Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XXXVII.—Defeat of Maxentius’s Armies in Italy.

Constantine, however, filled with compassion on account of all these miseries, began to arm himself with all warlike preparation against the tyranny. Assuming therefore the Supreme God as his patron, and invoking His Christ to be his preserver and aid, and setting the victorious trophy, the salutary symbol, in front of his soldiers and body-guard, he marched with his whole forces, trying to obtain again for the Romans the freedom they had inherited from their ancestors.

And whereas, Maxentius, trusting more in his magic arts than in the affection of his subjects, dared not even advance outside the city gates, 3123 but had guarded every place and district and city subject to his tyranny, with large bodies of soldiers, 3124 the emperor, confiding in the help of God, advanced against the first and second and third divisions of the tyrant’s forces, defeated them all with ease at the first assault, 3125 and made his way into the very interior of Italy.



“Because the soothsayers had foretold that if he went out of it, he should perish.” Lact. De M. P.


Bag.adds “and numberless ambuscades,” following Valesius and 1709. The word so rendered is the word for “companies of soldiers.” The rather awkward “multitude of heavy-armed soldiers and myriads of companies of soldiers” may be rendered as above, although “larger bodies of soldiers and limitless supplies” suggested by the translation is perhaps the real meaning. He had both “men and means.”


At Sigusium, Turin, Brescia, and Verona.

Next: Chapter XXXVIII