin of these four phases can be traced at least as far back as the first century. Zosimus of Panopolis wrote that it was known to Mary the Jewess. After the 15th century, many writers tended to compress citrinitas into rubedo and consider only three stages. Other color stages are sometimes mentioned, most notably the cauda pavonis (peacock's tail) in which an array of colors appear.

The magnum opus had a variety of alchemical symbols attached to it. Birds like the raven, swan, and phoenix could be used to represent the progression through the colors. Similar color changes could be seen in the laboratory, where for example, the blackness of rotting, burnt, or fermenting matter would be associated with nigredo.


Tiberius Claudius Marinus Pacatianus (died c. 248) was a usurper in the Danube area of the Roman Empire during the time of Philip the Arab.

He is known from coins, and from mentions in Zosimus and Zonaras, who say that he was an officer in one of the Danube legions. According to Zosimus, the revolts of Pacatianus in Moesia (he probably controlled Viminacium) and Iotapianus in Syria prompted Philip to make an offer to the Roman Senate to step down, but the senator Decius (who was sent by Philip to deal with the rebellion), correctly predicted that Pacatianus would soon be killed by his own men before his own arrival.

Pope Innocent I

Pope Innocent I (Latin: Innocentius I; d. 12 March 417) served as the Pope of the Catholic Church from 401 to his death in 417. From the beginning of his papacy, he was seen as the general arbitrator of ecclesiastical disputes in both the East and the West. He confirmed the prerogatives of the Archbishop of Thessalonica, and issued a decretal on disciplinary matters referred to him by the Bishop of Rouen. He defended the exiled John Chrysostom and consulted with the bishops of Africa concerning the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the African synods. The Catholic priest-scholar Johann Peter Kirsch, 1500 years later, described Innocent as a very energetic and highly gifted individual "...who fulfilled admirably the duties of his office".

Pope Zosimus

Pope Zosimus (died 26 December 418) reigned from 18 March 417 to his death in 418. He was born in Mesoraca, Calabria.He succeeded Innocent I and was followed by Boniface I. Zosimus took a decided part in the protracted dispute in Gaul as to the jurisdiction of the See of Arles over that of Vienne, giving energetic decisions in favour of the former, but without settling the controversy. His fractious temper coloured all the controversies in which he took part, in Gaul, Africa and Italy, including Rome, where at his death the clergy were very much divided.

Rufus and Zosimus

Saints Rufus and Zosimus (died 107 AD) are 2nd century Christian martyrs venerated by the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches. They lived in Antioch and were martyred with Saint Ignatius of Antioch during the persecution of Christians under the Roman emperor Trajan. They were killed by beasts in the Roman arena. Their feast day is December 18.

Salian Franks

The Salian Franks, also called the Salians (Latin: Salii; Greek: Σάλιοι Salioi), were a northwestern subgroup of the earliest Franks who first appear in the historical records in the third century.

They lived at the mouth of the Rhine river in what was then the Roman Empire and today Netherlands and Belgium.

Tuman monastery

The Tuman Monastery (Serbian: Манастир Туман) is a 14th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery in eastern Serbia, in the municipality of Golubac. It belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Eparchy of Braničevo. It is also referred to as the Tumane Monastery.The church is dedicated to the Saint Archangel Gabriel. As of 2018, the monastery has six monks and one nun, which makes it the largest one in the Braničevo District. Because of the several historical healers who dwelled in the monastery, Tuman has been called "Ostrog of the Đerdap".

Zosimos of Panopolis

Zosimos of Panopolis (Greek: Ζώσιμος ὁ Πανοπολίτης; also known by the Latin name Zosimus Alchemista, i.e. "Zosimus the Alchemist") was an Egyptian alchemist and Gnostic mystic who lived at the end of the 3rd and beginning of the 4th century AD. He was born in Panopolis, present day Akhmim, in the south of Roman Egypt, and flourished ca. 300. He wrote the oldest known books on alchemy, which he called "Cheirokmeta," using the Greek word for "things made by hand." Pieces of this work survive in the original Greek language and in translations into Syriac or Arabic. He is one of about 40 authors represented in a compendium of alchemical writings that was probably put together in Constantinople in the 7th or 8th century AD, copies of which exist in manuscripts in Venice and Paris. Stephen of Alexandria is another.

Arabic translations of texts by Zosimos were discovered in 1995 in a copy of the book Keys of Mercy and Secrets of Wisdom by Ibn Al-Hassan Ibn Ali Al-Tughra'i', a Persian alchemist. Unfortunately, the translations were incomplete and

seemingly non-verbatim. The famous index of Arabic books, Kitab al-Fihrist by Ibn Al-Nadim, mentions earlier translations of four books by Zosimos, however due to inconsistency in transliteration, these texts were attributed to names "Thosimos", "Dosimos" and "Rimos"; also it is possible that two of them are translations of the same book.

Fuat Sezgin, a historian of Islamic science, found 15 manuscripts of Zozimos in six libraries, at Tehran, Cairo, Istanbul, Gotha, Dublin and Rampur. Michèle Mertens analyzed what is known about those manuscripts in her translation of Zozimos, concluding that the Arabic tradition seems extremely rich and promising, and regretting the difficulty of access to these materials until translated editions are available.

Zosimus, Metropolitan of Moscow

Zosimus the Bearded (Зосима Брадатый in Russian) (died 1494) was Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia from 1490. He was the author of the Third Rome conception.

For the first time in Russian history, Zosimus was appointed metropolitan by the decision of the council of the Russian bishops by order of the Grand Prince Ivan III. He had been archimandrite of the Simonovskii Monastery in Moscow when he was picked to replace Metropolitan Gerontii some six months after Gerontii's death.Archbishop Gennady of Novgorod had uncovered the Heresy of the Judaizers in 1487 and Zosimus's entire metropolitanate was overshadowed by this crisis. Gennady wrote a letter in 1490 to Zosimus and other bishops in the Russian church demanding a council be convened and the heresy be dealt with. The council convened less than a month after Zosimus' elevation to the metropolitan throne and condemned the heresy. Gennady demanded that the heretics be severely punished - hanged and burned - and not merely incarcerated, but Zosimus and Grand Prince Ivan III opposed these harsher methods. Zosimus was eventually accused of being a secret heretic and, on May 17, 1494, he was removed from the metropolitan throne on charges of heresy and sodomy. He died before any trial was held.

Zosimus is known for having compiled a list of banned books and written an epistle against heretics.

Zosimus (genus)

Zosimus is a genus of crabs in the family Xanthidae, containing the following species:

Zosimus actaeoides (A. Milne Edwards, 1867)

Zosimus aeneus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Zosimus fissa (Henderson, 1893)

Zosimus hawaiiensis (Rathbun, 1906)

Zosimus laevis Dana, 1852

Zosimus maculatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Zosimus sculptus (De Man, 1888)Three species are known from the fossil record, including two which are extinct.

Zosimus aeneus

Zosimus aeneus is a species of crab that lives on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to Hawaii. It grows to a size of 60 mm × 90 mm (2.4 in × 3.5 in) and has distinctive patterns of brownish blotches on a paler background. It is potentially lethal due to the presence in its flesh and shell of the neurotoxins tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin.

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