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New History (Byzantina Australiensia, 2) Paperback – 1 Jan 1982

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Australian Association for Byzantine Studies (1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0959362606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0959362602
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,425,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This translation of Zosimus was made by the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies. It has a limited number of copies and is very difficult to get a hold of. Is it worth it? Yes. The only other modern translation is Zosimus, Historia Nova: The Decline of Rome and it is a very loose translation without any serious commentary. It also lacks the proper chapter numbers and divisions. This one has a more accurate translation and a detailed commentary describing what Zosimus got right, what he got wrong,and where he got his information from. There are only two major problems with this book. The first is that it has a horrible typeface. It looks like a typewritten document from the '50s. The other problem is that the commentary is separate from the text. If you want to see what the commentators have to say then you need to flip to the end of the book, read the section and then flip back. Still, these are minor quibbles in what is otherwise a solid work. Given that this is the standard translation of this work (any historian quoting from Zosimus will use it) it is a necessary book for anyone dealing with late Roman history.

Zosimus himself is a bit of a problem. His book is basically an abridgement of Eunapius and Olympidorus, two late 4th/Early 5th Century writers who were undoubtedly far better than this. These works exist now only in fragments, although there is a nice translation and commentary on these in the work Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. It is even harder to find than this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful and available! 11 Feb. 2007
By D. Held - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the text of the 6th-century Greek historian Zosimus, which unfortunately is almost impossible to get in English translation. Not being an expert in the field I relied on noted historian Averil Cameron's review in a scholarly journal and purchased this directly from the Australian Association of Byzantine Studies. It is a wonderful text with excellent footnotes. Zosimus comes in for a lot of bad press for an ancient historian. All I can say is I find the history entertaining and very informative. The only complaint is the typewritten quality of the font and its exorbitant cost: $48AUS. Don't be dismayed! Buy it at the Association's website where it is very available; it's well worth it!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Translation of Zosimus But Fiendishly Difficult to Find 2 Oct. 2011
By Arch Stanton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This translation of Zosimus was made by the Australian Association for Byzantine Studies. It has a limited number of copies and is very difficult to get a hold of. Is it worth it? Yes. The only other modern translation is Zosimus, Historia Nova: The Decline of Rome and it is a very loose translation without any serious commentary. It also lacks the proper chapter numbers and divisions. This one has a more accurate translation and a detailed commentary describing what Zosimus got right, what he got wrong,and where he got his information from. There are only two major problems with this book. The first is that it has a horrible typeface. It looks like a typewritten document from the '50s. The other problem is that the commentary is separate from the text. If you want to see what the commentators have to say then you need to flip to the end of the book, read the section and then flip back. Still, these are minor quibbles in what is otherwise a solid work. Given that this is the standard translation of this work (any historian quoting from Zosimus will use it) it is a necessary book for anyone dealing with late Roman history.

Zosimus himself is a bit of a problem. His book is basically an abridgement of Eunapius and Olympidorus, two late 4th/Early 5th Century writers who were undoubtedly far better than this. These works exist now only in fragments, although there is a nice translation and commentary on these in the work Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. It is even harder to find than this book. At any rate Zosimus was a radical pagan (the last such writer) who blamed everything bad that happened to the empire on the Christians. The purpose of his book was to show that the only reason for Rome's failure was that the gods had abandoned them due to a lack of sacrifices. Some people find his bitter anger to be an annoyance. I find it amusing. At any rate he is one of the best sources for the 3rd, late 4th and early 5th centuries. This is a very sad thing. It seems that he copied from his sources slavishly without changing much. His opinion of Stilicho abruptly changes for no reason when he switches from a negative source to a more neutral one. This means that his work can essentially serve as a summary of Eunapius and Olympiodorus. It is also (whatever its faults) a very readable book. As mentioned before the writer's viewpoint is somewhat amusing and he gives an acceptable summary of the events. For the 5th Century it doesn't get much better than that.

The book itself looks like a large, thick pamphlet. It has a cross formed out of three men in a circle on the cover. This seems to be the standard cover for the series since all the other books share it. The publisher of this book is the Australian Catholic University. They only print new copies of around 4-600 when they get enough demand for them which is why they are so hard to come by. While currently out of stock on Amazon they are available from the University website, whose link I would provide you if Amazon allowed it. The book generally sells for $48 Australian.
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