The Life of Constantine

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the life of constantine



Chapter I Life.

1. Early Years

Section 2. The First Five Years of Reign.

Section 3. State of Affairs in 311.

Section 4. Second Five Years.

Section 5. Third Five Years.

Section 6. Fourth Five Years.

Section 7. Fifth Five Years.

Section 8. Sixth Five Years.

Section 9. Last Years.

Chapter II Character.

§1. Introduction

Section 2. Inherited Characteristics.

Section 3. Physical Characteristics.

Section 4. Mental Characteristics.

Section 5. Moral Characteristics.

Section 6. Religious Characteristics.

Section 7. General Characterization.

Section 8. Summary.

Chapter III Writings.

Section 1. Introduction

Section 2. Oratorical Writings.

Section 3. Letters and Edicts.

Section 4. Laws.

Section 5. Various.

Chapter Iv The Mythical Constantine.

1. Constantine and his Mother Helena.

2. Constantine the Son of a British Princess.

3. Constantine's Leprosy; Healing and Baptism by Silvester.

4. Donation of Constantine.

5. Dream concerning the Founding of Constantinople.

6. Voyage of Helena.

7. The Finding of the Cross.

Chapter V Sources and Literature.

Section 1. Introduction

Section 2. Sources.

Section 3. Literature.

II.--Special Prolegomena.

Section 1. The Life of Constantine.

Section 2. Oration of Constantine.

Section 3. Oration of Eusebius.


The Life of the blessed emperor constantine, by eusebius pamphilus. Book I.

Chapter I.--Preface.--Of the Death of Constantine.

Chapter II.--The Preface Continued.

Chapter III.--How God honors Pious Princes, but destroys Tyrants.

Chapter IV.--That God honored Constantine.

Chapter V.--That he reigned above Thirty Years, and lived above Sixty.

Chapter VI.--That he was the Servant of God, and the Conqueror of Nations.

Chapter VII.--Comparison with Cyrus, King of the Persians, and with Alexander of Macedon.

Chapter VIII.--That he conquered nearly the Whole World.

Chapter IX.--That he was the Son of a Pious Emperor, and bequeathed the Power to Royal Sons.

Chapter X.--Of the Need for this History, and its Value for Edification.

Chapter XI.--That his Present Object is to record only the Pious Actions of Constantine.

Chapter XII.--That like Moses, he was reared in the Palaces of Kings.

Chapter XIII.--Of Constantius his Father, who refused to imitate Diocletian, Maximian, and Maxentius, in their Persecution of the Christians.

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.

Chapter XV.--Of the Persecution raised by his Colleagues.

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.

Chapter XVII.--Of his Christian Manner of Life.

Chapter XVIII.--That after the Abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius became Chief Augustus, and was blessed with a Numerous Offspring.

Chapter XIX.--Of his Son Constantine, who in his Youth accompanied Diocletian into Palestine.

Chapter XX.--Flight of Constantine to his Father because of the Plots of Diocletian.

Chapter XXI.--Death of Constantius, who leaves his Son Constantine Emperor.

Chapter XXII.--How, after the Burial of Constantius, Constantine was Proclaimed Augustus by the Army.

Chapter XXIII.--A Brief Notice of the Destruction of the Tyrants.

Chapter XXIV.--It was by the Will of God that Constantine became possessed of the Empire.

Chapter XXV.--Victories of Constantine over the Barbarians and the Britons.

Chapter XXVI.--How he resolved to deliver Rome from Maxentius.

Chapter XXVII.--That after reflecting on the Downfall of those who had worshiped Idols, he made Choice of Christianity.

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.

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.

Chapter XXX.--The Making of the Standard of the Cross.

Chapter XXXI.--A Description of the Standard of the Cross, which the Romans now call the Labarum.

Chapter XXXII.--How Constantine received Instruction, and read the Sacred Scriptures.

Chapter XXXIII.--Of the Adulterous Conduct of Maxentius at Rome.

Chapter XXXIV.--How the Wife of a Prefect slew herself for Chastity's Sake.

Chapter XXXV.--Massacre of the Roman People by Maxentius.

Chapter XXXVI.--Magic Arts of Maxentius against Constantine; and Famine at Rome.

Chapter XXXVII.--Defeat of Maxentius's Armies in Italy.

Chapter XXXVIII.--Death of Maxentius on the Bridge of the Tiber.

Chapter XXXIX.--Constantine's Entry into Rome.

Chapter XL.--Of the Statue of Constantine holding a Cross, and its Inscription.

Chapter XLI.--Rejoicings throughout the Provinces; and Constantine's Acts of Grace.

Chapter XLII.--The Honors Conferred upon Bishops, and the Building of Churches.

Chapter XLIII.--Constantine's Liberality to the Poor.

Chapter XLIV.--How he was present at the Synods of Bishops.

Chapter XLV.--His Forbearance with Unreasonable Men.

Chapter XLVI.--Victories over the Barbarians.

Chapter XLVII.--Death of Maximin, who had attempted a Conspiracy, and of Others whom Constantine detected by Divine Revelation.

Chapter XLVIII.--Celebration of Constantine's Decennalia.

Chapter XLIX.--How Licinius oppressed the East.

Chapter L.--How Licinius attempted a Conspiracy against Constantine.

Chapter LI.--Intrigues of Licinius against the Bishops, and his Prohibition of Synods.

Chapter LII.--Banishment of the Christians, and Confiscation of their Property.

Chapter LIII.--Edict that Women should not meet with the Men in the Churches.

Chapter LIV.--That those who refuse to sacrifice are to be dismissed from Military Service, and those in Prison not to be fed.

Chapter LV.--The Lawless Conduct and Covetousness of Licinius.

Chapter LVI.--At length he undertakes to raise a Persecution.

Chapter LVII.--That Maximian, brought Low by a Fistulous Ulcer with Worms, issued an Edict in Favor of the Christians.

Chapter LVIII.--That Maximin, who had persecuted the Christians, was compelled to fly, and conceal himself in the Disguise of a Slave.

Chapter LIX.--That Maximin, blinded by Disease, issued an Edict in Favor of the Christians.

Book II.

Chapter I.--Secret Persecution by Licinius, who causes Some Bishops to

Chapter II.--Demolition of Churches, and Butchery of the Bishops.

Chapter III.--How Constantine was stirred in Behalf of the Christians thus in Danger of Persecution.

Chapter IV.--That Constantine prepared himself for the War by Prayer: Licinius by the Practice of Divination.

Chapter V.--What Licinius, while sacrificing in a Grove, said concerning Idols, and concerning Christ.

Chapter VI.--An Apparition seen in the Cities subject to Licinius, as of Constantine's Troops passing through them.

Chapter VII.--That Victory everywhere followed the Presence of the Standard of the Cross in Battle.

Chapter VIII.--That Fifty Men were selected to carry the Cross.

Chapter IX.--That One of the Cross-Bearers, who fled from his Post, was slain: while Another, who faithfully stood his Ground, was preserved.

Chapter X.--Various Battles, and Constantine's Victories.

Chapter XI.--Flight, and Magic Arts of Licinius.

Chapter XII.--How Constantine, after praying in his Tabernacle, obtained the Victory.

Chapter XIII.--His Humane Treatment of Prisoners.

Chapter XIV.--A Farther Mention of his Prayers in the Tabernacle.

Chapter XV.--Treacherous Friendship, and Idolatrous Practices of Licinius.

Chapter XVI.--How Licinius counseled his Soldiers not to attack the Standard of the Cross.

Chapter XVII.--Constantine's Victory.

Chapter XVIII.--Death of Licinius, and Celebration of the Event.

Chapter XIX.--Rejoicings and Festivities.

Chapter XX.--Constantine's Enactments in Favor of the Confessors.

Chapter XXI.--His Laws concerning Martyrs, and concerning Ecclesiastical Property.

Chapter XXII.--How he won the Favor of the People.

Chapter XXIII.--That he declared God to be the Author of his Prosperity: and concerning his Rescripts.

Chapter XXIV.--Law of Constantine respecting Piety towards God, and the Christian Religion.

Chapter XXV.--An Illustration from Ancient Times.

Chapter XXVI.--Of Persecuted and Persecutors.

Chapter XXVII.--How the Persecution became the Occasion of Calamities to the Aggressors.

Chapter XXVIII.--That God chose Constantine to be the Minister of Blessing.

Chapter XXIX.--Constantine's Expressions of Piety towards God; and Praise of the Confessors.

Chapter XXX.--A Law granting Release from Exile, from Service in the Courts, and from the Confiscation of Property.

Chapter XXXI.--Release likewise granted to Exiles in the Islands.

Chapter XXXII.--And to those ignominiously employed in the Mines and Public Works.

Chapter XXXIII.--Concerning those Confessors engaged in Military Service.

Chapter XXXIV.--The Liberation of Free Persons condemned to labor in the Women's Apartments, or to Servitude.

Chapter XXXV.--Of the Inheritance of the Property of Martyrs and Confessors, also of those who had suffered Banishment or Confiscation of Property.

Chapter XXXVI.--The Church is declared Heir of those who leave no Kindred; and the Free Gifts of such Persons Confirmed.

Chapter XXXVII --Lands, Gardens, or Houses, but not Actual Produce from them, are to be given back.

Chapter XXXVIII.--In what Manner Requests should be made for these.

Chapter XXXIX.--The Treasury must restore Lands, Gardens, and Houses to the Churches.

Chapter XL.--The Tombs of Martyrs and the Cemeteries to be transferred to the Possession of the Churches.

Chapter XLI.--Those who have purchased Property belonging to the Church, or received it as a Gift, are to restore it.

Chapter XLII.--An Earnest Exhortation to worship God.

Chapter XLIII.--How the Enactments of Constantine were carried into Effect.

Chapter XLIV.--That he promoted Christians to Offices of Government, and forbade Gentiles in Such Stations to offer Sacrifice.

Chapter XLV.--Statutes which forbade Sacrifice, and enjoined the Building of Churches.

Chapter XLVI.--Constantine's Letter to Eusebius and Other Bishops, respecting the Building of Churches, with Instructions to repair the Old, and erect New Ones on a Larger Scale, with the Aid of the Provincial Governors.

Chapter XLVII.--That he wrote a Letter in Condemnation of Idolatry.

Chapter XLVIII.--Constantine's Edict to the People of the Provinces concerning the Error of Polytheism, commencing with Some General Remarks on Virtue and Vice.

Chapter XLIX.--Concerning Constantine's Pious Father, and the Persecutors Diocletian and Maximian.

Chapter L.--That the Persecution originated on Account of the Oracle of Apollo, who, it was said, could not give Oracles because of "the Righteous Men."

Chapter LI.--That Constantine, when a Youth, heard from him who wrote the Persecution Edict that "the Righteous Men" were the Christians.

Chapter LII.--The Manifold Forms of Torture and Punishment practiced against the Christians.

Chapter LIII.--That the Barbarians kindly received the Christians.

Chapter LIV.--What Vengeance overtook those who on Account of the Oracle raised the Persecution.

Chapter LV.--Constantine gives Glory to God, makes Grateful Acknowledgment of the Sign of the Cross, and prays for the Churches and People.

Chapter LVI.--He prays that All may be Christians, but compels None.

Chapter LVII.--He gives Glory to God, who has given Light by his Son to those who were in Error.

Chapter LVIII.--He glorifies him again for his Government of the Universe.

Chapter LIX.--He gives Glory to God, as the Constant Teacher of Good.

Chapter LX.--An Admonition at the Close of the Edict, that No One should trouble his Neighbor.

Chapter LXI.--How Controversies originated at Alexandria through Matters relating to Arius.

Chapter LXII.--Concerning the Same Arius, and the Melitians.

Chapter LXIII.--How Constantine sent a Messenger and a Letter concerning Peace.

Chapter LXIV.--Constantine's Letter to Alexander the Bishop, and Arius the Presbyter.

Chapter LXV.--His Continual Anxiety for Peace.

Chapter LXVI.--That he also adjusted the Controversies which had arisen in Africa.

Chapter LXVII.--That Religion began in the East.

Chapter LXVIII.--Being grieved by the Dissension, he counsels Peace.

Chapter LXIX.--Origin of the Controversy between Alexander and Arius, and that these Questions ought not to have been discussed.

Chapter LXX.--An Exhortation to Unanimity.

Chapter LXXI.--There should be no Contention in Matters which are in themselves of Little Moment.

Chapter LXXII.--The Excess of his Pious Concern caused him to shed Tears; and his Intended Journey to the East was postponed because of These Things.

Chapter LXXIII.--The Controversy continues without Abatement, even after the Receipt of This Letter.

Book III.

Chapter I.--A Comparison of Constantine's Piety with the Wickedness of

Chapter II.--Farther Remarks on Constantine's Piety, and his Open Testimony to the Sign of the Cross.

Chapter III.--Of his Picture surmounted by a Cross and having beneath it a Dragon.

Chapter IV.--A Farther Notice of the Controversies raised in Egypt by Arius.

Chapter V.--Of the Disagreement respecting the Celebration of Easter.

Chapter VI.--How he ordered a Council to be held at Nicæa.

Chapter VII.--Of the General Council, at which Bishops from all Nations were Present.

Chapter VIII.--That the Assembly was composed, as in the Acts of the Apostles, of Individuals from Various Nations.

Chapter IX.--Of the Virtue and Age of the Two Hundred and Fifty Bishops.

Chapter X.--Council in the Palace. Constantine, entering, took his Seat in the Assembly.

Chapter XI.--Silence of the Council, after Some Words by the Bishop Eusebius.

Chapter XII.--Constantine's Address to the Council concerning Peace.

Chapter XIII.--How he led the Dissentient Bishops to Harmony of Sentiment.

Chapter XIV.--Unanimous Declaration of the Council concerning Faith, and the Celebration of Easter.

Chapter XV.--How Constantine entertained the Bishops on the Occasion of His Vicennalia.

Chapter XVI.--Presents to the Bishops, and Letters to the People generally.

Chapter XVII.--Constantine's Letter to the Churches respecting the Council at Nicæa.

Chapter XVIII.--He speaks of their Unanimity respecting the Feast of Easter, and against the Practice of the Jews.

Chapter XIX.--Exhortation to follow the Example of the Greater Part of the World.

Chapter XX.--Exhortation to obey the Decrees of the Council.

Chapter XXI.--Recommendation to the Bishops, on their Departure, to Preserve Harmony.

Chapter XXII.--How he dismissed Some, and wrote Letters to Others; also his Presents.

Chapter XXIII.--How he wrote to the Egyptians, exhorting them to Peace.

Chapter XXIV.--How he wrote Frequent Letters of a Religious Character to the Bishops and People.

Chapter XXV.--How he ordered the Erection of a Church at Jerusalem, in the Holy Place of our Saviour's Resurrection.

Chapter XXVI.--That the Holy Sepulchre had been covered with Rubbish and with Idols by the Ungodly.

Chapter XXVII.--How Constantine commanded the Materials of the Idol Temple, and the Soil itself, to be removed at a Distance.

Chapter XXVIII.--Discovery of the Most Holy Sepulchre.

Chapter XXIX.--How he wrote concerning the Erection of a Church, both to the Governors of the Provinces, and to the Bishop Macarius.

Chapter XXX.--Constantine's Letter to Macarius respecting the Building of the Church of our Saviour.

Chapter XXXI.--That the Building should surpass all the Churches in the World in the Beauty of its Walls, its Columns, and Marbles.

Chapter XXXII.--That he instructed the Governors concerning the Beautifying of the Roof; also concerning Workmen, and Materials.

Chapter XXXIII.--How the Church of our Saviour, the New Jerusalem prophesied of in Scripture, was built.

Chapter XXXIV.--Description of the Structure of the Holy Sepulchre.

Chapter XXXV.--Description of the Atrium and Porticos.


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