Θεσσαλονίκη πόλις ἐστὶ μεγίστη καὶ πολυάνθρωπος, εἰς μὲν τὸ Μακεδόνων ἔθνος τελοῦσα, ἡγουμένη δὲ καὶ Θετταλίας καὶ Ἀχαΐας, καὶ μέντοι καὶ ἄλλων παμπόλλων ἐθνῶν, ὅσα τῶν Ἰλλυριῶν τὸν ὕπαρχον ἡγούμενον ἔχει. ἐν ταύτῃ στάσεως γενομένης τινὸς κατελεύσθησάν τε καὶ κατεσύρησαν τῶν ἀρχόντων τινές. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἐξαφθεὶς ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγελθέντων οὐκ ἤνεγκε τοῦ θυμοῦ τὴν ὁρμὴν, οὐδὲ τῷ χαλινῷ τοῦ λογισμοῦ τὴν τούτου ῥύμην ἐκώλυσεν, ἀλλὰ τούτῳ τὴν ψῆφον ἐξενεγκεῖν τῆς τιμωρίας ἐπέτρεψε. ταύτην δὲ τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἐκεῖνος λαβὼν, οἷα δὴ αὐτόνομός τε καὶ τύραννος, τὸν δεσμὸν ἀπορρήξας, καἱ τοῦ λογισμοῦ διαφυγὼν τὸν ζυγὸν, ἄδικα ξίφη κατὰ πάντων ἐγύμνωσε, καὶ τοὺς ἀθώους μετὰ τῶν ὑπευθύνων κατέκτεινεν. ἑπτὰ γὰρ, ὥς φασιν, ἀνῃρέθησαν χιλιάδες, οὐ κρίσεως ἡγησαμένης καὶ τῶν τὰ δεινὰ ἐκεῖνα τετολμηκότων κατακριθέντων, ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐν ἀμήτῳ πάντων ὁμοῦ δίκην ἀσταχύων κατατμηθέντων.
(Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Eccl. Hist. 5.17)
Thessalonica is a large and very populous city, belonging to Macedonia, but the capital of Thessaly and Achaia, as well as of many other provinces which are governed by the prefect of Illyricum. Here arose a great sedition, and several of the magistrates were stoned and violently treated. The emperor was fired with anger when he heard the news, and unable to endure the rush of his passion, did not even check its onset by the curb of reason, but allowed his rage to be the minister of his vengeance. When the imperial passion had received its authority, as though itself an independent prince, it broke the bonds and yoke of reason, unsheathed swords of injustice right and left without distinction, and slew innocent and guilty together. No trial preceded the sentence. No condemnation was passed on the perpetrators of the crimes. Multitudes were mowed down like ears of grain in harvest-tide. It is said that seven thousand perished. (tr. Blomfield Jackson)