Chapter XV.—How Constantine entertained the Bishops on the Occasion of His Vicennalia.
About this time he completed the twentieth year of his reign. 3251 On this occasion public festivals were celebrated by the people of the provinces generally, but the emperor himself invited and feasted with those ministers of God p. 524 whom he had reconciled, and thus offered as it were through them a suitable sacrifice to God. Not one of the bishops was wanting at the imperial banquet, 3252 the circumstances of which were splendid beyond description. Detachments of the body-guard and other troops surrounded the entrance of the palace with drawn swords, and through the midst of these the men of God proceeded without fear into the innermost of the imperial apartments, in which some were the emperors own companions at table, while others reclined on couches arranged on either side. 3253 One might have thought that a picture of Christs kingdom was thus shadowed forth, and a dream rather than reality.
Compare Prolegomena, Life.524:3252
At the risk of seeming trivial in sober and professedly condensed annotation, one cannot help noting that the human nature of ancient and modern councils is the same,—much controversy and more or less absenteeism, but all present at dinner.524:3253
For notice of these couches, see Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant., article Lectica.