Early Church Fathers
41 On Maxentius, see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 14, note 1.
42 i.e. Maximinus. For an account of his defeat by Licinius and his death, see below, chap. 10.
43 oupw manentoj tote. This refers to Licinius' hostility to the Christians, which made its appearance some years later, and resulted in a persecution (see below, Bk. X. chap. 8). The clause, if a part of the original, obliges us to suppose that the ninth book was composed after Licinius had begun to persecute, but there are strong reasons for thinking that the first nine books were completed before 314 (see above, p. 45); indeed, we cannot explain Eusebius' eulogistic words in speaking of Licinius here and elsewhere in this book on any other ground. It seems necessary, therefore, to regard this clause and the similar clause in §12, below, as later insertions, made possibly at the time of the addition of the tenth book (see p. 45).
44 See above, note 2.
45 Constantine's battle with Maxentius, described in this chapter, took place on the sixth anniversary of the latter's accession, Oct. 27, 312 (see Lactantius, De Mort. pers. 44 and 46). For particulars respecting Constantine himself and his campaign against Maxentius, see Dr. Richardson's prolegomena to his translation of the Life of Constantine, p. 416. sq. of this volume.
46 Ex. xv. 4, Ex. xv. 5. The phrase translated "charioteers" is anabataj tristataj, which is employed in the LXX to translate the Hebrew wy#$l#$i
. The word #$l#$y
, which means literally a "third," and hence a "third man" (Greek tristathj, is used, according to Gesenius, to denote a chariot warrior, who was so called because "three always stood upon one chariot, one of whom fought, while the second protected him with the shield, and the third drove."
47 Ex. xv. 5.
48 Psa. vii. 15, Psa. vii. 16.
49 Ex. xv. 10.
50 Ibid. verse 1. Eusebius, in this and the next passage, follows the LXX, which differs considerably from the Hebrew.
51 The LXX, followed by Eusebius, reads dedocasmenoj en agioij to translate the Hebrew #$dmbd d@d@-b@i
. It seems probable both from the Hebrew original and from the use of the plural docaij in the next clause, that the LXX translator used the plural agioij, not to denote "saints," as Closs renders (" durch die Heiligen"), which would in strictness require the article, but "holiness." I have therefore ventured to render the word thus in the text, although quite conscious that the translation does not accurately reproduce the Greek phrase as it stands.
52 Ex. xv. 11.
53 Upon Constantine's conversion, see Dr. Richardson's prolegomena, p. 431, below. On the famous tale of the flaming cross with its inscription toutw nika, related in the Life of Constantine, I. 28, see his note on that passage, p. 490, below.
54 See above, note 5.
55 This is the famous edict of Milan, which was issued late in the year 312, and which is given in the Latin original in Lactantius' De Mort. pers. 48, and in a Greek translation in Eusebius' History, Bk. X. chap. 5, below. For a discussion of its date and significance, see the notes upon that chapter.
56 This epistle or rescript (Eusebius calls it here a gramma, just below an epistolh of Maximin's was written before the end of the year 312, as can be seen from the fact that in §17, below, his visit to Nicomedia is spoken of as having taken place in the previous year. But that visit, as we learn from the De Mort. pers. chap. 36, occurred in 311 (cf. chap. 2, note 1, above). It must therefore have been issued immediately upon the receipt of the edict of Constantine and Licinius. As Mason remarks, his reasons for writing this epistle can hardly have been fear of Constantine and Licinius, as Eusebius states, for he was bent upon war against them, and attacked Licinius at the earliest possible moment. He cannot have cared, therefore, to take any special pains to conciliate them. He was probably moved by a desire to conciliate, just at this crisis, the numerous and influential body of his subjects whom he had persecuted, in order that he might not have to contend with disaffection and disloyalty within his own dominions during his impending conflict with Licinius. The document itself is a most peculiar one, full of false statements and contradictions. Mason well says: "In this curious letter Maximin contradicts himself often enough to make his Christian subjects dizzy. First he justifies bloody persecution, then plumes himself upon having stopped it, next apologizes for having set it again on foot, then denies that it was going on, and lastly orders it to cease. We cannot wonder at what Eusebius relates, that the people whose wrongs the letter applauded and forbade, neither built church nor held meeting in public on the strength of it; they did not know where to have it."
57 On Sabinus, see above, chap. 1, note 3.
58 Nothing could be farther from the truth than this and the following statement.
59 That is, after the death of Galerius in the year 311. "Maximinus, on receiving this news (i.e. of the death of Galerius), hasted with relays of horses from the East that he might seize the provinces, and, while Licinius delayed, might arrogate to himself the Chalcedonian straits. On his entry into Bithynia, with the view of acquiring immediate popularity, he abolished the tax to the great joy of all. Dissension arose between the two emperors, and almost war. They stood on the opposite shores with their armies. But peace and friendship were established under certain conditions; a treaty was concluded on the narrow sea, and they joined hands" (Lactantius, De morg. pers. 36). See above, chap. 2, note 1.
60 On these embassies, see ibid. note 1.
61 There is no sign of such consideration in Maximin's rescript, quoted in chap. 7, above. The sentences which follow are quite contradictory. Certainly no one could gain from them any idea as to what the emperor had done in the matter.
62 seismouj, literally, "shakings," or "shocks." The word is doubtless used to translate the Latin concussio, which in legal language meant the extortion of money by threats or other similar means. The words concussio, concussor, concurtit, are used very frequently by Tertullian in this sense; e.g. in his De fuga in persecutione, chap. 12, ad Scap. chaps. 4 and 5, Apol. chap. 7. See especially Oehler's note on the word in his edition of Tertullian's works, I. p. 484.
63 benefikialiwn, a simple reproduction of the Latin beneficiarii. These beneficiarii were "free or privileged soldiers, who through the favor of their commander were exempt from menial offices" (Andrews' Lexicon). We are nowhere told, so far as I am aware, that these beneficiarii were especially active in thus practicing extortions upon the Christians; but we can gather from Tertullian's words in the various passages referred to that the Christians had to suffer particularly from the soldiers in this respect, and doubtless from the beneficiarii most of all; for they possessed more leisure than the common soldiers, and at the same time greater opportunity, because of their more intimate relations with the authorities, of bringing the Christians into difficulty by entering accusations against them.
64 toij grammasi. On the use of the plural in speaking of a single epistle, see above, Bk. IV. chap. 8, note 12.
65 See note 24.
66 See above, note 17, and below, Bk. X. chap. 5.
67 On the transposition of the titles of chaps. 9 and 10, see the previous chapter, note 1.
68 That Maximin should arrogate to himself, as Eusebius says, the highest rank is not very surprising, when we realize that that position, in so far as any difference in rank between the different rulers was acknowledged, belonged to him by right, inasmuch as he was Constantine's senior (having been first Caesar when the latter was only second), while Constantine (see above, chap. 9, note 2) was regarded as the senior of Licinius.
69 The treaty made in 311,just after the death of Galerius (see De mort. pers. 36).
70 This battle between Licinius and Maximin was fought on April 30, 313, at Adrianople, in Thrace. For a more detailed but somewhat imaginative account of the battle, see De mort. pers. chap. 45 sq. Lactantius is considerate enough to accord Licinius the honor of a divine vision, that he may not be behind his imperial colleague Constantine; and he is pious enough to ascribe the victory wholly to the divine aid vouchsafed in response to the prayers of Licinius and his soldiers.
71 The word Licinius is omitted by Laemmer and Heinichen, but without sufficient warrant, for it is found in nearly all the mss.
72 Lactantius (ibid. chap. 47) informs us that Maximin's flight was so rapid that he reached Nicomedia, which was 160 miles from Adrianople, on the evening of the day following the battle. As Gibbon remarks, "The incredible speed which Maximin exerted in his flight is much more celebrated than his prowess in battle."
73 Ps. xxxiii. 16-19.
74 The final toleration edict of Maximin must have been issued very soon after his defeat, and its occasion is plain enough. If he were to oppose Licinius successfully, he must secure the loyalty of all his subjects, and this could be done only by granting the Christians full toleration. He could see plainly enough that Licinius' religious policy was a success in securing the allegiance of his subjects, and he found himself compelled in self-defense to pursue a similar course, distasteful as it was to him. There is no sign that he had any other motive in taking this step. Religious considerations seem to have had nothing to do with it; he was doubtless as much of a pagan as ever. The edict itself is composed in an admirable vein. As Mason remarks, "Maximin made the concession with so much dignity and grace, that it is impossible to help wishing that his language were truer." As in the previous decree, he indulges his passion for lying without restraint; but, unlike that one, the present edict is straightforward and consistent throughout, and grants the Christians full liberty in the most unequivocal terms.
75 Maximin's death took place at Tarsus (according to De mort. pers. chap. 49), and apparently within a few weeks after his defeat at Adrianople and the publication of his edict of toleration. The reports of his death are somewhat conflicting. Zosimus and the epitomist of Victor say merely that he died a natural death: Lactantius tells us that he took poison; while Eusebius in ae14 sq. gives us a horrible account of his last sickness which, according to him, was marked, to say the least, with some rather remarkable symptoms. Mason facetiously remarks that Eusebius seems to be thinking of a spontaneous combustion. It was quite the fashion in the early Church to tell dreadful tales in connection with the deaths of the persecutors, but in the present case exaggeration is hardly necessary, for it would seem from Lactantius' account, that he died not of poison, as he states, but of delirium tremens. As Mason remarks, "It is probable that Maximin died of nothing worse than a natural death. But the death which was natural to him was the most dreadful perhaps that men can die. Maximin was known as an habitual drunkard; and in his dying delirium he is said to have cried out that he saw God, with assessors, all in white robes, judging him."
76 See chap. 9, note 24.
77 i.e. the epistle addressed to Sabinus, and quoted in the previous chapter, which was written toward the end of 312 (see that chapter, note 18).
78 See above, chap. 7.
79 Maximian died in 310 (see above, Bk. VIII. chap. 13, note 23), Galerius in 311 (see ibid. chap. 16, note 5), Maxentius in 312 (see above, chap. 9, note 7), and Diocletian early in 313 (see Bk. VIII. App. note 3).
80 Of this Peucetius (Rufinus Peucedius) we know only what is told us here. Valesius says: "The name is to be rendered Picentius, a name which was borne by a certain calumniator in the time of Constantine, as is stated by Zosimus at the end of his second book. The Latins, indeed, call them Picentes whom the Greeks call Puketiouj."
81 twn kaqolou logwn eparxoj, apparently equivalent to the phrase epi twn kaqolou logwn, used in Bk. VII. chap. 10, §5. On its significance, see the note on that passage, and cf. Valesius' note ad locum.
82 This same Culcianus appears in the Acts of St. Phileas of Thmuis (Ruinart, p. 434 sq.; see the extract printed in Mason, p. 290 sq.) as the magistrate or governor under whom Phileas suffered in Thebais. He is doubtless to be identified, as Valesius remarks, with Culeianus (Koulhianoj) mentioned by Epiphanius (Haer. LXVIII. 1) as governor of Thebais at the time of the rise of the Meletian schism, while Hierocles was governor of Alexandria.
83 Culcianus seems to have been governor of Thebais (where Phileas suffered, according to Bk. VIII. chap. 9), not of Egypt. Possibly Eusebius employs the word Egypt in its general sense, as including Thebais.
84 On Theotecnus, see above, chap. 2, note 4.
85 See chap. 3.
86 Lactantius (De mort. pers. chap. 50) tells us that Maximin left a wife and two children, a boy eight years old, named Maximus, and a daughter seven years old who was betrothed to Candidianus.
87 Ps. cxlvi. 3, Ps. cxlvi. 4.
88 See below, Bk. X. chap. 5.