Text #7717Ecclesiastical Historiy of Sozomen and Philostorgius, translated by , Edward , "Ecclesiastical History", in
[Bk. 10 Ch. 9 p. 503]
After gaining this victory over Maximus, and after the arrival1 of Theodosius at Rome, when the emperor was on the point of taking his departure thence, a new and strange star was seen in the sky, which announced the coming of very great calamities upon the world. It appeared first at midnight, near the east, in the very circle which is called the Zodiac. It was large and bright, and in brilliance it was not much inferior to the morning star. After this, a concourse of stars gathered around it on every side, like a swarm of bees gathering in a cluster round their queen. Then, as if impelled by some mutual collision, the light of all the stars mingled together, and shone forth in a single flame, assuming the shape of a double-edged sword, huge and terrible. But that one star which first appeared seemed like the hilt of the sword above mentioned, or rather like a root shooting up the large body of light, from what appeared to be a star, surmounted with flowers darting up like the flame from a lamp. Such was the novel and wondrous sight exhibited by the star which then appeared. Its course, moreover, was very different from that of the rest of the stars; for from the time of its first appearing in the place where we have said, and moving on from thence, it began to rise and set together with the morning star. Afterwards, however, receding by little and little, it went up towards the north, advancing slowly and gradually, and following its own course with a slight deflection towards the left of those who beheld it, but in reality it pursued in the same course as the other stars, with which it came into contact from time to time. At length, having completed its course in the space of forty days, it suddenly passed on into the sign of the Great Bear, and was last seen in the very centre of it, where, soon afterwards, it was extinguished. In addition to these particulars, Philostorgius gives us many other wonderful details concerning this star in the shape of a sword.
Concerning this journey of Theodosius to Rome, see Socrates, Eccl. Hist. b. v. ch. 14; Sozomen, Eccl. Hist. b. vii. ch. 14. [OF] ↩