41. Huic insidiabatur Basiliscus, ipse primus senator; quo cognito, Zeno cum aliquantis divitiis petiit Isauriam. At ubi ille egressus est, mox4 Basiliscus, qui ei, ut dictum est, insidiabatur, arripuit imperium.
42. Basiliscus imperavit annos II. Zeno confortans Isauros intra provinciam, deinde misit ad civitatem Novam, ubi erat Theodericus dux Gothorum, filius Walamerici, et eum invitavit in solacium sibi adversus Basiliscum, obiectans militem, post biennium veniens, obsidens civitatem Constantinopolim.
43. Sed quia senatus et populus Zenonem metuentes, nequid mali pateretur civitas, relicto Basilisco se illi omnes dederunt aperta civitate. Basiliscus fugiens ad ecclesiam, intra baptisterium cum uxore et filiis ingreditur. Cui Zeno dato sacramento securum esse de sanguine, exiens, inclausus cum uxore et filiis intra cisternam siccam,5 ibidem frigore defecerunt.
44. Zeno recordatus est amorem6 senatus et populi, munificus omnibus se ostendit, ita
41. A plot was made against him by Basiliscus, himself a senator of high distinction.3 As soon as Zeno learned of the plot, he took some of his wealth and went to Isauria. But soon after his departure Basiliscus, who, as was said, was plotting against him, seized upon the imperial power.
42. Basiliscus ruled for two years. Zeno strengthened the Isaurians within the province; then he sent to the city of Nova,4 where Theodoric, the general of the Goths and son of Walamericus, was stationed, and invited him to render him relief against Basiliscus. Then he came back5 to Constantinople after two years, brought an attacking force against the city, and laid siege to it.
43. But because the senate and people feared Zeno, to prevent the city from suffering any harm they deserted Basiliscus, opened the gates, and all surrendered to Zeno. Basiliscus fled to a church and took refuge within the baptistery with his wife and his sons. After Zeno had given him a pledge confirmed by oath that his blood would not be shed,6 he came out and was shut up with his wife and children in a dry cistern,7 where they all died of cold.
44. Zeno remembered the affection felt for him by the senate and people;
- 1Cf. Amm. xxi. 16, 19, of Constantius. Hero Wagner has the pertinent note: rem ipsam ut admissuri sint Anatomici, vehementer vereor. The author must mean his knee-pans were not fixed to the knees, but moved easily.
- 2The Isaurians.
- 3He was the brother of Varina, the widow of Leo the Great.
- 4In Moesia on the Danube.
- 5See § 36, note 9, where we have a sure example; some-times, as here, the use is less obvious, though probable.
- 6An evasive way of pretending to spare his life, which was kept in the letter, but not in the spirit.
- 7According to others, in a fortress of Cappadocia.