Text #892

Procopius of Caesarea. History of the Wars. Series: Procopius. Vol. 1
[Procop. BHist. 2.4.1--2.4.7. Translated by H. B. Dewing. William Heinemann. 1914. (7 Vols.) pp. 287--289]


At that time also the comet appeared, at first about as long as a tall man, but later much larger. And the end of it was toward the west and its beginning toward the east, and it followed behind the sun itself. For the sun was in Capricorn1 and it was in Sagittarius. And some called it “the swordfish” because it was of goodly length and very sharp at the point, and others called it “the bearded star” ; it was seen for more than forty days. Now those who were wise in these matters disagreed utterly with each other, and one announced that one thing, another that another thing was indicated by this star; but I only write what took place and I leave to each one to judge by the outcome as he wishes. Straightway a mighty Hunnic army crossing the Danube River fell as a scourge upon all Europe, a thing which had happened many times before, but which had never brought such a multitude of woes nor such dreadful ones to the people of that land. For from the Ionian Gulf these barbarians plundered everything in order as far as the suburbs of Byzantium. And they captured thirty-two fortresses in Illyricum, and they carried by storm the city of Cassandria (which the ancients called Potidaea, as far as we know), never having fought against walls before. And taking with them the money and leading away one hundred and twenty thousand captives, they all retired homeward without encountering any opposition.

  1. The month for this event has been set as December accordingly. [nE]

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