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Biography. the enemies of Galerius. Imagining that his authority the Empire beheld six Princes invested with a species Constantius
he had been induced to relinquish, and to wrest from aggrandizement than to support the unity of system
305. 306. African Provinces. In consequence of this resolution,
From A. D.
GALERIUS, MAXIMIANUS, MAXENTIUS, MAXIMINUS, LICINIUS,
FROM A. D. 306 to 323.
Eiography. It is not improbable that Severus was at Milan, or ference with Constantine, and to induce him to unite Galerius, eren a still remoter part of his Province, when he re. his forces with those of Maxentius against their com- Maximian,
Maxentius, From ceived intelligence that Maxentius was in arms, and mon enemy: on which occasion the Sovereign of
Maximinus, that Maximianus was again adorned with the insignia Gaul received from the hand of his new ally his Licinius, 306. of Empire. That he was not at Rome is manifest daughter as a bride, (to whom he was united with Constan
from the events which took place in the very begin- great magnificence at Arles, Arelatum,) and the tinus.' 323.
ning of the Civil War which immediately ensued; for Imperial Purple, of which he had been divested by CAT
From the Capital was seized and its gates shut against him, the jealousy of Galerius. This confederacy completely before he had time to recover from the consternation defeated the designs of the Eastern despot; for when
306. into which his mind was thrown by an occurrence at once he entered Italy he found every town fortified and preso alarming and unexpected. Finding himself aban- pared to dispute his progress, while Constantine with
323. doned by his troops, whom bribery or ancient attach- a large army had advanced to the frontier and ment had drawn over to the ranks of the usurper, he threatened to cut off his retreat. It does not appear fied to Ravenna; where, it is likely, he meant to resist that any general engagement took place ; but so great the impression of his enemies until he should be re- were the losses of the invader by desertion and other lieved by Galerius, who was still master of the sea, and casualties, that when he arrived at Narni (Narnia,) about at the head of a numerous and veteran army. Maxi- sixty miles from the Capital, he felt himself reduced to mianus pursued him thither, and began to make pre- the necessity of proposing terms of accommodation. His parations for a vigorous assault; but perceiving that offers being rejected with contempt and firmness, he the city was strong and well supplied with provisions, was compelled to give the signal to retire ; upon which, he resolved to effect his object rather by stratagem than he had the mortification to discover that many of the by the tedious operations of a siege. He instructed veteran soldiers whom he had brought for the conquest certain emissaries, who had found admittance within of Italy, abandoned his standard, and refused to employ the walls, to persuade Severus that a conspiracy was their arms any longer against the native Country of the formed to betray the town into the hands of the insur- Cæsars. It is observed by Lactantius, that if the purgents; and that it would be wiser to accept the terms suit had been conducted with spirit, Galerius must have of an honourable capitulation than to incur the hazard been totally destroyed; but Constantine, more desirous of being delivered up to the rage of an offended con- to weaken his enemy than to annihilate him, allowed queror. The plot succeeded; and Severus confided his his scattered Legions to pass unmolested, while life to the promises of Maximianus, who assured him that, Maxentius, elated with present success, thought not of except the loss of rank, he had nothing
to apprehend. the means of securing his ascendency. He even per-
after the usual expressions of respect and sympathy which the inhabitants had refused to contribute for their
ing to impede their march or provoke them to battle.*
Before Galerius set out on this unfortunate expe- Licinius mertise
The death of Severus did not, however, relieve dition, he intrusted his friend Licinius with the raised to the the Maximianus and his son from their fears of Galerius, government of the Sarmatian frontier; and, when he Empire
Nov. 307. who was already hastening to revenge the catastrophe returned, he expressed his gratitude for the faithful seras an which he had not been able to prevent. For this rea- vices of his Lieutenant by raising him to the first rank
son the aged Emperor crossed the Alps to hold a con- in the Empire. It is extremely probable, that his
Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 26. Aurel. Victor, Epit. Zosim. lib. ii. Euseb, in Vit. Const.
* Lactant, de Mort. Pers. c. 28. Zosim. lib, ii.
Biography. object in this arrangement was to provide a successor himself in the Sovereign Purple. The speedy return of Galerius,
to Severus, and to place on the Throne of Italy an Constantine disconcerted all his measures and put a Maximian, From
Maxentius Emperor devoted to his interests, and with sufficient period to his life. After a vain attempt to maintain
Maximinus, talent and ambition to protect the honours with which Marseilles in the face of a victorious army, he found
he himself was now invested. In pursuance of these that an irrevocable sentence of death was pronounced Constanviews he confided to his Imperial colleague the com- against him; the mode of executing which being left
tinus. 323. mand of Dacia and Pannonia ; being still determined to his own choice, gave rise to a report, prevalent.
From to punish the usurpation of Maxentius, whom he never among the Historians of the time, that he fled from acknowledged, and to strip Constantine once more of remorse and despair to an act of voluntary suicide.*
306. the Purple, which he had a second time dared to The reign of Galerius did not extend much more assume. But new difficulties arose whence he least than a year beyond that of Maximianus. The disorderly
323 expected them; for no sooner was intelligence con- course of life which he pursued was visited with a veyed into Syria, that Licinius had been elevated to the severe punishment in the form of a loathsome and Death of
Galerius. station of Augustus, than Maximin, disdaining the in- incurable disease, which terminated his days, in the
May, 311. ferior name of Cæsar, boldly challenged an equal title. month of May, 311, at Sardica, the capital of Dacia, his Unable to oppose the violent resolution of his nephew, native country. The character of this Prince, though Galerius, after trying some expedients which were re- stained with many foul passions, appeared to some adjected, agreed to accord to him and to the son of Con- vantage as long as he held the subordinate station of stantius the highest honours of the State; and thus the Cæsar, and acknowledged the superior wisdom and Roman world for the first time saw its government in virtues of Diocletian His administration, after he the hands of six Emperors, without unanimity or sub- attained the rank of Augustus, was not distinguished ordination.*
either by success in war, or by those studies and imPlots of It was not, therefore, to be expected that men of such provements which confer an ornament on Peace. It is Maximianus opposite characters and views could long act together, or asserted, indeed, that he spent the few years which he against Dlaxentius
approve the same principles of administration; but, per- survived after his Italian campaign, in clearing from and Con.
haps, the people of Rome were not prepared to witness wood an extensive district in Pannonia, and in rescuing stantine. the first tokens of dissension either in their own imme- from the waters of the lake Pelso a fertile plain in the
diate neighbourhood, or between a father and his son. same Provinces, to which in honour of his wife he
covered with camps and fortifications, beyond the Alps. He was received with kindness by affording thereby the most striking evidence that Eu-. this politic Prince; who, though he concurred in the rope and Asia, though parts of one great Political Body, expediency of his resigning a rank which had ceased to were no longer under one Head, nor devoted to one be accompanied with power, still treated him with the interest. A secret Treaty is said to have speedily united respect due to his age and dignity, permitted him to retain the views of Constantine and Licinius; while Maxenall the magnificence which belonged to his former office, tius in Italy, and Maximin in Syria, resolved to consult and at every public ceremony gave him the highest place their security by entering into a similar league. of honour. Maximianus made not a suitable return It is not a little remarkable, that although Constan- Maxentius for such generous usage.
Constantine was called to tine, Licinius, and Maximin recognised one another's prepares.to the banks of the Rhine to defend his borders against title to the rank of Augustus, they unanimously refused
stantine. the Barbarians; an expedition in which he employed this honour to Maxentius, who possessed the ancient only a part of his troops, the remainder of whom he seat of Government and the important Provinces of Italy
left in the Southern Provinces to watch the movements and Afric: On the other hand, it is true, the Italian Death of
of his Italian neighbours. The old Emperor, seduced Emperor considered himself as the only Sovereign Maximianus
by this opportunity to ascend a Throne, or misled by a Prince, and described his three colleagues as merely his
•Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 32. Eumen, in Panegyr. Vet. lib. vii.
+ Aurel. Victor, c. 40. Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 33.
Biography. Lieutenants, appointed to defend the frontiers against Alps and the Po; which were willing to regard the son Maxentius, the Barbarians of the East and of the North. His of Constantius rather as the friend of Roman Liberty, Maximinus,
Constan. From proximity to Constantine, whom he regarded with than as the ambitious rival of a Prince whom he had
tinus, equal hatred and suspicion, soon involved the Western resolved to expel from the Throne.*
parts of the Empire in war. He affected to bewail the The Generals of Maxentius made a second attempt
death of his father, who had fallen a victim to the just near Brescia to drive back the invader; but their troops From 323.
resentment of that Emperor, and to be seriously being inferior both in skill and bravery to the Gallic
306. and his statues thrown down by the same authority. walls of Verona. Rusicus Pompeianus, an officer of
323. He therefore gave orders to inflict a severe retaliation great reputation, commanded the Province of Venetia, upon all the statues which had been erected to Con- and discharged, at the same time, the duties of Impestantine in any part of Italy or Africa; and openly rial Lieutenant. Contiding in the strength of the foravowing his pretensions to the undivided Monarchy of tifications, he threw himself with a powerful garrison the West, he prepared a large army to invade the Gallic into the city ; hoping by that expedient to employ the Provinces by the way of the Rhætian Alps. His activity of Constantine until a large army, under forces, drawn from Italy and Africa, are said to have Maxentius in person, should advance from Rome to amounted to nearly two hundred thousand men, in- crush the assailant. But Rusicus soon had reason to His further cluding about twenty thousand cavalry in heavy ar- apprehend that Verona would fall before the Emperor successes. mour. Constantine did not remain long ignorant of could reach the banks of the Adige; for which cause these formidable preparations; for the Senate, appre- he retired privately from the town, and employed his hensive that Maxentius, should he prove victorious, utmost zeal in raising such a force as might be suffiwould employ his success to rivet their chains more cient to meet Constantine in the field, or, at least, comclosely, sent ambassadors to conjure him, in the name pel him to raise the siege. The Sovereign of Gaul of the Roman People, to deliver their Country from a was not intimidated by this unexpected movement; detested tyrant. This appeal to his generosity coin- but leaving a part of his army to occupy the attention cided with the views of his ambition; and accordingly, of the garrison, he placed himself at the head of those without weighing the reasons which were urged by the cohorts on whose valour and attachment he could prinmore timid of his Generals against an enterprise so cipally depend, and advanced to anticipate the defull of hazard, he resolved to anticipate the movements signs of Pompeianus. A furious battle ensued, which of his enemy, and to carry the war at once into the terminated in the complete discomfiture of the Italians, heart of his dominions.*
who had to bewail their brave commander among the At the head of ninety thousand foot and eight thou- number of the slain, and to blush for the greater portion sand horse the Sovereign of Gaul entered the passes of of their soldiers, who surrendered themselves prisoners the Alps, through which he marched his squadrons of war. Verona immediately opened her gates to the with so much expedition, that he was ready to pour conqueror; Aquileia and Modena invited him to take down upon the plains of Italy before Maxentius had possession of their territory; and no obstacle now rereceived information of his departure from the banks of mained to retard his progress until he should arrive on the Rhine. Susa, a place of some strength at the foot the borders of the Tiber.t of Mount Cenis, manifested a disposition to check his Maxentius, still detained in Rome by its pleasures Final vic. progress; but Constantine, too sensible of the value of and amusements, was at length roused to a sense of tory near time, in such circumstances, to have recourse to the his danger; and urged by the clamours and reproaches
Roine. tedious forms of a regular siege, resolved to reduce it of the people, he consented to lead forth the Prætorians Tatory by an immediate assault. Accordingly, applying fire and such other troops as could be raised on that emeraxed by to the gates and scaling-ladders to the walls, he led his gency, to make one vigorous effort for the defence of his Ccostantine veterans to the charge, who soon compelled the in- Capital. It was with no small pleasure that Constantine, sz Turia. habitants to submit at discretion. From thence he upon reaching a place called the Red Rocks, (Sara Ru
directed his steps towards Turin; in the neighbour- bra,) within nine miles of the city, saw the army of his hood of 'which he found a powerful army assembled, antagonist drawn up in order of battle, along the Eastern and prepared to give him battle. Its principal strength bank of the river; which, at once, protected their rear consisted in a large body of heavy horse, equipped after and cut off their retreat. The troops on both sides, the manner of Eastern nations, and disciplined accord- actuated by the strongest passions, and seeing before ing to the mode of warfare practised in Egypt and them only the simple alternative of victory or of inSyria. The experience of Constantine suggested a evitable destruction, prepared for the combat with a method of attack which rendered their massive armour cool and unalterable determination. The Prætorians, not only useless, but positively injurious and destruc- in particular, who had provoked the indignation of tive: and, having defeated the cavalry, he obtained, at Constantine, looked for no mercy at his hands, and less expense of bloodshed, a complete triumph over the accordingly opened their breasts to the most powerful raw levies which the Lieutenants of Maxentius had emotions of revenge and despair. But these feelings drawn into the field. The fugitives sought refuge in were of little avail when opposed by the steady valour Turin; but the citizens having declared for the con- of practised soldiers. The persevering efforts of the queror, shut their gates, and beheld with satisfaction Guards procured for them nothing more than an hothe slaughter of those mercenaries, whose arms the nourable death; the praise of covering with their dead tyrant had threatened to use for the entire subjugation bodies the ground which they had occupied before the of the Western Empire. This example was imme- commencement of the fight. The other troops of diately followed by almost all the cities between the Maxentius sought safety by rushing into the deep and
Zosim. lib. i.
Zonar, lib. xiii. Panegyr. Vet. ix, X.
* Panegyr. Vet. ix. 3, 10, 11,
+ Panegyr. Vel. ix.
Biography. rapid current of the Tiber; while he himself, attempt- greatly from the severity of the more Northern climate Constaning to return into the city over the Milvian bridge, was into which they were conducted; and, accordingly, be
tinus, From forced by the crowd of runaways into the water, wherefore they reached the Thracian Bosphorus, many of the Licinius.
he was immediately drowned or crushed to death. soldiers had sunk under fatigue and cold, and had lost, 306.
From His head presented to the people on the top of a spear, owing to bad roads and rapid movements, the most
convinced them that their deliverance from a hated valuable part of their heavy baggage. Notwithstand323.
306. despot was now achieved, and prepared them to receive ing these disadvantages, Maximin, who had still under with acclamations of loyalty and gratitude, a hero who his command about seventy thousand veterans, reduced 323. equalled in the rapidity of his conquests the first and Byzantium before Licinius could collect a sufficient greatest of the Cæsars,*
force to hazard a battle. At length the Illyrian Policy of Constantine used his victory with moderation and cohorts appeared in the field, to the amount of thirty Constantine. clemency. He, indeed, put to death the two sons of thousand men. An obstinate engagement took place,
the tyrant, but when the voice of the people called for in which military skill in their leader had to con
crated to the memory of the illustrious Trajan.f daughter of Diocletian, to whose self-denial he owed War be- While the two Emperors of the West were disputing his elevation to the Imperial Throne. tween Maxi- the Sovereignty of Rome, those of the East awaited The Roman Empire was now in the hands of two War bemin and
with deep interest the issue of the conflict; aware that rulers, of whom the one was animated by an insatiable tween Cong Licinius. one or both of them would soon become the victim of ambition, the other was noted for jealousy and faith-stantine and
Licinius. the conqueror. Before Constantine engaged in the lessness. We cannot, therefore, be surprised to find war he secured the friendship of Licinius, to whom he that before twelve months had elapsed, they were both had promised his favourite sister in marriage. Maxi- disposed to make an appeal to arms. It is difficult to min, the Sovereign of Asia, had from similar motives ascertain the true cause of the war which ensued; for, attached himself to the fortunes of Maxentius; whom in reading the Annalists of that interesting period, we he aided, however, not by appearing in the field against have to deplore a total absence of facts, while we see,' the armies of Gaul, but by occupying the attention of in every page, the most unequivocal tokens of party the Illyrian Emperor on the Eastern frontier of his spirit, or of personal hatred. Zosimus accuses ConProvinces. After the conquest of Italy was completed stantine of injustice and perfidy: other writers lay the by the victory at the Tiber, Constantine invited his blame on Licinius, who is said to have thrown down ally to meet him at Milan, where the latter might cele- the statues of the Western Emperor, and to have given brate his nuptials in a manner suited to his rank as an asylum to certain traitors who had fled from his well as to the happy circumstances in which the Em- Court. It admits not of any doubt, however, that pire was now placed.
towards the end of the year 315 the two Emperors, at But the two Princes were not long permitted to en- the head of their respective armies, met near Cibalis in joy the festivity, by which they had meant to cement the Pannonia ; where a sanguinary battle was fought, union of their families and of their political interests. which, after a conflict from the rising to the setting An irruption of the Barbarians summoned Constantine of the sun, terminated in the defeat of Licinius with Defeat of to the Rhine, while Licinius received information that the loss of twenty thousand men. In his retreat he Licinius, Maximin, at the head of a large army, had invaded conferred the dignity of Cæsar on Valens, his General Bithynia, and threatened to lay waste the richest Pro- on the Illyrian frontier, and who was esteemed, not. vinces of Asia Minor. As this inroad was made in the withstanding the sarcasms of the conqueror, an officer very depth of winter, the Syrian Legions suffered of courage and experience.t
* Lactant de Mort. Pers. c. 43, 44. Panegyr. Vet. ix. 16; X. 27. Euseb, in Vit. Const. Zosim. lib. ii.
+ Panegyr. Vet. ix. 20, 21. Zosim, lib. ii. Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 44,
* Zosim, lib. ii. Lactant. de Mort, Pers. c. 45, 48, 50. Aurel. Victor.
+ Lactant. de Mort. Pers. c. 50, 51, Aurel. Victor. Anon. apud Vales. Zosim, lib. ü.
Bagraphy. This measure gave so much offence to Constantine, into the field about a hundred and twenty thousand Constanthat he refused to listen to any terms of accommodation, troops, cavalry and infantry; but the ports of Italy,
Licinius. until the new Sovereign should have been degraded. Africa, and Greece, could not supply him with more A second battle accordingly took place, in which Con- than two hundred small vessels. *
stantine again had the advantage, although not with- The hostile armies, on the third of July in the yea.
out having sustained a very severe loss both of horse 323, came in sight of each other near the banks of the 323.
306. and foot. The fears of Licinius now induced him to Hebrus, at no great distance from the city of HaVer diri sve of the consent to the sacrifice of Valens, who appears to have drianople. After various manœuvres and repeated 323. Empire. been deprived at once of the Purple and of his life. skirmishes, a general action ensued, when the troops of Battle of
A Treaty immediately followed without encountering any Licinius were beaten and completely dispersed, and Hadrianople
nius in the narrow seas, forced the passage of the HelConstantine The Empire enjoyed a Peace of nearly eight years lespont, and carried into the camp of the besiegers an splays his duration, in the East as well as in the West. This ample supply of ammunition and provisions. Appre
u zainst interval was employed by Constantine in enacting laws hensive that the place could not long resist the skill de
and establishing institutions; some of which have been and activity of the assailants, the beaten Emperor condescribed as more deserving of praise on account of trived to escape from its walls; and conveying with their humanity than of their wisdom. Crispus, the him a mass of treasure and a few faithful officers he deeldest son of the Emperor, was stationed in Gaul, termined to raise a fresh army in the Lesser Asia, and where he had occasional opportunities to display his to trust his fortune once more to the decision of arms. valour and military conduct against the Franks and On this emergency he elevated to the rank of Cæsar Alemanni, who had not yet been taught to respect the his Lieutenant Martinianus, in whose zeal and fidelity boundaries of Roman power. Similar triumphs he had been accustomed to repose the utmost concrowned the arms of Constantine himself, on the banks fidence. I of the Danube and in the wilds of Scythia. An ob- Constantine did not neglect this last effort on the part Battle of scure warfare is mentioned by Eusebius, who, on this of his rival; but, without intermitting the operations of Chrysopolis
and defeat occasion, however, relinquishes the office of an His- the siege, sent across the straits a large portion of his
of Licinius, torian for the pleasure of Rhetorical declamation and
Licinius was at the head of more personal eulogj. But we may collect from the facts to than fifty thousand men, ill disciplined, indeed, but which he alludes, that most of the Gothic Tribes were courageous and devoted to his interests; and knowing reduced to submission, that they acknowledged the that the fate of the Empire depended upon their exersupremacy of the Emperor, and even consented to tions, they expressed a determination to conquer or augment his Legions with a large body of recruits, die. The decisive conflict took place on the heights drawn from among the bravest and hardiest of their of Chrysopolis, a short distance from the city of Chalyouth.t
cedon, where victory was disputed with not less obstiRenewal of
Finding that the reputation of Licinius for wisdom nacy than on former occasions. It is doubtful whe Ciri War. and clemency, so far from increasing with his years,
ther Constantine commanded in person against his had now sunk under a load of vice and selfishness, brother-in-law, in this important action, or whether Constantine resolved to deliver the Empire from a he had intrusted the conduct of the Legions to one of his domination which had ceased to inspire any other sen
Whichever might be the leader, the soldiers of timents than those of contempt and abhorrence. Be- Europe gained a complete triumph over the tumultuary sides, he could no longer endure a partner in the Govern levies of Asia, and confirmed by the superiority of their ment, and began to consider that it would be the greatest military character the claims of their master to uniglory of his reign, to replace the whole Roman World versal empire. Twenty-five thousand men fell dead under one sceptre, and to direct its allegiance to one around the standards of Licinius : the remainder dis Sovereign. The Eastern Emperor prepared for the contest persed through the adjoining Provinces, or yielded with a degree of spirit and activity worthy of his better themselves to a temporary captivity; while their days. He assembled in the plains of Hadrianople an Imperial leader fled to Nicomedia, rather with the view army of a hundred and fifty thousand foot, and fifteen of gaining some time for negociation than with the hope thousand horse, while the Straits of the Hellespont of being able to make any effectual resistance. He were occupied with his fleet, consisting of nearly four hundred galleys of a large size. Constantine could * Eutrop. lib. x. c. 5. not muster a force either by land or by sea so nume
+ Zosim. lib. ii. Anon. apud Vales.
Aurel. Victor. Zosim. lib. ii. Aurel. Victor, Epit. Anon. apua rous and imposing as that now described.
He brought Vales.
§ Zosimus, lib. ii. says that Licinius had in the field one hundred * Eutrop. lib. x. Aurel. Victor.
and thirty-five thousand men, of whom one hundred thousand were + Panegyr. Vet. x. 33. Euseb. in Vit. Const,
slain or taken prisoners.