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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:
Lactantius: Chap. XXV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chap. XXV.

Some few days after, the portrait of Constantine, adorned with laurels, was brought to the pernicious wild beast, that, by receiving that symbol, he might acknowledge Constantine in the quality of emperor. He hesitated long whether to receive it or not, and he was about to commit both the portrait and its bearer to the flames, but his confidants dissuaded him from a resolution so frantic. They admonished him of the danger, and they represented that, if Constantine came with an armed force, all the soldiers, against whose inclination obscure or unknown Cæsars had been created, would acknowledge him, and crowd eagerly to his standard. So Galerius, although with the utmost unwillingness, accepted the portrait, and sent the imperial purple to Constantine, that he might seem of his own accord to have received that prince into partnership of power with him. And now his plans were deranged, and he could not, as he intended formerly, admit Licinius, without exceeding the limited number of emperors. But this he devised, that Severus, who was more advanced in life, should be named emperor, and that Constantine, instead of the title of emperor, to which he had been named, should receive that of Cæsar in common with Maximin Daia, and so be degraded from the second place to the fourth.  


Next: Chap. XXVI

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