Arthur, Guinevere and the Ancient British

   Here, the patient reader will find that Guinevere is likely descended from the Coilus line (with Old King Cole) which includes St. Lucius, the first Christian King anywhere. Constantius, the father of Constantine, may be the best example of a Christian king. From this line on both sides, Arthur and Guinevere are most likely descended.
A tweeter of Archaeology photos had asked: “Why did the Anglo-Saxons not become more British?”
   A friend asked me then to write a blog for his site, wanting pictures and something short rather than an “opus,” and not too “intellectual,” as would be an account of the mystery of Baptism. Since he is Welsh, and I have long inquired into these things as far as I have been able, I thought I would edit my brief account of the History of Arthur and Guinevere. Including, then, some comedy and photos, we will write of this tragedy:
   The reason that the English did not become more British turns out to be a bit of a long story, involving the legend of King Arthur and Guinevere, and what can be gleaned from history prior to the intentional embellishment in the Middle Ages, the loss of all civilization in the Dark Ages, and the intentional obscuring of the origins of Saint Helen, the mother of the great emperor Constantine. St. Helen is of course the empress who originated the collecting of relics, finding the true cross and lance when, after Constantine became emperor, she visited Jerusalem in the late 320’s. Constantine was born about the year 272, and it is he who turned the Roman Empire away from the ten persecutions of Christianity from Nero to Diocletian. Astonishingly, Rome itself becoming Christian with the edict of toleration, in the year 313. Constantius had a palace at York, where he died and where Constantine was crowned. He is also said by Eusebius to have had many offspring, Constantine being the eldest, and as for most of his career he was only co-emperor, with Maxentius the extremely cruel tyrant at Rome, it would have been a near certainty that Constantius would have kept the family out of Rome and hidden away in Britain, at the fringes of the empire, for safety. Geoffrey writes that Guinevere came from York, and we are going to suggest the possibility that Guinevere is descended from the famous St. Helen and Constantius of York, with about 180 years- 210 years intervening.

    There she is, in the second earliest known photographic image (the first being the Turin shroud). People looked more like wood in those days.

If you would like to play a song in the background while you consider the psychological background of our inquiry, David Crosby, of the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, wrote this: Guinnevere Illustrated via

   Arthur is of course real, and the history is right in front of us, if we would look. The date of the kingship of Arthur is said to have been 516-542, and the Chronology of British events forming the background of the Arthurian legend is Roman Christian Britain after it had been cut off from the written history of the Roman world, just as the darkest period of the dark Ages descends over Britain. Arthur is said to be

  In a word, it is the Welsh or Brits that are “way cool.” Arthur is real. The reason people doubted whether Arthur was even real is that, as Holinshed writes “Gildas and Bede speak not anything of him.” Does Holinshed realize that for the same reason, we might doubt that there ever was a Saint Patrick? But Bede was English, writing in the Seventh Century. And the omission of Gildas, “the most ancient British writer, will be addressed below.

   Guinevere is from York, where Constantius, two centuries prior, crowned Constantine about 308 AD. Constantius is the husband of St. Helen, the mother of Constantine, responsible for the recovery of the sacred sites and the iconic traditions, at least of the Western Roman Empire. Constantius seems to have ditched her and Constantine their son when her “married” Theodora, the daughter of the then Roman emperor Maxentius, in order that Constantius become co-emperor. The latter marriage was more consistent with his co-emperorship. St. Ambrosius writes of her being a barmaid and stablemaid, all consistent with the legend of her being the daughter of Old King Coel Hen, from the territory just West of York, where there had been a Roman garrison since the time of Severus. These are the first Christian Roman Emperors. We even have photos of these folk:

   Constantine and his father Constantius (Co-Emperor 293-305), the first Roman Christian emperors, posing for photos without St. Helen (People looked more like metal in those days. Perhaps Helen was not in Rome at the time):

Photos above from Limitless Walls and Google
Photos below from American Heritage Bullion:

There she is!

   But there she is, in coins minted later, while Constantine was emperor, about the late 320’s. Women indeed looked more like gold in those days, if the men more commonly were like silver. Perhaps she was in Troy, once, or Britain, or digging about the trash dumps near the temple of Venus in Jerusalem, wearing rags and feathers.
   The Socratic account of the image in love turns out to be related to the honoring of contingent beings called idolatry in religion. While, as Socrates in Plato’s Phaedrus and the poet Steisichourus say, in error, that the blindness of Homer was cured by writing that Helen was not in Troy, it is Greekness or Helenica that indeed was not there. Hellas was not at all at stake in the dishonor, if it was allowing Helen to run off with Paris, though if she were kidnapped, it might be a matter for war to avenge, so that insults and outrages not continue. Hence the purpose of that war was naught, and the Trojans might have avoided the destruction of their condominiums and their city had they simply given Helen up, making the Platonic statement literally true, as Helen would have no longer been in Troy. But then we would not have had all those interesting descendants that have made for Western civilization! Yet indeed, “the beautiful” is not in the woman. Rather, it is an eidolon or phantom that, in love, we see, and Socrates, in the Republic, says that it was a phantom of Helen that was at Troy. And the same is true for our idolatry in religion. Our idolatry cannot be cured by simply changing names for the correct name.

   Constantius may more correctly be called the first Christian emperor because, as Co- Emperor, in a story from Eusebius (Life of Constantine, VII. xvi), he did the following: The usual test for Christians was to make them kiss an idol of the emperor, and when they refused, they would be subject to martyrdom, i.e., torture and murder. Constantius pretends to do this, to have those among his servants kiss the idol as if continuing the Diocletian persecution, but then those who would not kiss the idol, he takes into his service- those who would lay down their lives for their friend- and simply dismissed the servile pagans. When Constantius married St. Helen, begat Constantine (about 272), and the boy grew to recall the image of the cross seen in the sky, with the saying “by this conquer,” the conversion of the Roman empire was sealed. Constantius died at York as sole Emperor (305-306, after having been co-emperor with the cruel tyrant Maxentius for some years, and Constantine was crowned there.

   Guinevere was likely descended from the imperial nobility at York, and so, two centuries later, the most eligible bachelorette for King Arthur. York suffered as the Saxons expanded, and it would be likely that the family of Guinevere would have to flee, and she is said to have been raised in safety at Cornwall. Lancelot, though, is first written of by Cretien La Trios, the Welsh being unlikely to say such things about the Queen. Geoffrey has Guinevere seized by Mordred, and does not tell of her kissing Lancelot. But from the knowledge of the soul, one may suspect that some such thing would be at the root of the destruction of the round table, the depression of the king, the recession in the realm, and the battle being a civil war, against Mordred, rather than against the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, since the English had been defeated and were no longer advancing. Gerald of Wales writes that the Saxons had been expelled by Arthur, but that Mordred, repeating the error of Vortigern a century earlier, invited them back to help him against Arthur.

   Arthur reigned about 516-542, apparently dying at a battle of Mt. Badon. Ambrosius also fought a battle at Mt. Badon, against the invading English. Avalon of course is Glastonbury Abbey. It was once an island with many apple trees, a sort of paradise, and a good place for a monastery. The monks there preserve a tradition that goes back to Joseph of Arimathea, who came with the Grail in 70 AD, fleeing to the edge of the civilized world from the Roman persecution of the early Christians. The first to write about the Grail in connection with Joseph of Arimathea and the hill at Glastonbury is said to be Robert de Boron writing about the year 1200 (Matarasso, The Quest of the Holy Grail, p. 12)

To pretend to dominion over the conscience is to usurp the prerogative of God. By the nature of things the power of sovereigns is confined to political government; they have no right of punishment except over those that disturb the public peace the most dangerous heresy is that of a sovereign who separates himself from the part of his subjects because they believe not according to his belief
                                                                   (Durants, IV, p. 100-101).
At this time, Constantius, a man of exceptional kindness and Courtesy, who governed Gaul and Spain during the lifetime of Diocletian, died in Britain. His son Constantine, the child of Helena his concubine, succeeded him as ruler of Gaul. Eutropius writes that Constantine, proclaimed Emperor in Britain, succeeded to his father’s domains…
                                                History of the English Church and People, I.8
   Following the tyranny of Vortigern and immigration of the Saxons beginning about 449, the British were further defeated and impoverished. Of Aurelianus Ambrosius, Gildas, writes:
(pgp-gh 25)…that they might not be brought to utter destruction, took arms under the conduct of Ambrosius Aurelianus, a modest man, who of all the Roman nation was then alone in the confusion of this troubled period by chance left alive. His parents, who for their merit were adorned with the purple, had been slain in these same broils, and now his progeny, in these our days, although shamefully degenerated from the worthiness of their ancestors, provoke to battle their cruel conquerors, and by the goodness of our Lord obtain the victory.
(Pgph 26) After this, sometimes our countrymen, sometimes the enemy, won the field to the end that our Lord might in this land try after his accustomed manner these his Israelites, whether they loved him or not, until the year of the siege of Bath hill, when took place also the last almost, though not the least slaughter of our cruel foes, which was (as I am sure) forty four years and one month after the landing of the Saxons, and also the time of my own nativity. And yet neither to this day are the cities of our country inhabited as before, but being forsaken and overthrown, still lie desolate; our foreign wars having ceased, but our civil troubles still remaining. For as well the remembrance of such a terrible desolation of the island, as also of the unexpected recovery of the same remained in the minds of those who were eyewitnesses of the wonderful events of both, and in regard therof, kings, public magistrates, and private persons, with priests and clergymen, did all and every one of them live orderly according to their several vocations. But when these had departed out of this world, and a new race succeeded, who were ignorant of this troublesome time, and had only experiences of the present prosperity, all the laws of truth and justice were so shaken and subverted, that not so much as a vestige or remembrance of these virtues remained among the above named orders of men, except among a very few, who, compared with the great multitude which were daily rushing headlong down to hell, are accounted so small a number, that our reverend mother, the church, scarcely beholds them, her only true children, reposing in her bosom; whose worthy lives being a pattern to all men, and beloved of God, inasmuch as by their holy prayers, as by certain pillars and most profitable supporters, our infirmity is sustained up, that it may not utterly be broken down…
                                                                                    (translated by J.A. Giles)
   “The purple” need not be a share in Imperial office, but may also have referred to the Roman equestrian order, that is, knighthood. Holinshed calls this one- the father of Geoffrey’s Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon- Holinshed calls him “Constantine,” a Roman General who entered Britain from Brittany, was, according to Holinshed, made king of the Britons in 433, but murdered, as was his son, whom Geoffrey calls Constans, but Holinshed “Constantine.” The parents of Aurelius Ambrosius, according to Gildas, were “slain in these wars.”  Bede writes that the parents of Ambrosius were “of royal birth and title (I.16), and addresses the confusion of two Constantines, for when Gratian was killed by Maximus in 388…
…in his place Constantine, a common trooper of no merit, was chosen emperor solely on account of his auspicious name. Once he had obtained the power, he crossed into Gaul…Before long, at the orders of Honorius, Count Constantius entered Gaul with an army, besieged Constantine in the city of Arles, captured him, and put him to death. His son Constans, a monk whom he had created Caesar, was put to death by Count Gerontius in Vienne.
   The parents of Ambosius, the Grandparents of Arthur and parents also of Uther Pendragon, were of one or the other of these two Roman lines bearing the names from the first Constantius and Constantine. Holinshed, too, tries to clarify this confusion of Constantines in the third and fourth generation from the Great one who died in 339. It does seem likely, though, that either line could be related to one of the sons of Constantine in the previous generation or two.
   The writer of the Welsh Annales, recording history preserved among the scattered Welsh, writes of Patrick, and sets the death of Gildas at 570, making Gildas either 77 or 113, and writing of the events following Aurelianus’s battle at Badon either when he was about 7 or about 51. The dates for Arthur, the same in Geoffrey and Nennius, are 516-542. Our dates themselves are set on certain assumptions, and Bede too is famous for the discussion of the Calendar.
   In his second section, where Gildas reprimands four or five war lords who seem to have reigned before Arthur and after Aurelianus Ambrosious, Constantine, after taking an oath, killed two royal youths at the altar. Who would these two royal youths be if not sons of Aurelius Ambrosius or Uther? Aurelius Conanus is the son of non-Christian parents who were killed in the prime of their youth. Vortipore is called “tyrant of the Dametians, naughty son of a good king, now graying, guilty of murders and adulteries. He is likely the son of Vortipore, who was the son of Vortigern. Cuneglasse is said to be the rider and ruler of many, a contemner of God and a hater of the Church who set aside his wife to marry her sister, who was a nun. The fifth is “Megalocune.” Megalocune is addressed as nephew to the king, heaping upon his “kingly shoulders” a load of sins. But upon examination, the last addressed is Christian, and may well be Arthur or Uther Pendragon. Two points from Gerald of Wales make this seem an un-excluded possibility (is it yet included?): the great size of the bones of Arthur and the inscription saying that Guinevere was his “second wife.” Gildas may speak as Churchmen do who judge by convention, and identify, for example, conventional marriage with true marriage and artificial piety with natural virtue. For it seems this Megalocune is given to hearing bards tell flattering tales in song, “rung out after the fashion of the giddy rout of Bacchus by the mouths of thy villainous followers…vessel…This Megalocune is said to have married his nephew’s wife, and for this is accused of two murders, of each, though Gildas may simply mean the murder of their souls in convention, if the first marriages were conventional and the second based on true love. Finally, Gildas writes:
And, the just king (according to the prophet) raiseth up his region. But warnings truly are not wanting to thee, since thou had for thy instructor the most eloquent master of almost all Britain. Take heed, therefore, lest that which Solomon noteth, befall thee, which is, “Even as he who stireth a sleeping man out of his heavy sleep, so is that person who declareth wisdom unto a fool, for in the end of his speech will he say, What hadst thou first spoken?
Gildas speaks to this one as the present king, and says enough that it can be known he is a Christian king. He says says nothing inconsistent with this one being the Arthur known not to the poets that come later, but to history, addressed so as to remain within propriety, and early enough in his career, say, 516-524, to cohere with the other things written previously pertaining to the time of peace with the Saxons but civil turmoil following the death of Ambrosius Aurelianus and the first battle of Badon in 493. The revellings sound quite like a liberally educated prince having fun and living a normal life of the liberal arts from the view of an austere Churchman, who, however, may be more correct than wrong in his warning to Arthur. The “most eloquent master of almost all of Britain” may be Gildas himself, or Merlin Ambrosius, someone likely to be famed rather than forgotten completely.
   Concluding the first section, Gildas says that he does not wish to declare the concealed vices of his countrymen to the wider world so much as to “bewail the wickedness of those who have become servants not only to their bellies, but also to the devil rather than to Christ…”  In the second section, he then writes first against 5 warlords who ruled after Aurelianus Ambrosius, that is, after 449+44=493 AD. And then against the churchmen of Britain, going therough the old and new testaments while railing at them in tones again similar to Luther. This, a time of great corruption due to the luxury following the victory of Ambrosius, is the circumstance into which the real Arthur is born, about 501 AD. If Megalocune” is not Arthur- and I do think he is-, then Gildas, or the part of his writing we have preserved, just barely missed the event of Arthur, though Nennius lists the death date of Gildas as 570. He wrote at least the first 26 paragraphs in a time of peace, when Ambrosius was the last victorious British general. There seems little reason to hypothesize the identification of Arthur with Ambrosius, the brother of Uther, nor, to say thye least, with Riothamus, though the work of Ashe is impressive and quite helpful in seeing into the period. Those histories would have been preserved, or at least writers would write in a way that cohered with other things known, such as the time and effect of the Saxon invasion, and its geography, pushing the Roman Britons gradually West, from St. Martins and London (Lud-don, or Lud’s city, also called Trinovantium, or “New Troy”) to the area of Westminster and Silchester, near Arthur’s Camelot, and finally to Glastonbury-Avalon and North into what is now Wales, toward Snowdon, and even into Scotland where some of my own MacDomnwald ancestors became “Lords of the Isles.”
   The first was at the mouth of the river called Glein. The second, third, fourth and fifth were on another river, called the Douglas, which is in the country of Lindsey. The sixth battle was on the river called Bassas. The seventh was in celyddon Forest, that is the battle of Celyddon Coed. The eighth battle was in Guinnon fort, and in it Arthur carried the image of the holy Mary, the everlasting Virgin, on [his shield,]…The ninth battle was fought in the city of Legion. The tenth battle battle was fought on the bank of the river called Tryfrwyd. The eleventh battle was on the hill called Agned. The twelfth battle was on Badon hill, and in it 960 men fell from a single charge of Arthur’s…
                                                                     Nennius,
Whoever suffers death for the sake of his brothers offers himself as a living sacrifice to God and follows with firm footsteps behind Christ himself, who did not disdain to lay down his life for his brothers…
Dubricius is thinking of the passage in John, (15:13) “Greater love has no  man than that he lay down his life for his friends…” Death in war as penance and absolution is  a slightly different if related idea. We say that our police do this “every time they punch the clock,” as do our citizens accidentally shot.
…   But we have not only the name Constans, but also a Constantine who is one of the five addressed by Gildas, As in the line of the Roman emperors, the name is repeated as successive generations bear the name of honored progenitors. Hence we have a Constantine II, then a Constantius II, then a Constans in the first Christian century of the Roman emperors, and in little more than a century, the connection of Britain with Rome is severed.
   Holinshed has, though, some report of the parents of Canstans, Aurelius Abrosious and Uther Pendragon that will assist us in connecting the royal line of Arthur himself with that of the Roman Constantius and his Son Constantine. Following the report of “our writers on this matter, Holinshed, writing in the 1500’s, of the time (409-449) between the abandonment of Britain by the Romans and the arrival of the Saxons invited by Vortigern, One Constantuius the brother of Aldroenus, King of Armorica or Brittany across the channel, a General of the Romans, a Century after the first Constantius, entered Britain to help the British against the more barbarous Scots (Irish) and Picts Holinshed, following Geoffrey and especially Matthew of Westminster sets the following as a capsule and summary:
…When the Britons had thus overcome their enemies they conveyed their captain the said Constantine unto Cicester, and there in fulfilling their promisde and covenant made to his brother, crowned him king of Great Britain, in the year of our Lord 433, which was about the fifth year of the emperor Valentinianus the second and the third year of Coidius king of the Frankers after called Frenchmen, which then began to settle themselves in Gallia, whereby the name of that country was afterwards changed and called France. Constantine being thus established as king, ruled the land well and nobly, and defended it from all invasion of enemies during his life. He begat of his wife three sons, as the British later affirm) Constantius, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Uter surnamed Pendragon. The eldest, because he perceived him to be dull of wit, and not very toward, he made a monk, placing him within the abbey of Amphibalus in Winchester.
                            Book V, p. 533 (London 1807 J.Johnson, NY, 1965 edition)
In France, the Marovingian dynasty is being set, as Clovis inherits the throne in 481 at age 15. Clovis defeated the remnants of a Roman arnmy in 486, and marri9ed a Nicene Christian Clothide, converting the Kingdom of the French away from the Arianism of the Visigoths and Burgundians He divided France among his three sons, who added Burgundy and Provence to France around the end of the days of Arthur (537-539). This is the Marovingian dynasty that soon became the mere figurehead monarchy replaced by Charles Martel, the grandfather of Charlemagne, in the 700’s. Also in 537, Pope Silverius is removed from Rome by Belasarius, the General of the Eastern emperor Justinian (527-565), who closed the academy at Athens in the second year of his reign. Monophysite heresy was by then the question, the Arian and Pelagian issues having been settled. By 597, Pope Gregory would send Augustine to convert the English as well, though thwere is neve a question of Heresy in Britain. One expects that following Constantius and St. Helen, the Brits were simply Nicene Christians who rejected Pelagius and never even had to consider the Monophysite question, as the empire was then remote from Britain for a century. Geoffrey shows a Roman army attacking Arthur, but the threat would have been less serious than it was for the Franks.
   The list of the emperors becomes quite tangled due to the practice of co-emperors and the division between the Eastern and Western emperors. The Roman emperors who may be descended from the British house at York, if Constantine was indeed crowned there and Constantius died there, would then be Constantuis (293-305), Constantine (313-337, Constantine II (337-340), Constantius II 337-361, and Constans (337-350). Note also, in the appendice below, that at the time when Britain was abandoned by Rome (409), about the time Patrick was born, a “Constans II” held some share in the Imperial office. This is the name- Constans- Geoffrey takes for the brother of Aurelianus Ambrosius made king by Vortigern so that the latter could usurp the tyranny. This Constans, killed between 439 and 449, would be the son of one or the other Constantine. 
   It is amusing that, following the end of the Roman empire marked at 478, the death throes having continued from the sack of Rome by Aleric in 410, Aurelius Ambrosius, and hence Uther and Arthur, would actually be the last of the Roman Emperors. In the story of the Round table, where the question of heresy does not arise, but rather the quest is for the Grail. The possibility here is that, were it not for the destruction of the Round Table, what occurred regarding Charlemagne- the beginnings of the Holy Roman empire and the centering of the Western empire in France would have occurred regarding Britain instead, especially since the Roman British Christian were a Christian nation older than the Barbarian French, and indeed older than Roman Christendom. the Brits having been converted as a nation, again, in 176, while the Romans were killing Christians until the early 300’s.
   The Arthurian line died out, as Arthur and Guinevere had no heir that is well known. We will return to Geoffrey, who is full of interesting details, such as that Arthur had a sister (aunt?) Anna married to Loth who defended the realm when Uther was ill. One son of Arthur is mentioned, but the history is quite unclear following Arthur. It is likely that at this time, the Saxons completed the scattering of the Welsh, and writing became very rare. If Gildas remained after the last battle of Mordred and Arthur, he may have had no news in Brittany from Britain.
What Geoffrey has is that when Arthur killed Mordred but received his mortal wounds, …
He handed the crown of Britain over to his cousin Constantine, the son of Cador, duke of Cornwall: this in the year 542 after our Lord’s incarnation.
                                                           The History of the Kings of Britain, xi.2
   It was in the house of Cador, we recall, that Guinevere is said to have been raised. Cador had married the sister of Ygern, the mother of Arthur. This next Constantine continued to fight the sons of Mordred with success, died and was buried inside the Giant’s ring beside Utherpendragon. The nephew of this Constantine, called Aurelius Conanus, succeeds to rule, taking the crown which should have gone to an uncle, likely another brother of Constantine the cousin of Arthur. He is followed within three years by a Vortiporius, a Malgo and a Keredic. Aurelius Conanus provides a connection to Gildas, as this is also the name of one of the five princes addressed by Gildas. This Conanus likely either is or is descended from the one addressed by Gildas, supporting the theory of a gap between the two sections of Gildas, as if Gildas had thrown his books on Arthur into the sea, and addressed 5 princes of about 542, just after Arthur.
   The civil wars following Arthur are the occasion on which Goeffrey makes the first “House Divided” speech, taken up again by Abraham Lincoln:
You foolish people…Keep up with your civil squabbling and forget what the Gospel says: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation, and a house divided against itself shall fall.’ Because your kingdom was divided, against itself, because the lunacy of civil war and the smoke cloud of jealousy obscured your mind, because your pride did not permit you to obey a single king, that is why you see see your fatherland ravaged by the most impious heathens and your homesteads overturned one upon the other, all of which things those who come after will lament in the future…
   This, and the recession in Wales, though, from after 516-542, may indeed have been the result of the depression of the king and something like what is thought to have occurred regarding Lancelot. Two lines of Royal blood may have been joined in the marriage of Arthur and Guinevere, although it may be too that, being from York, and of such beauty, as with the Christ, the true linage is through the maternal line, while the legal lineage is through Joseph, as described in the opening of Matthew- though both are of the tribe of Judah and David, as was prophesied (in addition to his being born in Bethlehem, and called a Nazarene. Herod’s slaughter of the innocents verifies that this is what was thought even then, and Rachael weeping for her children is yet another prophecy, as the tomb of Rachael is in Bethlehem of Judea. Joseph was, of course, a very old man, and so is gone by the time of the ministry of Jesus, while Mary was very young, a virgin dedicated by Anna and Juachim to the temple, married to Joseph by lot and placed in his care (See The Nativity of Mary). Hence the “brothers” of Jesus, such as James the Just, are likely sons of Joseph and the brothers of Jesus in law.
   Arthur Retook York from the Saxons, and found everything destroyed, and rebuilt the churches. Geoffrey writes:
In York there were three brothers sprung from the royal line, Loth, Urien and Auguslus, who had been princes in those parts before the Saxon victories. Loth”in the days of Aureliaius Ambrosius had married that king’s own sister, and had two sons by her, Gawain and Mordred.”
Loth is set up over Lothian.  Geoffrey then writes of Arthur:
He himself married a woman called Guinevere. She was descended from a noble Roman family and had been brought up in the household of Duke Cador. She was the most beautiful woman in the entire island.”
                                                                                   (ix, 9)
   St. Helen may have been the daughter of Old King Cole (Geoffrey ). Another tradition is that she came from the regions that became the Eastern Empire, apparently based upon the naming of a city in Bithynia of the Eastern Empire after St. Helen, as were two other cities. No other origin of Helen has even been suggested. The dates projected backward from the genealogy of the Welsh, the Harleian Genealogies. Hen means “the old,” And hence this is Old King Coel, the merry old soul, alive at just the time a bride of Constantius would have been, and further, suspected to have been a Roman General in the area just West of York. When he died, he divided his estate among his children.
…Projections back from dated individuals suggest that Coel Hen lived around AD 350–420, during the time of the Roman departure from Britain.[8] In his book The Age of Arthur, historian John Morris suggested Coel may have been the last of the Roman Duces Brittanniarum (Dukes of the Britons) who commanded the Roman army in northern Britain, and split his lands among his heirs after his death(Wikipedia).[10]
   The same would make perfect sense out of the meeting of Constantine and St. Helen in York, where she was a simple and industrious and unpretentious Christian princess, and of Constantine having a palace and family at York where he died and Constantine was crowned, becoming Emperor of Rome, while the rest of the family remained behind in York, leading to the birth of Guinevere some 5 or 6 generations later, forgotten because York too was nearly abandoned in the years that followed. After being forced by circumstances to marry Theodora the daughter of the wicked co- emperor Maximian, it is not surprising that Helen and Constantine were sent away, the later becoming a hostage of Diocletian, but Helen most likely returning to the palace at York.
The following too appears on Wikipedia under Coel Hen, with notes 20-22 to Geoffrey’s History:

Colchester legend

By the 12th century, Coel had become attached to the “Colchester legend”, which claimed he was a ruler of Colchester in Essex and the father of Saint Helena, and therefore the grandfather of Constantine the Great. The legend originated from a folk etymology indicating that Colchester was named for Coel (supposedly from “Coel” and “castrum“, producing “fortress of Coel”). However, the city was actually known as Colneceaster until the n was dropped in around the 10th century; its name likely comes from the local River Colne.[12][13]

Ah, but Colin, the Scottish name passed down in our family, is also from Coel. We have Colin-s and Colin James’ going back at least to Kingsville Ontario from about 1860, then a Peter, the father of this Colin, then we lose the scent. But I have seen the midwife’s book recording the birth of this Colin, written by his grandmother Julianna Wigle, shown to me by Madeline Malotte. The French line is traces into the 1500’s

Around the same time, a further development of this legend that King Coel of Colchester was the father of Empress Saint Helena, and therefore the grandfather of Constantine the Great, appeared in Henry of Huntingdon‘s Historia Anglorum and Geoffrey of Monmouth‘s Historia Regum Britanniae.[14][15][16] The passages are clearly related, even using some of the same words, but it is not clear which version was first. Henry appears to have written the relevant part of the Historia Anglorum before he knew about Geoffrey’s work, leading J. S. P. Tatlock and other scholars to conclude that Geoffrey borrowed the passage from Henry, rather than the other way around.[17][18] The source of the claim is unknown, but may have predated both Henry and Geoffrey. Diana Greenway proposes it came from a lost hagiography of Helena;[17] Antonia Harbus suggests it came instead from oral tradition.[19]

   Ah, but Colchester- with question marks- is the sixth city listed among the 28 cities of Briain recorded by Nennius in 809. 

   Geoffrey’s largely legendary Historia Regum Britanniae expands upon Henry’s brief mention, listing Coel as a King of the Britons following the reign of King Asclepiodotus.[20] In the Historia, Coel grows upset with Asclepiodotus’s handling of the Diocletianic Persecution and begins a rebellion in his duchy of Caer Colun (Colchester). He meets Asclepiodotus in battle and kills him, thus taking the kingship of Britain upon himself. Rome, apparently, is pleased that Britain has a new king, and sends senator Constantius Chlorus to negotiate with him. Afraid of the Romans, Coel meets Constantius and agrees to pay tribute and submit to Roman laws as long as he is allowed to retain the kingship. Constantius agrees to these terms, but Coel dies one month later.[20] Constantius marries Coel’s daughter, Helena, and crowns himself as Coel’s successor. Helena subsequently gives birth to a son who becomes the Emperor Constantine the Great, giving a British pedigree to the Roman imperial line.[21]

   Local tradition came to suggest that Coel was responsible for some of the ancient buildings in Colchester; a public conduit in the High Street was named “King Coel’s Pump”, the Balkerne Gate in the Roman town walls was known as “King Coel’s Castle” and the remains of the Temple of Claudius over which Colchester Castle was built were called “King Coel’s Palace”.[22]

   In the Welsh Descent of the Men of the North, there is an Arthwys” in the third generation from Coel, and a Gwenoleu in the fifth, showing that similar names would occur among the descendants of Coel, increasing the possibility that Guinevere was a descendant of Coel, though the fifth generation would likely bring us only to about 370-420, still nearly a century short of Arthur and Guinevere.
   Hence, Helen was not in Troy, but the new Helen was very near to Trinovantium, and likely drank from King Coel’s pump and grew up in his palace before moving North to York, where her father as a General of Constantius and a Christian married her to the Christian Emperor Constantius as his first and true wife, while his later legal wife remained in Rome. Geoffrey explains that there were three ancient noble families of British York:
There were in York three brothers sprung from the royal line, Loth, Urien and Auguselus, who had been princes in those parts before the Saxon victories…
Arthur gives Scotland to Auguselus, Morray to Urien, and Loth…
Who in the days of Aurelius Ambrosius had married that King’s own sister, and had two sons by her, Gawain and Mordred, he restored to the dukedom of Lothisan and other nearby territories…
Soon Loth is also given Norway…
Loth, who was his brother in law. Loth was nephew of Sichelm the King of Norway…his son Gawain had been sent by Arthur’s brother in law to serve in the household of Pope Silpicius who had dubbed him a knight…
Geoffrey too writes that Guinevere was from an ancient family of York, but does not say which might be descended from Helen and Constantius. Our suggestion is that Guinevere too is a Cole. When the families of Ambrosius Aurelianus and York nobility join, it is as two lines descended from Constantius converging. A further strange coincidence is the name “Arthwys” in the Cole Coel line, as opposed to the Uther line, when Guenevere was a child refugee from York raised by Cowder in Cornwall, as was Arthur the supposed child of Uther.
         The Arthurian British, the ancient Roman Christian British, converted the world and the Roman Empire to Christian orders, replacing the barbarism of the non-Greek gentiles, had a church at St. Martins in London (following Bede, 4; 26), having been converted under King Lucius in the second century (156 AD, Bede 4; 26), one of the first if not the first of the Christian nations, long before Rome ceased the famous 10 persecutions of the church, and long long before the latter Augustine converted the invaders on the site of old St. Martin’s Church in Canterbury (Bede, 26). According to Holinshed, citing Hector Boecius, the Scottish historian, The first Coill was a Briton killed by Fergus, about 600 BC. Another was the father of Lucius, the first king to receive Christianity. Bede (I.4) writes that in 156 AD, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius and Commodius, “and while the holy Eleutherius ruled the Roman Church,
…Lucius, a British king, sent him a letter, asking to be made a Christian by his direction. This pious request was quickly granted, and the Britons received the Faith and held it peacefully in all its purity and fullness until the time of the Emperor Diocletian.
And Holinshed, out of Hector Boetius, writes:
Coell, the son of this Marius, had issue Lucius, counted the first christian king of this nation. He converted the three archflamens of this land into bishopriks, and ordered bishops onto each of them…
The three bishoprics were at London, York and Caerleon.
   Celtic and English Christianity were then joined at the Synod of Whitby (664 AD), under Oswald. This is an interesting name, as it reappears too in Shakespeare’s King Lear). St. Colomba had brought Irish Christianity over to Scotland from Ireland, where, again, it had been planted by St. Patrick. St. Colomba was right in the neighborhood of my old McDonalds, Lords of the Isles, incorrigible old Celts, and we had a guy (The “murderous MacDonwald” the rebel killed by MacBeth at the opening of the play). Donvallo Malmutius, a B.C. British guy, may be the Donald of whom some Mac is the son.
   Geoffrey (xii.1) includes the story based on the account of Bede (II. 6?) of what occurred in 597 when Pope Gregory sent the later Augustine over to convert the English, and the British monks at Bangor and elsewhere would have nothing to do with the English. Ethelfrid, King of Kent, declared war on the British, who suffered then further massacres, one of 1200 monks at Bangor. As with Rome, changing the religion to Christian did not change Rome or mankind very much, while it warped the presentation of Christianity.
   But to conclude where we began, the relic called the Shroud of Turin may well be genuine. Pollen from Jerusalem in the first century was found on it, and the part tested by carbon 14 dating was a repair of the thirteenth century, after the shroud was damaged in a fire. If it is a forgery, no one can tell yet how it might have been made, as it is a three dimensional photographic negative, i.e., truly not only the first graphics, but the first photograph. The best suggestion- enough and more to convince our faithless scientific age- in which some still know the that, but most do not know WHY murder is wrong (why do you say?)- is that it is the impression on the burial shroud of Jesus of the light of the resurrection.
In the event, Christian kingship fails, as the West falls decisively into the dark age.
 
Whether by nature or chance, the union of the York and Ambrose lines- both from Constantine- will not continue.
 
Coincident with love tragedy for Arthur personally- Hellas was not in Troy.

Led Zeppelin – The Battle Of Evermore https://youtu.be/7_3yDImIQYU via @YouTube

Which of these photos was the first photographic image ever produced?

  • The Niépce Heliograph HARRY RANSOM CENTER LOBBY GALLERY HOURS (ALSO MONDAY 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.) The invention of photography was announced simultaneously in France and England in 1839, dazzling the public and sending waves of excitement around the world.

Earlies photo with discernible humans, from History Lover’s Club, Twitter:

Image

9:14 PM · Aug 4, 2019Twitter Web App
Monty Python and the holy grail (1974) Sir Galahad ends up in a castle full of d – http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4hy4xu via @DailymotionUSA
Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust (With Lyrics) https://youtu.be/1ST9TZBb9v8 via @YouTube

Bibliography:

Ashe, Geoffrey. The Discovery of King Arthur. (NY: Debrett’s Peerage;  Anchor Press, 1985.

Bede. Ecclesiastical History.

Durants, Will and Ariel, The History of Civilization, Volume IV,.

Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain.

Gerald of Wales. Description of Wales.

Gildas the Wise. History of Britain. Translated Giles, J. A. London, James Bohn, 1841.

McDonald, Mark A. On Shakespeare’s King Lear: On the Discovery of Nature and the Shakespearean Recovery of Socratic Natural Right.  Roman and Littlefield1997. Appendix F “On the origin of the Arthurian Legend and Gildas, the Most Ancient British Author.” 

Movie: The Mists of Avalon.

Nennius: Chronicle This is the first written mention of Arthur, giving credence to the report of Geoffrey on his secret sources.

Appendix I:

Constantine And Helen:
Colchester’s Claim To Fame

St Helen, Saint For East And West

St Helen is one of the best-loved Saints of the Christian community, both in East and West. Over many centuries in England her name has been much used for our daughters, in various forms – Ellen and Eleanor being favourite variants. No doubt this has been partly due to much-loved Queens of England, but certainly the Saint herself has been greatly venerated, and as many as 135 ancient English churches are said to be dedicated in her honour.

Eastern Christians love her too, and this has meant she can draw together modern western converts to Orthodoxy and the cradle-Orthodox who have moved to Britain from the East.

Many widely venerated eastern Saints have been unknown in the West, and only gradually will British converts to Orthodoxy be able to absorb them deep into their consciousness. In the same way, many Saints from Britain’s Orthodox past – i.e. before the Great Schism commonly dated to 1054, and the Norman Conquest of Saxon England in 1066 – are unknown to easterners. These western but entirely Orthodox Saints will take some time to become really loved by Orthodox Faithful who have come here from the East.

Yet we can all, from East and West, without difficulty love and admire St Helen.

St Constantine And The West

St Constantine her son is a rather different case. Always much honoured in the East, in the West he has seldom been venerated as a Saint at all, and in recent years has been neglected, sometimes actually sneered at and despised.

Converts to Holy Orthodoxy need therefore to rediscover him, and find out why that common western attitude is totally unjust to his memory. We must discover why the Orthodox Faith venerates him deeply, along with his mother St Helen, as “Equal to the Apostles”. We need to rethink our inherited attitude to him, as we enter more deeply into Orthodoxy.

The Legacy Of St Constantine The Great

The fact is that his reign transformed both the Roman Empire and the Christian religion. His actions have had an enormous and lasting influence. Amazingly, seventeen hundred years after his time, his influence is clearly perceptible still.

We must perhaps admit that, in some respects, the effect of some of of his actions has been regrettable. For example, in places there has resulted too close a link between Church and State, to the disadvantage of either society at large or of the Church and her interests, and sometimes modern western Christians find it hard to distinguish between Christian and secular ways: they do not perceive that modern western society, though built on a Christian foundation, is largely secular in its way of thinking. Nowadays we may have to distinguish between on the one hand what society around us thinks, and on the other hand what the Church believes and teaches. People may not understand that there is a particular Christian understanding on some moral matter, or that Christians in a particular situation must behave differently from those around them.

But, on the whole, Constantine’s legacy has been for the good, and the Orthodox Church is right to recognise a sanctity in him. First he made Christianity legal, after centuries of much persecution. Then he made it the Empire’s official religion.

He perceived that Christianity was the way the Empire could be united. He saw the resulting need to establish the truths of our religion by calling the first Ecumenical Council in 325. He recognised the tiredness of Old Rome on the Tiber, built on its classical, pagan, past. In its place he founded the exuberant New Rome, Byzantium, on the Bosphorus, on the Christian Faith and its principles – even if neither he nor the Empire fully lived out those principles. By moving the capital he ensured the future of Orthodox Christianity.

The “down-side” of Constantine’s actions in the sphere of ecclesiastical affairs is that the very transfer of power and influence from Old Rome to New Rome also provided the possibility of, and the fertile soil for, the growth of the monarchical Papacy, and of Papal claims. Over the following centuries this produced a serious distorting of the Christian faith in the West, which the Protestant Reformation did little to right.

Yet the fact is, if he had not moved the seat of government from Rome to Byzantium, it is conceivable that, under pressure from the barbarians, Christianity may not have survived – not, at least, as we know and believe it.

For while the Western Roman Empire came to an end a hundred or so years later and much of Europe entered the “Dark Ages”, the Byzantine Empire carried on that renewed, Christian Roman tradition for an incredible thousand years, albeit somewhat limpingly towards the end.

This was recognised even in the West, and the Byzantine Roman Empire continued to illuminate the world with the Orthodox Faith even after Constantinople’s fall in the fifteenth century.

That is part of the reason why everywhere Constantine is Constantine the Great. He was certainly no fool, and essentially he was a good and devout man who desired to honour Christ in both his personal and public life.

We can say this in spite of several wicked acts he committed. It is wise in any case to remember that numbers of canonised Saints have committed unworthy deeds at various times in their lives, and not only before a conversion.

Indeed, he deliberately delayed his Baptism until the end of his life – to cover any misdoings, as it were. Apparently this was the unhappy fashion of his day. But at least, it displays a certain humility before God; an acknowledgement of the awe and reverence with which we should approach the Holy Mysteries.

Orthodox Christians have very good reason to thank God for Saint Constantine, and to ask his prayers. And indeed so have all Christians.

Colchester’s Living Tradition About Saints Helen And Constantine

None more so than the people of Colchester – “Britain’s Oldest Recorded Town”, say the sign boards proudly – and particularly members of the Antiochian Orthodox parish.

For ancient tradition, widely accepted until comparatively recently, is that St Helen was a British princess, born in Colchester.

So, Colchester’s mediaeval Oath Book or Red Parchment Book records:

AD 242 Helen, daughter of Coel [King of the Britons], born in Colchester.

And they even dared to identify exactly where she was born – “King Coel’s Palace” of course (so the legend would run), which is the old name for our celebrated Castle (which is actually the keep of a Norman castle, built on the foundation of the Roman temple of Claudius).

Naturally, then, the town of Colchester boasts St Helen as its Patron. About the year 326, when she was in her seventies, she made a great, in some ways world-transforming, journey to the Holy Land and Jerusalem. There, her story tells us, she discovered the Cross of Christ, and the Nails that fixed him to it. Colchester’s coat of arms is therefore the Life-giving Holy Cross (green and budding, on a Blood-red field), together with the Three Holy Nails. Also depicted on the shield are the crowns of the Three Holy Kings – for her story tells us that on her pilgrimage she also discovered the remains of the Three Kings, with their crowns.

St Helen’s Chapel

Not only that, but Colchester boasts a small, ancient church dedicated to St Helen. It stands close to the grand Castle. The Oath Book asserts of this chapel, It is said she herself built it.

Historically, we must admit the claim is not factual – and perhaps its wording may imply a certain doubt on the matter (“It is said“), even on the part of mediaeval townspeople. But the Chapel was certainly old by the middle of the eleventh century, for it needed restoration just after the Normans came to Colchester. Later it was again restored, with the result that some guidebooks wrongly tell us the building dates only from the thirteenth century.

In later mediaeval times it was a chantry, and was last used for liturgical worship at the Reformation. Subsequently it was used as a house, a school, a Quaker meeting-house, a workshop. Then towards the end of the 19th century it was once more restored, by the famous church architect William Butterfield, and became a clergy meeting room. But in recent years it has been used only as a store.

Now at the beginning of the third millennium the Orthodox parish, already dedicated to the Saint, has been privileged, by the kindness of Colchester Borough Council and the local Anglican Diocese (in whose ownership it remains), to restore the Chapel to worship. At present we have it for a period of two to four years.

Thus St Helen’s Chapel is restored to liturgical worship for the first time for nearly five hundred years, and (since the Great Schism for the first time divided western Christendom from the Orthodox Church) restored for Orthodox worship for the first time for almost one thousand years! We hope to be able to reawaken local people to their proud tradition, and make the Chapel available to tourists also. Especially of course we wish to open up this holy place to pilgrims, to promote it above all as a place of prayer, a real shrine in honour of our beloved Saint.

Other Traditions About St Helen

Most “authorities” today state that Helen was born at Drepanum, in Bithynia, an area of Asia Minor near the Bosphorus. But the claim of Drepanum is surely no more proven than that of Britain and of Colchester. It seems to rely merely on evidence that is just as flimsy as ours, i.e. on the fact that Constantine renamed Drepanum “Helenopolis”, after his mother. Yet, though he renamed the city of Byzantium “Constantinople” after himself, nobody claims that means that Constantine was born there. Surely he could also call a town across the straits from his new capital after his mother, without any necessary implication that she was born there. He clearly adored his mother, and had already declared her “Empress”, though she had not had that title in his father’s lifetime. It should be no surprise therefore that he decided he could rename Drepanum in her honour. Nevertheless, the tradition linking her with Drepanum is a worthy one, and we respect it – but say also that the Colchester tradition also is worthy of respect and honour. In any case, there is nothing unusual about different traditions about the same person: go to the Holy Land itself, and find various claims about places associated with Christ himself: these do not compete with each other, so much as complement each other.

St Constantine And His Birthplace

But local tradition goes further than claiming just St Helen as a native of Colchester. The Oath Book makes the claim that her son, the first and great Christian Emperor, was himself born here.

AD 266 Constantine, son of Constantius, born in Colchester of Helen.

And it proudly calls Helen’s son, whether or not considering him a Saint,

Constantine the Great, Most Christian Emperor, Flower of Britain, Citizen of Colchester.

Beat that!

Honour Where Honour Is Due

We must accept that some points in our local tradition are certainly wrong. Helen, for example, was probably not the concubina [sometimes wrongly translated as mistress] of Constantius Chlorus, but his first wife, whom he divorced for reasons of politics, when he became Emperor. Or again, the dates in the Oath Book are wrong – intriguingly, they date events consistently early by some eight or nine years. Yes, we concede that some of the facts themselves may be wrong. But we point out that everywhere a definite connection between Britain and both Constantius Chlorus and Constantine is undisputed: of Constantius that he was Governor of Britain, and died at York; of Constantine that he was first acclaimed Emperor at York, on the death of his father.

If tradition counts for anything – as in Orthodoxy it certainly does – will you not allow Colchester, even now, to think of both St Helen and St Constantine as in a special way her “own”?

Justified a claim it may or may not be. Perhaps it is merely a claim. But that “claim” springs from the natural and oft-found longing that many individuals and many towns have for a small place in history, the desire to be linked to some individual or event celebrated on the national or world stage.

Britain’s and Colchester’s “claims” in this matter are in fact probably quite as strong as the claims of other places. We may further point out that it is surely the cynical, over-scholarly, cerebral, “de-mythologising” approach that so often actually results in the “de-naturing” of much contemporary Christianity.

In Colchester at least we guard this particular tradition, as part of the town’s ecclesiastical and civic story, passing it on to future generations of the Faithful. The Orthodox Parish of St Helen of Colchester, by taking over this ancient and beautiful building, has now itself become part of that story, of that history, of that “legend” as some would call it. We are proud of this, and pray that we may be found worthy of our place within that tradition.

Saint Helen, pray to God for us.

A Hymn To St Helen Of Colchester

Native of our land, according to our fathers, Colchester’s Daughter,
after quiet retirement, and at the pinnacle of earthly fame,
fair Mother Helen, venerable and most pious Empress,
in the cause of our holy Faith thou didst hasten to Jerusalem,
and gloriously finding, as treasure buried, the life-giving Cross of our Saviour,
didst raise it high among the rulers of this world:
Now, Holy Equal to the Apostles,
with the most Christian Emperor Great Constantine, thy son,
flower of Britain, citizen of Colchester,
pray for us to Christ our God, that he will save our souls.

Father Alexander Haig, Parish Priest

Revised February 2001

Appendix II:

From the Life of Constantine by Eusebius (translated by )

   …His father was Constantius 3077 (and we ought to revive his memory at this time), the most illustrious emperor of our age; of whose life it is necessary briefly to relate a few particulars, which tell to the honor of his son.
Chapter XIII.—Of Constantius his Father, who refused to imitate Diocletian, Maximian, and Maxentius, 3078 in their Persecution of the Christians.3074 [Alluding probably to Ecclesiastes xi. 28, “Judge none blessed before his death; for a man shall be known in his children.” Or, possibly, to the well-known opinion of Solon to the same effect. Vide Herod. i. 32; Aristot. Eth. Nicom. i. II.—Bag.] Compare also above, chapter 7.

Notes

3075 The persecuting emperors. Compare Prolegomena, Life.
3076 He was brought up with Diocletian and Galerius. Compare Prolegomena, Life.
3077 Constantius Chlorus, Neo-Platonist and philanthropist. Compare following description.
3078 The author of the chapter heading means of course Galerius. Maxentius was not emperor until after the death of Constantius.
732
NPNF (V2-01) Eusebius Pamphilius
At a time when four emperors3079 shared the administration of the Roman empire, Constantius alone, following a course of conduct different from that pursued by his colleagues, entered into the friendship of the Supreme God. For while they besieged and wasted the churches of God, leveling them to the ground, and obliterating the very foundations of the houses of prayer,3080 he kept his hands pure from their
abominable impiety, and never in any respect resembled them. They polluted their provinces by the indiscriminate slaughter of godly men and women; but he kept his soul free from the stain of this crime.3081 They, involved in the mazes of impious idolatry, enthralled first themselves, and then all under their authority, in bondage to the errors of evil demons, while he at the same time originated the profoundest peace throughout his dominions, and secured to his subjects the privilege of celebrating without hindrance the worship of God. In short, while his colleagues oppressed all men by the most grievous exactions, and rendered their lives intolerable, and even worse than death, Constantius alone governed his people with a mild and tranquil sway, and exhibited towards them
a truly parental and fostering care. Numberless, indeed, are the other virtues of this man, which are the theme of praise to all; of these I will record one or two instances, as specimens of the quality of those which I must pass by in silence, and then I will proceed to the appointed order of my narrative.
486

Chapter XIV.—How Constantius his Father, being reproached with Poverty by Diocletian, filled his Treasury, and afterwards restored the Money to those by whom it had been contributed. In consequence of the many reports in circulation respecting this prince, describing his kindness and gentleness of character, and the extraordinary elevation of his piety, alleging too, that by reason of his extreme indulgence to his subjects, he had not even a supply of money laid up in his treasury; the emperor who at that time occupied the place of supreme power sent to reprehend his neglect of the public weal, at the same time reproaching him with poverty, and alleging in proof of the charge the empty state of his treasury. On this he desired the messengers of the emperor to remain with him awhile, and, calling together the wealthiest of his subjects of all nations under his dominion, he informed them that he was in want of money, and that this was the time for them all to give a voluntary proof of their affection for their prince.
As soon as they heard this (as though they had long been desirous of an opportunity for showing the sincerity of their good will), with zealous alacrity they filled the treasury with gold and silver and other wealth; each eager to surpass the rest in the amount of his contribution: and this they did with cheerful and joyous countenances. And now Constantius desired the messengers of the great emperor3082 personally to inspect his treasures, and directed them to give a faithful report of what

Notes:

3079 [Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius.—Bag.]
3080 For account of these persecutions, see Church History, Bk. 8, and notes of McGiffert.
3081 Compare the Church History, 8. 13, and Lactantius, De mort. pers. 15. The latter says he allowed buildings to be destroyed, but spared human life.
3082 Or the senior Augustus. “Diocletian is thus entitled in the ancient panegyrists and in inscriptions.”—Heinichen. It was “towards the end of the second century of the Christian era” that there began to be a plurality of Augusti, but “from this time we find two or even a greater number of Augusti; and though in that and in all similar cases the persons honored with the title were regarded

733
NPNF (V2-01) Eusebius Pamphilius they had seen; adding, that on the present occasion he had taken this money into his own hands, but that it had long been kept for his use in the custody of the owners, as securely as if under the charge of faithful treasurers. The ambassadors were overwhelmed with astonishment at what they had witnessed: and on their departure it is said that the truly generous prince sent for the owners of the property, and, after commending them severally for their obedience and true loyalty, restored it all, and bade them return to their homes. This one circumstance, then, conveys a proof of the generosity of him whose character we are attempting to illustrate: another will contain the clearest testimony to his piety.

Chapter XV.—Of the Persecution raised by his Colleagues. By command of the supreme authorities of the empire, the governors of the several provinces had set on foot a general persecution of the godly. Indeed, it was from the imperial courts themselves that the very first of the pious martyrs proceeded, who passed through those conflicts for the faith, and most readily endured both fire and sword, and the depths of the sea; every form of death, in short, so that in a brief time all the royal palaces were bereft of pious men.3083 The result was, that the authors of this wickedness were entirely deprived of the protecting care of God, since by their persecution of his worshipers they at the same time silenced the prayers that were wont to be made on their own behalf.

Chapter XVI.—How Constantius, feigning Idolatry, expelled those who consented to offer Sacrifice, but retained in his Palace all who were willing to confess Christ. On the other hand, Constantius conceived an expedient full of sagacity, and did a thing which sounds paradoxical, but in fact was most admirable. He made a proposal to all the officers of his court, including even those in the highest stations of authority, offering them the following alternative: either that they should offer sacrifice to demons, and thus be permitted to remain with him, and enjoy their usual honors; or, in case of refusal, that they should be shut out from all access to his person, and entirely disqualified from acquaintance and association with him. Accordingly, when they had individually made their choice, some one way and some the other; and the choice of each had been ascertained, then this admirable prince disclosed the secret meaning of his expedient, and condemned the cowardice and selfishness of the one party, while he highly commended the other for their conscientious devotion to God. He declared, too, that those who had been false to their God must be unworthy of the confidence of their prince; for how was it possible that they should preserve their fidelity to him, who had proved themselves faithless to a higher power? He determined, therefore, that such persons should be removed altogether from the imperial court, while, on the other hand, declaring that those men as participators of the imperial power, still the one who received the title first was looked upon as the head of the empire.”—Smith, Dict.
Gr. and Rom. Ant.

Note

3083 Compare accounts of martyrs in the palaces, in the Church History, 8. 6.
734

NPNF (V2-01) Eusebius Pamphilius
487
who, in bearing witness for the truth, had proved themselves to be worthy servants of God, would manifest the same fidelity to their king, he entrusted them with the guardianship of his person and empire, saying that he was bound to treat such persons with special regard as his nearest and most valued friends, and to esteem them far more highly than the richest treasures.

Chapter XVII.—Of his Christian Manner of Life.
The father of Constantine, then, is said to have possessed such a character as we have briefly described. And what kind of death was vouchsafed to him in consequence of such devotion to God, and how far he whom he honored made his lot to differ from that of his colleagues in the empire, may be known to any one who will give his attention to the circumstances of the case. For after he had for a long time given many proofs of royal virtue, in acknowledging the Supreme God alone, and condemning the polytheism of the ungodly, and had fortified his household by the prayers of holy men,3084 he passed the remainder of his life in remarkable repose and tranquillity, in the enjoyment of what is counted blessedness,—neither molesting others nor being molested ourselves.      Accordingly, during the whole course of his quiet and peaceful reign, he dedicated his entire household, his children, his wife, and domestic attendants, to the One Supreme God: so that the company assembled within the walls of his palace differed in no respect from a church of God; wherein were also to be found his ministers, who offered continual supplications on behalf of their prince, and this at a time when, with most,3085 it was not allowable to have any dealings with the worshipers of God, even so far as to exchange a word with them.

Chapter XVIII.—That after the Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius became Chief Augustus, and was blessed with a Numerous Offspring. The immediate consequence of this conduct was a recompense from the hand of God, insomuch that he came into the supreme authority of the empire. For the older emperors, for some unknown reason, resigned their power; and this sudden change took place in the first year after their persecution of the churches.3086
From that time Constantius alone received the honors of chief Augustus, having been previously, indeed, distinguished by the diadem of the imperial Cæsars,3087 among whom he held the first rank; but after his worth had been proved in this capacity, he was invested with the highest dignity of the Roman empire, being named chief Augustus of the four who were afterwards elected to that

Notes:

3084 “Is said to have” is added conjecturally here by an earlier editor, but Heinichen omits, as it would seem Eusebius himself did.
3085 Other readings are “with the others,” or “with the rest,” but in whatever reading it refers to all the other emperors.
3086 The persecution was in 303 or 304. Compare discussion of date in Clinton, Fasti Rom. ann. 303–305. The abdication was in 305.
3087 Eusebius uses the terms Augustus, king, autocrat, and Cæsar with a good deal of interchangeableness. It is hard to tell sometimes whether king (βασιλεύς) means emperor or Cæsar. In general, Augustus has been transferred in translations, and king and autocrat both rendered emperor, which seems to be his real usage.
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honor. Moreover, he surpassed most of the emperors in regard to the number of his family, having gathered around him a very large circle of children both male and female. And, lastly, when he had attained to a happy old age, and was about to pay the common debt of nature, and exchange this life for another, God once more manifested His power in a special manner on his behalf, by providing that his eldest son Constantine should be present during his last moments, and ready to receive the imperial power from his hands.3088

Chapter XIX.—Of his Son Constantine, who in his Youth accompanied Diocletian into Palestine. The latter had been with his father’s imperial colleagues,3089 and had passed his life among them, as we have said, like God’s ancient prophet. And even in the very earliest period of his youth he was judged by them to be worthy of the highest honor. An instance of this we have ourselves seen, when he passed through Palestine with the senior emperor,3090 at whose right hand he stood, and commanded the admiration of all who beheld him by the indications he gave even then of royal greatness. For no one was comparable to him for grace and beauty of person, or height of stature; and he so far surpassed his compeers in personal strength as to be a terror to them. He was, however,
even more conspicuous for the excellence of his mental3091 qualities than for his superior physical endowments; being gifted in the first place with a sound judgment,3092 and having also reaped the

488
advantages of a liberal education. He was also distinguished in no ordinary degree both by natural intelligence and divinely imparted wisdom.

Chapter XX.—Flight of Constantine to his Father because of the Plots of Diocletian.
3093 The emperors then in power, observing his manly and vigorous figure and superior mind, were moved with feelings of jealousy and fear, and thenceforward carefully watched for an opportunity of inflicting some brand of disgrace on his character. But the young man, being aware of their designs, the details of which, through the providence of God, more than once came to him, sought safety in flight;3094 in this respect again keeping up his resemblance to the great prophet Moses. Indeed, in every sense God was his helper; and he had before ordained that he should be present in readiness to succeed his father.

Notes:

3088 Constantine reached him just before his death, though possibly some weeks before. Compare Prolegomena.
3089 Diocletian and Galerius.
3090 Diocletian. He was on his way to Egypt in the famous campaign against Achilleus in 296–297.
3091 Or “psychical,” meaning more than intellectual.
3092 Rather, perhaps, “self-control.”
3093 Eusebius himself speaks in the plural, and other writers speak of plots by both Diocletian and Galerius. Compare
Prolegomena.
3094 Compare detailed account in Lactantius, De M. P. c. 24.
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Chapter XXI.—Death of Constantius, who leaves his Son Constantine Emperor.3095
Immediately, therefore, on his escape from the plots which had been thus insidiously laid for him, he made his way with all haste to his father, and arrived at length at the very time that he was lying at the point of death.3096 As soon as Constantius saw his son thus unexpectedly in his presence, he leaped from his couch, embraced him tenderly, and, declaring that the only anxiety which had troubled him in the prospect of death, namely, that caused by the absence of his son, was now removed, he rendered thanks to God, saying that he now thought death better than the longest life,3097 and at once completed the arrangement of his private affairs. Then, taking a final leave of the circle of sons and daughters by whom he was surrounded, in his own palace, and on the imperial couch, he bequeathed the empire, according to the law of nature,3098 to his eldest son, and breathed his last.

Chapter XXII.—How, after the Burial of Constantius, Constantine was Proclaimed Augustus by the Army. Nor did the imperial throne remain long unoccupied: for Constantine invested himself with his father’s purple, and proceeded from his father’s palace, presenting to all a renewal, as it were, in his own person, of his father’s life and reign. He then conducted the funeral procession in company with his father’s friends, some preceding, others following the train, and performed the last offices for the pious deceased with an extraordinary degree of magnificence, and all united in honoring this thrice blessed prince with acclamations and praises, and while with one mind and voice, they glorified the rule of the son as a living again of him who was dead, they hastened at once to hail their new sovereign by the titles of Imperial and Worshipful Augustus, with joyful shouts.3099 Thus the memory of the deceased emperor received honor from the praises bestowed upon his son, while the latter was pronounced blessed in being the successor of such a father. All the nations also under his dominion were filled with joy and inexpressible gladness at not being even for a moment deprived of the benefits of a well ordered government. In the instance of the Emperor Constantius, God has made manifest to our generation what the end of those is who in their lives have honored and loved him.

Notes:

3095 Βασιλεύς. The writer of the chapter headings uses this word here and Augustus in the following chapter, but it does not seem to mean technically “Cæsar,” and so the rendering emperor is retained.
3096 This seems to imply that Constantine reached him only after he was sick in bed, i.e. at York in Britain; but other accounts make it probable that he joined him at Boulogne before he sailed on this last expedition to Britain. Compare Prolegomena.
3097 Literally, “than immortality [on earth].”
3098 It will hardly be agreed that imperial succession is a law of nature anyway. Rather, “the succession [where it exists] is established by the express will or the tacit consent of the nation,” and the “pretended proprietary right…is a chimera” (Vattell, Law of Nations, Phila., 1867, p. 24, 25). That primogeniture is a natural law has been often urged, but it seems to be simply the law of first come first served. The English custom of primogeniture is said to have risen from the fact that in feudal times the eldest son was the one who, at the time of the father’s death, was of an age to meet the duties of feudal tenure (compare Kent, Commentaries, Boston, 1867, v. 4, p. 420, 421). This is precisely the fact respecting Constantine. His several brothers were all too young to be thought of.
3099 The verdict was not confirmed at once. Galerius refused him the title of emperor, and he contented himself with that of
Cæsar for a little. Compare Prolegomena.
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Chapter XXIII.—A Brief Notice of the Destruction of the Tyrants. With respect to the other princes, who made war against the churches of God, I have not thought it fit in the present work to give any account of their downfall,3100 nor to stain the memory of the good by mentioning them in connection with those of an opposite character. The knowledge of the facts themselves will of itself suffice for the wholesome admonition of those who have witnessed or heard of the evils which severally befell them.
489

Chapter XXIV.—It was by the Will of God that Constantine became possessed of the Empire. Thus then the God of all, the Supreme Governor of the whole universe, by his own will appointed Constantine, the descendant of so renowned a parent, to be prince and sovereign: so that, while others have been raised to this distinction by the election of their fellow-men, he is the only one to whose elevation no mortal may boast of having contributed.

Chapter XXV.—Victories of Constantine over the Barbarians and the Britons.
As soon then as he was established on the throne, he began to care for the interests of his paternal inheritance, and visited with much considerate kindness all those provinces which had previously been under his father’s government. Some tribes of the barbarians who dwelt on the banks of the Rhine, and the shores of the Western ocean, having ventured to revolt, he reduced them all to obedience, and brought them from their savage state to one of gentleness. He contented himself with checking the inroads of others, and drove from his dominions, like untamed and savage beasts, those whom he perceived to be altogether incapable of the settled order of civilized life.3101 Having disposed of these affairs to his satisfaction, he directed his attention to other quarters of the world, and first passed over to the British nations,3102 which lie in the very bosom of the ocean. These he reduced to submission, and then proceeded to consider the state of the remaining portions of the empire, that he might be ready to tender his aid wherever circumstances might require it.

Chapter XXVI.—How he resolved to deliver Rome from Maxentius.
3100 But he has done this himself in his Church History. Compare also Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum.
3101 The Franci, Bructeri, &c.
3102 [Eusebius here speaks of a second expedition of Constantine to Britain, which is not mentioned by other ancient writers;
or he may have been forgetful or ignorant of the fact that Constantine had received the imperial authority in Britain itself,
Constantius having died in his palace at York, a.d. 306. Vide Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, chap. 14.—Bag.] It seems to be a part
of the confusion about his crossing to Britain in the first place.
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While, therefore, he regarded the entire world as one immense body, and perceived that the
head of it all, the royal city of the Roman empire, was bowed down by the weight of a tyrannous
oppression; at first he had left the task of liberation to those who governed the other divisions of
the empire, as being his superiors in point of age. But when none of these proved able to afford
relief, and those who had attempted it had experienced a disastrous termination of their enterprise,3103
he said that life was without enjoyment to him as long as he saw the imperial city thus afflicted,
and prepared himself for the overthrowal of the tyranny.
Chapter XXVII.—That after reflecting on the Downfall of those who had worshiped Idols, he made
Choice of Christianity.
Being convinced, however, that he needed some more powerful aid than his military forces
could afford him, on account of the wicked and magical enchantments which were so diligently
practiced by the tyrant,3104 he sought Divine assistance, deeming the possession of arms and a
numerous soldiery of secondary importance, but believing the co-operating power of Deity invincible
and not to be shaken. He considered, therefore, on what God he might rely for protection and
assistance. While engaged in this enquiry, the thought occurred to him, that, of the many emperors
who had preceded him, those who had rested their hopes in a multitude of gods, and served them
with sacrifices and offerings, had in the first place been deceived by flattering predictions, and
oracles which promised them all prosperity, and at last had met with an unhappy end, while not
one of their gods had stood by to warn them of the impending wrath of heaven; while one alone
who had pursued an entirely opposite course, who had condemned their error, and honored the one
Supreme God during his whole life, had found him to be the Saviour and Protector of his empire,
and the Giver of every good thing. Reflecting on this, and well weighing the fact that they who had
trusted in many gods had also fallen by manifold forms of death, without leaving behind them either
family or offspring, stock, name, or memorial among men: while the God of his father had given
to him, on the other hand, manifestations of his power and very many tokens: and considering
farther that those who had already taken arms against the tyrant, and had marched to the battle-field
under the protection of a multitude of gods, had met with a dishonorable end (for one of them3105
had shamefully retreated from the contest without a blow, and the other,3106 being slain in the midst
490
of his own troops, became, as it were, the mere sport of death3107); reviewing, I say, all these
considerations, he judged it to be folly indeed to join in the idle worship of those who were no
gods, and, after such convincing evidence, to err from the truth; and therefore felt it incumbent on
him to honor his father’s God alone.
3103 Referring to the unsuccessful expeditions of Severus and Galerius.
3104 Compare chapters 36 and 37; also Lactantius, De M. P. chap. 44.
3105 Galerius.
3106 Severus.
3107 This last phrase has exercised the ingenuity of translators greatly. This translation does well enough, though one might
hazard “was easily overcome by death,” or “was an easy victim to death.”
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Chapter XXVIII.—How, while he was praying, God sent him a Vision of a Cross of Light in the
Heavens at Mid-day, with an Inscription admonishing him to conquer by that.
Accordingly he called on him with earnest prayer and supplications that he would reveal to him
who he was, and stretch forth his right hand to help him in his present difficulties. And while he
was thus praying with fervent entreaty, a most marvelous sign appeared to him from heaven, the
account of which it might have been hard to believe had it been related by any other person. But
since the victorious emperor himself long afterwards declared it to the writer of this history,3108
when he was honored with his acquaintance and society, and confirmed his statement by an oath,
who could hesitate to accredit the relation, especially since the testimony of after-time has established
its truth? He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his
own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription,
Conquer by this. At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also,
which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.3109
Chapter XXIX.—How the Christ of God appeared to him in his Sleep, and commanded him to use
in his Wars a Standard made in the Form of the Cross.
3108 Note here the care Eusebius takes to throw off the responsibility for the marvelous. It at the same time goes to show the
general credibility of Eusebius, and some doubt in his mind of the exact nature and reality of what he records.
3109 This very circumstantial account has met with doubters from the very beginning, commencing with Eusebius himself.
There are all sorts of explanations, from that of an actual miracle to that of pure later invention. The fact of some, at least
supposed, special divine manifestation at this time can hardly be denied. It is mentioned vaguely by Paneg. 313, and on the
triumphal arch shortly after. It is reported as a dream by Lactantius about the same time with the erection of the arch, and alluded
to in general, but hardly to be doubted, terms by Nazarius in 321. Moreover, it is witnessed to by the fact of the standard of the
cross which was made. As to the real nature of the manifestation, it has been thought to be as recorded by Constantine, and if
so, as perhaps some natural phenomenon of the sun, or to have been a simple dream, or an hallucination. It is hardly profitable
to discuss the possibilities. The lack of contemporary evidence to details and the description of Lactantius as a dream is fatal to
any idea of a miraculous image with inscriptions clearly seen by all. Some cross-like arrangement of the clouds, or a “parahelion,”
or some sort of a suggestion of a cross, may have been seen by all, but evidently there was no definite, vivid, clear perception,
or it would have been in the mouths of all and certainly recorded, or at least it would not have been recorded as something else
by Lactantius. It seems probable that the emperor, thinking intensely, with all the weight of his great problem resting on his
energetic mind, wondering if the Christian God was perhaps the God who could help, saw in some suggestive shape of the clouds
or of sunlight the form of a cross, and there flashed out in his mind in intensest reality the vision of the words, so that for the
moment he was living in the intensest reality of such a vision. His mind had just that intense activity to which such a thing is
possible or actual. It is like Goethe’s famous meeting of his own self. It is that genius power for the realistic representation of
ideal things. This is not the same exactly as “hallucination,” or even “imagination.” The hallucination probably came later when
Constantine gradually represented to himself and finally to Eusebius the vivid idea with its slight ground, as an objective
reality,—a common phenomenon. When the emperor went to sleep, his brain molecules vibrating to the forms of his late intense
thought, he inevitably dreamed, and dreaming naturally confirmed his thought. This does not say that the suggestive form seen,
or the idea itself, and the direction of the dream itself, were not providential and the work of the Holy Spirit, for they were, and
were special in character, and so miraculous (or why do ideas come?); but it is to be feared that Constantine’s own spirit or
something else furnished some of the later details. There is a slight difference of authority as to when and where the vision took
place. The panegyrist seems to make it before leaving Gaul, and Malalas is inaccurate as usual in having it happen in a war
against the barbarians. For farther discussion of the subject see monographs under Literature in the Prolegomena, especially
under the names: Baring, Du Voisin, Fabricius, Girault, Heumann, Jacutius Mamachi, Molinet, St. Victor, Suhr, Toderini,
Weidener, Wernsdorf, Woltereck. The most concise, clear, and admirable supporter of the account of Eusebius, or rather
Constantine, as it stands, is Newman, Miracles (Lond. 1875), 271–286.
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He said, moreover, that he doubted within himself what the import of this apparition could be.
And while he continued to ponder and reason on its meaning, night suddenly came on; then in his
sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens, and
commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens, and to use it as
a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies.
Chapter XXX.—The Making of the Standard of the Cross.
At dawn of day he arose, and communicated the marvel to his friends: and then, calling together
the workers in gold and precious stones, he sat in the midst of them, and described to them the
figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones. And this
representation I myself have had an opportunity of seeing.
Chapter XXXI.—A Description of the Standard of the Cross, which the Romans now call the
Labarum.3110
491
Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure
of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath
of gold and precious stones; and within this,3111 the symbol of the Saviour’s name, two letters
indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X
in its centre:3112 and these letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later
period. From the cross-bar of the spear was suspended a cloth,3113 a royal piece, covered with a
profuse embroidery of most brilliant precious stones; and which, being also richly interlaced with
gold, presented an indescribable degree of beauty to the beholder. This banner was of a square
3110 [From the Bretagnic lab, to raise, or from labarva, which, in the Basque language, still signifies a standard.—Riddle’s
Lat. Dict. voc. Labarum. Gibbon declares the derivation and meaning of the word to be “totally unknown, in spite of the efforts
of the critics, who have ineffectually tortured the Latin, Greek, Spanish, Celtic, Teutonic, Illyric, Armenian, &c., in search of
an etymology.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 22, note 33.—Bag.] Compare the full article of Venables, in Smith and Cheetham,
Dict. 1 (1880), 908–911, with its references and cuts.
3111 Thus rather than “on.” Compare cuts in article of Venables. “It [the monogram of Christ] is often set within a crown or
palm branch.”—Wolcott, Sacred Archæalogy, p. 390.
3112
[Χιαζομένου τοῦ ῥ κατὰ τὸ μεσαίτατον. The figure would seem to answer to the description in the text. Gibbon gives two
specimens, and – as engraved from ancient monuments. Chap. 20, note 35.— × Bag.] The various coins given by Venables all have
the usual form of the monogram . Compare also Tyrwhitt, art. × Monogram, in Smith and Cheetham; also the art. Monogramme
du Christ, in Martigny, Dict. d. ant. (1877), 476–483.
3113 That this was no new invention of Constantine may be seen by comparing the following description of an ordinary Roman
standard, “…each cohort had for its own ensign the serpent or dragon, which was woven on a square piece of cloth, elevated on
a gilt staff, to which a cross-bar was adapted for the purpose…under the eagle or other emblem was often placed a head of the
reigning emperor.” Yates, art. Signa militaria, in Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant. (1878), 1044–1045.
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form, and the upright staff, whose lower section was of great length,3114 bore a golden half-length
portrait3115 of the pious emperor and his children on its upper part, beneath the trophy of the cross,
and immediately above the embroidered banner.
The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse
and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his
armies.
Chapter XXXII.—How Constantine received Instruction, and read the Sacred Scriptures.
These things were done shortly afterwards. But at the time above specified, being struck with
amazement at the extraordinary vision, and resolving to worship no other God save Him who had
appeared to him, he sent for those who were acquainted with the mysteries of His doctrines, and
enquired who that God was, and what was intended by the sign of the vision he had seen. They
affirmed that He was God, the only begotten Son of the one and only God: that the sign which had
appeared was the symbol of immortality,3116 and the trophy of that victory over death which He had
gained in time past when sojourning on earth. They taught him also the causes of His advent, and
explained to him the true account of His incarnation. Thus he was instructed in these matters, and
was impressed with wonder at the divine manifestation which had been presented to his sight.
Comparing, therefore, the heavenly vision with the interpretation given, he found his judgment
confirmed; and, in the persuasion that the knowledge of these things had been imparted to him by
Divine teaching, he determined thenceforth to devote himself to the reading of the Inspired writings.
Moreover, he made the priests of God his counselors, and deemed it incumbent on him to honor
the God who had appeared to him with all devotion. And after this, being fortified by well-grounded
hopes in Him, he hastened to quench the threatening fire of tyranny.
C

Appendix I: From Eusebius Life of Constantine

His father was
Constantius3077 (and we ought to revive his memory at this time), the most illustrious emperor of
our age; of whose life it is necessary briefly to relate a few particulars, which tell to the honor of
his son.
Chapter XIII.—Of Constantius his Father, who refused to imitate Diocletian, Maximian, and
Maxentius,3078in their Persecution of the Christians.
3074 [Alluding probably to Ecclesiastes xi. 28, “Judge none blessed before his death; for a man shall be known in his children.”
Or, possibly, to the well-known opinion of Solon to the same effect. Vide Herod. i. 32; Aristot. Eth. Nicom. i. II.—Bag.] Compare
also above, chapter 7.
3075 The persecuting emperors. Compare Prolegomena, Life.
3076 He was brought up with Diocletian and Galerius. Compare Prolegomena, Life.
3077 Constantius Chlorus, Neo-Platonist and philanthropist. Compare following description.
3078 The author of the chapter heading means of course Galerius. Maxentius was not emperor until after the death of Constantius.
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At a time when four emperors3079 shared the administration of the Roman empire, Constantius
alone, following a course of conduct different from that pursued by his colleagues, entered into the
friendship of the Supreme God.
For while they besieged and wasted the churches of God, leveling them to the ground, and
obliterating the very foundations of the houses of prayer,3080 he kept his hands pure from their
abominable impiety, and never in any respect resembled them. They polluted their provinces by
the indiscriminate slaughter of godly men and women; but he kept his soul free from the stain of
this crime.3081 They, involved in the mazes of impious idolatry, enthralled first themselves, and then
all under their authority, in bondage to the errors of evil demons, while he at the same time originated
the profoundest peace throughout his dominions, and secured to his subjects the privilege of
celebrating without hindrance the worship of God. In short, while his colleagues oppressed all men
by the most grievous exactions, and rendered their lives intolerable, and even worse than death,
Constantius alone governed his people with a mild and tranquil sway, and exhibited towards them
a truly parental and fostering care. Numberless, indeed, are the other virtues of this man, which are
the theme of praise to all; of these I will record one or two instances, as specimens of the quality
of those which I must pass by in silence, and then I will proceed to the appointed order of my
narrative.
486
Chapter XIV.—How Constantius his Father, being reproached with Poverty by Diocletian, filled
his Treasury, and afterwards restored the Money to those by whom it had been contributed.
In consequence of the many reports in circulation respecting this prince, describing his kindness
and gentleness of character, and the extraordinary elevation of his piety, alleging too, that by reason
of his extreme indulgence to his subjects, he had not even a supply of money laid up in his treasury;
the emperor who at that time occupied the place of supreme power sent to reprehend his neglect
of the public weal, at the same time reproaching him with poverty, and alleging in proof of the
charge the empty state of his treasury. On this he desired the messengers of the emperor to remain
with him awhile, and, calling together the wealthiest of his subjects of all nations under his dominion,
he informed them that he was in want of money, and that this was the time for them all to give a
voluntary proof of their affection for their prince.
As soon as they heard this (as though they had long been desirous of an opportunity for showing
the sincerity of their good will), with zealous alacrity they filled the treasury with gold and silver
and other wealth; each eager to surpass the rest in the amount of his contribution: and this they did
with cheerful and joyous countenances. And now Constantius desired the messengers of the great
emperor3082 personally to inspect his treasures, and directed them to give a faithful report of what
3079 [Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius.—Bag.]
3080 For account of these persecutions, see Church History, Bk. 8, and notes of McGiffert.
3081 Compare the Church History, 8. 13, and Lactantius, De mort. pers. 15. The latter says he allowed buildings to be destroyed,
but spared human life.
3082 Or the senior Augustus. “Diocletian is thus entitled in the ancient panegyrists and in inscriptions.”—Heinichen.
It was “towards the end of the second century of the Christian era” that there began to be a plurality of Augusti, but “from this time
we find two or even a greater number of Augusti; and though in that and in all similar cases the persons honored with the title were regarded
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they had seen; adding, that on the present occasion he had taken this money into his own hands,
but that it had long been kept for his use in the custody of the owners, as securely as if under the
charge of faithful treasurers. The ambassadors were overwhelmed with astonishment at what they
had witnessed: and on their departure it is said that the truly generous prince sent for the owners
of the property, and, after commending them severally for their obedience and true loyalty, restored
it all, and bade them return to their homes.
This one circumstance, then, conveys a proof of the generosity of him whose character we are
attempting to illustrate: another will contain the clearest testimony to his piety.
Chapter XV.—Of the Persecution raised by his Colleagues.
By command of the supreme authorities of the empire, the governors of the several provinces
had set on foot a general persecution of the godly. Indeed, it was from the imperial courts themselves
that the very first of the pious martyrs proceeded, who passed through those conflicts for the faith,
and most readily endured both fire and sword, and the depths of the sea; every form of death, in
short, so that in a brief time all the royal palaces were bereft of pious men.3083 The result was, that
the authors of this wickedness were entirely deprived of the protecting care of God, since by their
persecution of his worshipers they at the same time silenced the prayers that were wont to be made
on their own behalf.
Chapter XVI.—How Constantius, feigning Idolatry, expelled those who consented to offer Sacrifice,
but retained in his Palace all who were willing to confess Christ.
On the other hand, Constantius conceived an expedient full of sagacity, and did a thing which
sounds paradoxical, but in fact was most admirable.
He made a proposal to all the officers of his court, including even those in the highest stations
of authority, offering them the following alternative: either that they should offer sacrifice to demons,
and thus be permitted to remain with him, and enjoy their usual honors; or, in case of refusal, that
they should be shut out from all access to his person, and entirely disqualified from acquaintance
and association with him. Accordingly, when they had individually made their choice, some one
way and some the other; and the choice of each had been ascertained, then this admirable prince
disclosed the secret meaning of his expedient, and condemned the cowardice and selfishness of the
one party, while he highly commended the other for their conscientious devotion to God. He
declared, too, that those who had been false to their God must be unworthy of the confidence of
their prince; for how was it possible that they should preserve their fidelity to him, who had proved
themselves faithless to a higher power? He determined, therefore, that such persons should be
removed altogether from the imperial court, while, on the other hand, declaring that those men
as participators of the imperial power, still the one who received the title first was looked upon as the head of the empire.”—Smith, Dict.
Gr. and Rom. Ant.
3083 Compare accounts of martyrs in the palaces, in the Church History, 8. 6.
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487
who, in bearing witness for the truth, had proved themselves to be worthy servants of God, would
manifest the same fidelity to their king, he entrusted them with the guardianship of his person and
empire, saying that he was bound to treat such persons with special regard as his nearest and most
valued friends, and to esteem them far more highly than the richest treasures.
Chapter XVII.—Of his Christian Manner of Life.
The father of Constantine, then, is said to have possessed such a character as we have briefly
described. And what kind of death was vouchsafed to him in consequence of such devotion to God,
and how far he whom he honored made his lot to differ from that of his colleagues in the empire,
may be known to any one who will give his attention to the circumstances of the case. For after he
had for a long time given many proofs of royal virtue, in acknowledging the Supreme God alone,
and condemning the polytheism of the ungodly, and had fortified his household by the prayers of
holy men,3084 he passed the remainder of his life in remarkable repose and tranquillity, in the
enjoyment of what is counted blessedness,—neither molesting others nor being molested ourselves.
Accordingly, during the whole course of his quiet and peaceful reign, he dedicated his entire
household, his children, his wife, and domestic attendants, to the One Supreme God: so that the
company assembled within the walls of his palace differed in no respect from a church of God;
wherein were also to be found his ministers, who offered continual supplications on behalf of their
prince, and this at a time when, with most,3085 it was not allowable to have any dealings with the
worshipers of God, even so far as to exchange a word with them.
Chapter XVIII.—That after the Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius became Chief
Augustus, and was blessed with a Numerous Offspring.
The immediate consequence of this conduct was a recompense from the hand of God, insomuch
that he came into the supreme authority of the empire. For the older emperors, for some unknown
reason, resigned their power; and this sudden change took place in the first year after their persecution
of the churches.3086
From that time Constantius alone received the honors of chief Augustus, having been previously,
indeed, distinguished by the diadem of the imperial Cæsars,3087 among whom he held the first rank;
but after his worth had been proved in this capacity, he was invested with the highest dignity of
the Roman empire, being named chief Augustus of the four who were afterwards elected to that
3084 “Is said to have” is added conjecturally here by an earlier editor, but Heinichen omits, as it would seem Eusebius himself
did.
3085 Other readings are “with the others,” or “with the rest,” but in whatever reading it refers to all the other emperors.
3086 The persecution was in 303 or 304. Compare discussion of date in Clinton, Fasti Rom. ann. 303–305. The abdication was
in 305.
3087 Eusebius uses the terms Augustus, king, autocrat, and Cæsar with a good deal of interchangeableness. It is hard to tell
sometimes whether king (βασιλεύς) means emperor or Cæsar. In general, Augustus has been transferred in translations, and king
and autocrat both rendered emperor, which seems to be his real usage.
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honor. Moreover, he surpassed most of the emperors in regard to the number of his family, having
gathered around him a very large circle of children both male and female. And, lastly, when he had
attained to a happy old age, and was about to pay the common debt of nature, and exchange this
life for another, God once more manifested His power in a special manner on his behalf, by providing
that his eldest son Constantine should be present during his last moments, and ready to receive the
imperial power from his hands.3088
Chapter XIX.—Of his Son Constantine, who in his Youth accompanied Diocletian into Palestine.
The latter had been with his father’s imperial colleagues,3089 and had passed his life among them,
as we have said, like God’s ancient prophet. And even in the very earliest period of his youth he
was judged by them to be worthy of the highest honor. An instance of this we have ourselves seen,
when he passed through Palestine with the senior emperor,3090 at whose right hand he stood, and
commanded the admiration of all who beheld him by the indications he gave even then of royal
greatness. For no one was comparable to him for grace and beauty of person, or height of stature;
and he so far surpassed his compeers in personal strength as to be a terror to them. He was, however,
even more conspicuous for the excellence of his mental3091 qualities than for his superior physical
endowments; being gifted in the first place with a sound judgment,3092 and having also reaped the
488
advantages of a liberal education. He was also distinguished in no ordinary degree both by natural
intelligence and divinely imparted wisdom.
Chapter XX.—Flight of Constantine to his Father because of the Plots of Diocletian.
3093
The emperors then in power, observing his manly and vigorous figure and superior mind, were
moved with feelings of jealousy and fear, and thenceforward carefully watched for an opportunity
of inflicting some brand of disgrace on his character. But the young man, being aware of their
designs, the details of which, through the providence of God, more than once came to him, sought
safety in flight;3094 in this respect again keeping up his resemblance to the great prophet Moses.
Indeed, in every sense God was his helper; and he had before ordained that he should be present
in readiness to succeed his father.
3088 Constantine reached him just before his death, though possibly some weeks before. Compare Prolegomena.
3089 Diocletian and Galerius.
3090 Diocletian. He was on his way to Egypt in the famous campaign against Achilleus in 296–297.
3091 Or “psychical,” meaning more than intellectual.
3092 Rather, perhaps, “self-control.”
3093 Eusebius himself speaks in the plural, and other writers speak of plots by both Diocletian and Galerius. Compare
Prolegomena.
3094 Compare detailed account in Lactantius, De M. P. c. 24.
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Chapter XXI.—Death of Constantius, who leaves his Son Constantine Emperor.3095
Immediately, therefore, on his escape from the plots which had been thus insidiously laid for
him, he made his way with all haste to his father, and arrived at length at the very time that he was
lying at the point of death.3096 As soon as Constantius saw his son thus unexpectedly in his presence,
he leaped from his couch, embraced him tenderly, and, declaring that the only anxiety which had
troubled him in the prospect of death, namely, that caused by the absence of his son, was now
removed, he rendered thanks to God, saying that he now thought death better than the longest
life,3097 and at once completed the arrangement of his private affairs. Then, taking a final leave of
the circle of sons and daughters by whom he was surrounded, in his own palace, and on the imperial
couch, he bequeathed the empire, according to the law of nature,3098 to his eldest son, and breathed
his last.
Chapter XXII.—How, after the Burial of Constantius, Constantine was Proclaimed Augustus by
the Army.
Nor did the imperial throne remain long unoccupied: for Constantine invested himself with his
father’s purple, and proceeded from his father’s palace, presenting to all a renewal, as it were, in
his own person, of his father’s life and reign. He then conducted the funeral procession in company
with his father’s friends, some preceding, others following the train, and performed the last offices
for the pious deceased with an extraordinary degree of magnificence, and all united in honoring
this thrice blessed prince with acclamations and praises, and while with one mind and voice, they
glorified the rule of the son as a living again of him who was dead, they hastened at once to hail
their new sovereign by the titles of Imperial and Worshipful Augustus, with joyful shouts.3099 Thus
the memory of the deceased emperor received honor from the praises bestowed upon his son, while
the latter was pronounced blessed in being the successor of such a father. All the nations also under
his dominion were filled with joy and inexpressible gladness at not being even for a moment
deprived of the benefits of a well ordered government.
In the instance of the Emperor Constantius, God has made manifest to our generation what the
end of those is who in their lives have honored and loved him.
3095 Βασιλεύς. The writer of the chapter headings uses this word here and Augustus in the following chapter, but it does not
seem to mean technically “Cæsar,” and so the rendering emperor is retained.
3096 This seems to imply that Constantine reached him only after he was sick in bed, i.e. at York in Britain; but other accounts
make it probable that he joined him at Boulogne before he sailed on this last expedition to Britain. Compare Prolegomena.
3097 Literally, “than immortality [on earth].”
3098 It will hardly be agreed that imperial succession is a law of nature anyway. Rather, “the succession [where it exists] is
established by the express will or the tacit consent of the nation,” and the “pretended proprietary right…is a chimera” (Vattell,
Law of Nations, Phila., 1867, p. 24, 25). That primogeniture is a natural law has been often urged, but it seems to be simply the
law of first come first served. The English custom of primogeniture is said to have risen from the fact that in feudal times the
eldest son was the one who, at the time of the father’s death, was of an age to meet the duties of feudal tenure (compare Kent,
Commentaries, Boston, 1867, v. 4, p. 420, 421). This is precisely the fact respecting Constantine. His several brothers were all
too young to be thought of.
3099 The verdict was not confirmed at once. Galerius refused him the title of emperor, and he contented himself with that of
Cæsar for a little. Compare Prolegomena.
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Chapter XXIII.—A Brief Notice of the Destruction of the Tyrants.
With respect to the other princes, who made war against the churches of God, I have not thought
it fit in the present work to give any account of their downfall,3100 nor to stain the memory of the
good by mentioning them in connection with those of an opposite character. The knowledge of the
facts themselves will of itself suffice for the wholesome admonition of those who have witnessed
or heard of the evils which severally befell them.
489
Chapter XXIV.—It was by the Will of God that Constantine became possessed of the Empire.
Thus then the God of all, the Supreme Governor of the whole universe, by his own will appointed
Constantine, the descendant of so renowned a parent, to be prince and sovereign: so that, while
others have been raised to this distinction by the election of their fellow-men, he is the only one to
whose elevation no mortal may boast of having contributed.
Chapter XXV.—Victories of Constantine over the Barbarians and the Britons.
As soon then as he was established on the throne, he began to care for the interests of his paternal
inheritance, and visited with much considerate kindness all those provinces which had previously
been under his father’s government. Some tribes of the barbarians who dwelt on the banks of the
Rhine, and the shores of the Western ocean, having ventured to revolt, he reduced them all to
obedience, and brought them from their savage state to one of gentleness. He contented himself
with checking the inroads of others, and drove from his dominions, like untamed and savage beasts,
those whom he perceived to be altogether incapable of the settled order of civilized life.3101 Having
disposed of these affairs to his satisfaction, he directed his attention to other quarters of the world,
and first passed over to the British nations,3102 which lie in the very bosom of the ocean. These he
reduced to submission, and then proceeded to consider the state of the remaining portions of the
empire, that he might be ready to tender his aid wherever circumstances might require it.
Chapter XXVI.—How he resolved to deliver Rome from Maxentius.
3100 But he has done this himself in his Church History. Compare also Lactantius, De mortibus persecutorum.
3101 The Franci, Bructeri, &c.
3102 [Eusebius here speaks of a second expedition of Constantine to Britain, which is not mentioned by other ancient writers;
or he may have been forgetful or ignorant of the fact that Constantine had received the imperial authority in Britain itself,
Constantius having died in his palace at York, a.d. 306. Vide Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, chap. 14.—Bag.] It seems to be a part
of the confusion about his crossing to Britain in the first place.
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While, therefore, he regarded the entire world as one immense body, and perceived that the
head of it all, the royal city of the Roman empire, was bowed down by the weight of a tyrannous
oppression; at first he had left the task of liberation to those who governed the other divisions of
the empire, as being his superiors in point of age. But when none of these proved able to afford
relief, and those who had attempted it had experienced a disastrous termination of their enterprise,3103
he said that life was without enjoyment to him as long as he saw the imperial city thus afflicted,
and prepared himself for the overthrowal of the tyranny.
Chapter XXVII.—That after reflecting on the Downfall of those who had worshiped Idols, he made
Choice of Christianity.
Being convinced, however, that he needed some more powerful aid than his military forces
could afford him, on account of the wicked and magical enchantments which were so diligently
practiced by the tyrant,3104 he sought Divine assistance, deeming the possession of arms and a
numerous soldiery of secondary importance, but believing the co-operating power of Deity invincible
and not to be shaken. He considered, therefore, on what God he might rely for protection and
assistance. While engaged in this enquiry, the thought occurred to him, that, of the many emperors
who had preceded him, those who had rested their hopes in a multitude of gods, and served them
with sacrifices and offerings, had in the first place been deceived by flattering predictions, and
oracles which promised them all prosperity, and at last had met with an unhappy end, while not
one of their gods had stood by to warn them of the impending wrath of heaven; while one alone
who had pursued an entirely opposite course, who had condemned their error, and honored the one
Supreme God during his whole life, had found him to be the Saviour and Protector of his empire,
and the Giver of every good thing. Reflecting on this, and well weighing the fact that they who had
trusted in many gods had also fallen by manifold forms of death, without leaving behind them either
family or offspring, stock, name, or memorial among men: while the God of his father had given
to him, on the other hand, manifestations of his power and very many tokens: and considering
farther that those who had already taken arms against the tyrant, and had marched to the battle-field
under the protection of a multitude of gods, had met with a dishonorable end (for one of them3105
had shamefully retreated from the contest without a blow, and the other,3106 being slain in the midst
490
of his own troops, became, as it were, the mere sport of death3107); reviewing, I say, all these
considerations, he judged it to be folly indeed to join in the idle worship of those who were no
gods, and, after such convincing evidence, to err from the truth; and therefore felt it incumbent on
him to honor his father’s God alone.
3103 Referring to the unsuccessful expeditions of Severus and Galerius.
3104 Compare chapters 36 and 37; also Lactantius, De M. P. chap. 44.
3105 Galerius.
3106 Severus.
3107 This last phrase has exercised the ingenuity of translators greatly. This translation does well enough, though one might
hazard “was easily overcome by death,” or “was an easy victim to death.”
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Chapter XXVIII.—How, while he was praying, God sent him a Vision of a Cross of Light in the
Heavens at Mid-day, with an Inscription admonishing him to conquer by that.
Accordingly he called on him with earnest prayer and supplications that he would reveal to him
who he was, and stretch forth his right hand to help him in his present difficulties. And while he
was thus praying with fervent entreaty, a most marvelous sign appeared to him from heaven, the
account of which it might have been hard to believe had it been related by any other person. But
since the victorious emperor himself long afterwards declared it to the writer of this history,3108
when he was honored with his acquaintance and society, and confirmed his statement by an oath,
who could hesitate to accredit the relation, especially since the testimony of after-time has established
its truth? He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his
own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription,
Conquer by this. At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also,
which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.3109
Chapter XXIX.—How the Christ of God appeared to him in his Sleep, and commanded him to use
in his Wars a Standard made in the Form of the Cross.
3108 Note here the care Eusebius takes to throw off the responsibility for the marvelous. It at the same time goes to show the
general credibility of Eusebius, and some doubt in his mind of the exact nature and reality of what he records.
3109 This very circumstantial account has met with doubters from the very beginning, commencing with Eusebius himself.
There are all sorts of explanations, from that of an actual miracle to that of pure later invention. The fact of some, at least
supposed, special divine manifestation at this time can hardly be denied. It is mentioned vaguely by Paneg. 313, and on the
triumphal arch shortly after. It is reported as a dream by Lactantius about the same time with the erection of the arch, and alluded
to in general, but hardly to be doubted, terms by Nazarius in 321. Moreover, it is witnessed to by the fact of the standard of the
cross which was made. As to the real nature of the manifestation, it has been thought to be as recorded by Constantine, and if
so, as perhaps some natural phenomenon of the sun, or to have been a simple dream, or an hallucination. It is hardly profitable
to discuss the possibilities. The lack of contemporary evidence to details and the description of Lactantius as a dream is fatal to
any idea of a miraculous image with inscriptions clearly seen by all. Some cross-like arrangement of the clouds, or a “parahelion,”
or some sort of a suggestion of a cross, may have been seen by all, but evidently there was no definite, vivid, clear perception,
or it would have been in the mouths of all and certainly recorded, or at least it would not have been recorded as something else
by Lactantius. It seems probable that the emperor, thinking intensely, with all the weight of his great problem resting on his
energetic mind, wondering if the Christian God was perhaps the God who could help, saw in some suggestive shape of the clouds
or of sunlight the form of a cross, and there flashed out in his mind in intensest reality the vision of the words, so that for the
moment he was living in the intensest reality of such a vision. His mind had just that intense activity to which such a thing is
possible or actual. It is like Goethe’s famous meeting of his own self. It is that genius power for the realistic representation of
ideal things. This is not the same exactly as “hallucination,” or even “imagination.” The hallucination probably came later when
Constantine gradually represented to himself and finally to Eusebius the vivid idea with its slight ground, as an objective
reality,—a common phenomenon. When the emperor went to sleep, his brain molecules vibrating to the forms of his late intense
thought, he inevitably dreamed, and dreaming naturally confirmed his thought. This does not say that the suggestive form seen,
or the idea itself, and the direction of the dream itself, were not providential and the work of the Holy Spirit, for they were, and
were special in character, and so miraculous (or why do ideas come?); but it is to be feared that Constantine’s own spirit or
something else furnished some of the later details. There is a slight difference of authority as to when and where the vision took
place. The panegyrist seems to make it before leaving Gaul, and Malalas is inaccurate as usual in having it happen in a war
against the barbarians. For farther discussion of the subject see monographs under Literature in the Prolegomena, especially
under the names: Baring, Du Voisin, Fabricius, Girault, Heumann, Jacutius Mamachi, Molinet, St. Victor, Suhr, Toderini,
Weidener, Wernsdorf, Woltereck. The most concise, clear, and admirable supporter of the account of Eusebius, or rather
Constantine, as it stands, is Newman, Miracles (Lond. 1875), 271–286.
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He said, moreover, that he doubted within himself what the import of this apparition could be.
And while he continued to ponder and reason on its meaning, night suddenly came on; then in his
sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens, and
commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens, and to use it as
a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies.
Chapter XXX.—The Making of the Standard of the Cross.
At dawn of day he arose, and communicated the marvel to his friends: and then, calling together
the workers in gold and precious stones, he sat in the midst of them, and described to them the
figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones. And this
representation I myself have had an opportunity of seeing.
Chapter XXXI.—A Description of the Standard of the Cross, which the Romans now call the
Labarum.3110
491
Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure
of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath
of gold and precious stones; and within this,3111 the symbol of the Saviour’s name, two letters
indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X
in its centre:3112 and these letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later
period. From the cross-bar of the spear was suspended a cloth,3113 a royal piece, covered with a
profuse embroidery of most brilliant precious stones; and which, being also richly interlaced with
gold, presented an indescribable degree of beauty to the beholder. This banner was of a square
3110 [From the Bretagnic lab, to raise, or from labarva, which, in the Basque language, still signifies a standard.—Riddle’s
Lat. Dict. voc. Labarum. Gibbon declares the derivation and meaning of the word to be “totally unknown, in spite of the efforts
of the critics, who have ineffectually tortured the Latin, Greek, Spanish, Celtic, Teutonic, Illyric, Armenian, &c., in search of
an etymology.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 22, note 33.—Bag.] Compare the full article of Venables, in Smith and Cheetham,
Dict. 1 (1880), 908–911, with its references and cuts.
3111 Thus rather than “on.” Compare cuts in article of Venables. “It [the monogram of Christ] is often set within a crown or
palm branch.”—Wolcott, Sacred Archæalogy, p. 390.
3112
[Χιαζομένου τοῦ ῥ κατὰ τὸ μεσαίτατον. The figure would seem to answer to the description in the text. Gibbon gives two
specimens, and – as engraved from ancient monuments. Chap. 20, note 35.— × Bag.] The various coins given by Venables all have
the usual form of the monogram . Compare also Tyrwhitt, art. × Monogram, in Smith and Cheetham; also the art. Monogramme
du Christ, in Martigny, Dict. d. ant. (1877), 476–483.
3113 That this was no new invention of Constantine may be seen by comparing the following description of an ordinary Roman
standard, “…each cohort had for its own ensign the serpent or dragon, which was woven on a square piece of cloth, elevated on
a gilt staff, to which a cross-bar was adapted for the purpose…under the eagle or other emblem was often placed a head of the
reigning emperor.” Yates, art. Signa militaria, in Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant. (1878), 1044–1045.
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form, and the upright staff, whose lower section was of great length,3114 bore a golden half-length
portrait3115 of the pious emperor and his children on its upper part, beneath the trophy of the cross,
and immediately above the embroidered banner.
The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse
and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his
armies.
Chapter XXXII.—How Constantine received Instruction, and read the Sacred Scriptures.
These things were done shortly afterwards. But at the time above specified, being struck with
amazement at the extraordinary vision, and resolving to worship no other God save Him who had
appeared to him, he sent for those who were acquainted with the mysteries of His doctrines, and
enquired who that God was, and what was intended by the sign of the vision he had seen. They
affirmed that He was God, the only begotten Son of the one and only God: that the sign which had
appeared was the symbol of immortality,3116 and the trophy of that victory over death which He had
gained in time past when sojourning on earth. They taught him also the causes of His advent, and
explained to him the true account of His incarnation. Thus he was instructed in these matters, and
was impressed with wonder at the divine manifestation which had been presented to his sight.
Comparing, therefore, the heavenly vision with the interpretation given, he found his judgment
confirmed; and, in the persuasion that the knowledge of these things had been imparted to him by
Divine teaching, he determined thenceforth to devote himself to the reading of the Inspired writings.
Moreover, he made the priests of God his counselors, and deemed it incumbent on him to honor
the God who had appeared to him with all devotion. And after this, being fortified by well-grounded
hopes in Him, he hastened to quench the threatening fire of tyranny.
C

Appendix III : From Wikipedia: The Roman Emperors of the end of the Empire

Const.chlorus01 pushkin.jpgConstantius Chlorus
IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS FLAVIVS VALERIVS CONSTANTIVSHERCVLIVS AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

March 31, c. 250, DardaniaMoesia Adopted as junior co-emperor (‘Caesar’) and heir by Maximian in 293 May 1, 305 – July 25, 306 1 year, 2 months and 24 days 306 (aged 56)
Natural causes

SEVERUS II RIC VI 76b-2590375 (obverse).jpg

Valerius Severus
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS VALERIVS SEVERVS AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

? Adopted as junior co-emperor (‘Caesar’) and heir by Constantius Chlorus in 305; succeeded as Augustus in 306; opposed by Maxentius and Constantine I Summer 306 – March/ April 307 1 year September 16, 307 (aged ?)
Captured by Maxentius and forced to commit suicide (or murdered)Rome-Capitole-StatueConstantin.jpgConstantine the Great
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS VALERIVS AVRELIVS CONSTANTINVSAVGVSTVS
(WEST)

then, after 324

(EAST and WEST)

February 27, c. 272, NaissusMoesia Superior Son of Constantius I Chlorus, proclaimed emperor by his father’s troops; accepted as Caesar (west) by Galerius in 306; promoted to Augustus (west) in 307 by Maximian after death of Severus II; refused relegation to Caesar in 309 July 25, 306 – May 22, 337 30 years, 9 months and 27 days May 22, 337 (aged 65)
Natural causesMaxentius02 pushkin.jpgMaxentius
IMPERATOR CAESAR MARCVS AVRELIVS VALERIVS MAXENTIVS AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

c. 276 Son of Maximian, seized power in 306 after death of Constantius I Chlorus, in opposition to Severus and Constantine I; made Caesar (west) by Maximian in 307 after the death of Severus October 28, 306 – October 28, 312 6 years October 28, 312 (aged 36)
Died at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge, against Constantine I

Aureus of Licinius.pngLicinius I
IMPERATOR CAESAR CAIVS VALERIVS LICINIANVS LICINIVSAVGVSTVS
(EAST)

with

Valerius Valens

AVRELIVS VALERIVS VALENS

and

Martinian

SEXTVS MARCIVSMARTININANVS

c. 263, Felix RomulianaMoesia Superior Son-in-law of Constantius Chlorus, appointed Augustus in the west by Galerius in 308, in opposition to Maxentius; became Augustus in the east in 311 after the death of Galerius (shared with Maximinus II); defeated Maximinus II in civil war to become sole eastern Augustus in 313; appointed Valerius Valens in 317, and Martinian in 324 as western Augustus, in opposition to Constantine, both being executed within weeks. November 11, 308 – September 18, 324 15 years, 10 months and 7 days 325 (aged 61/62)
Defeated in civil war against Constantine I in 324 and captured; executed on the orders of Constantine the next year.

Daza01 pushkin.jpgMaximinus II
IMPERATOR CAESAR CAIVS CALERIVS VALERIVS MAXIMINVS AVGVSTVS
(EAST)

November 20, c. 270, Dacia Aureliana Nephew of Galerius, adopted as Caesar and his heir in 305; succeeded as Augustus (shared with Licinius I) in 311 May 1, 311 – July/August 313 2 yearsJuly/August 313 (aged 42)
Defeated in civil war against Licinius; probably committed suicide thereafterCampidoglio, Roma - Costantino II cesare dettaglio.jpgConstantine II
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CLAVDIVSCONSTANTINVS AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

316, ArelateGallia Narbonensis Son of Constantine I; appointed Caesar in 317, succeeded as joint Augustus with his brothers Constantius II and Constans I May 22, 337 – 340

3 years 340 (aged 24)
Died in battle against Constans I

Constance II Colosseo Rome Italy.jpg Constantius II
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS IVLIVS CONSTANTIVS AVGVSTVS
(EAST)

then, after 356

(EAST and WEST)

August 7, 317, SirmiumPannonia Son of Constantine I; succeeded as joint Augustus with his brothers Constantine II and Constans I; sole emperor from 350 May 22, 337 – November 3, 361 24 years, 5 months and 12 days 361 (aged 44)
Natural causes

Emperor Constans Louvre Ma1021.jpg Constans I
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS IVLIVS CONSTANSAVGVSTVS
(MIDDLE)

then, after 340

(WEST)

c. 323 Son of Constantine I; succeeded as joint Augustus with his brothers Constantine II and Constantius II May 22, 337 – 350 13 years 350 (aged 27)
Assassinated on the orders of the usurper Magnentius

Solidus Vetranio (obverse).jpg

Vetranio
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS VETRANIO AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

?, Moesia General of Constans, proclaimed Caesar against Magnentius and temporarily accepted as Augustus of the west by Constantius II. March 1, 350 – December 25, 350 9 months and 24 days c. 356 (aged ?)
As a private citizen, after abdication.

Giuliano l'Apostata, IV secolo, Museo archeologico nazionale, Atene.jpg

Julian
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS CLAVDIVSIVLIANVS AVGVSTVS
(WEST)

then, after 361

(EAST and WEST)

331/332, ConstantinopleThracia Cousin of Constantius II; made Caesar of the west in 355; proclaimed Augustus by his troops in 360; sole emperor after the death of Constantius February 360 – June 26, 363 3 years June 26, 363 (aged 31/32)
Mortally wounded in battle

Jovian1.jpgJovian
IMPERATOR CAESAR FLAVIVS IOVIANVS AVGVSTVS
(EAST and WEST)

331, SingidunumMoesia General of Julian’s army; proclaimed emperor by the troops on Julian’s death June 26, 363 – February 17, 364. 7 months and 22 days: February 17, 364 (aged 33)
Natural causes (suffocated on fumes)

One thought on “Arthur, Guinevere and the Ancient British

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