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Zosimus  

John F. Matthews

Zosimus, Greek historian. Little is known of his life except that he had been advocatus fisci (see fiscus) and obtained the dignity of comes (see comites). His identification with either the sophist Zosimus of Ascalon or the sophist Zosimus of Gaza is very unlikely (see second sophistic). He wrote a history (Historia nova) of the Roman empire from *Augustus reaching as far as ce 410, where his extant text terminates just before the sack of Rome by *Alaric. He completed his work after 498, if indeed he refers to the abolition of the auri lustralis collatio (2. 38; see collatio lustralis), and c.518, since the work is quoted in the chronicle of Eustathius of Epiphania, written apparently in the early years of Justin II. Book 1 summarizes the history of the first three centuries of the empire (the section of *Diocletian is lost); in books 2–4 he gives a more precise account of the 4th cent.