Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Lactantius: Chap. XLV
Constantine having settled all things at Rome, went to Milan about the beginning of winter. Thither also Licinius came to receive his wife Constantia. When Daia understood that they were busied in solemnizing the nuptials, he moved out of Syria in the depth of a severe winter, and by forced marches he came into Bithynia with an army much impaired; for he lost all his beasts of burden, of whatever kind, in consequence of excessive rains and snow, miry ways, cold and fatigue. Their carcases, scattered about the p. 319 roads, seemed an emblem of the calamities of the impending war, and the presage of a like destruction that awaited the soldiers. Daia did not halt in his own territories; but immediately crossed the Thracian Bosphorus, and in a hostile manner approached the gates of Byzantium. There was a garrison in the city, established by Licinius to check any invasion that Daia might make. At first Daia attempted to entice the soldiers by the promise of donatives, and then to intimidate them by assault and storm. Yet neither promises nor force availed aught. After eleven days had elapsed, within which time Licinius might have learned the state of the garrison, the soldiers surrendered, not through treachery, but because they were too weak to make a longer resistance. Then Daia moved on to Heraclea (otherwise called Perinthus), and by delays of the like nature before that place lost some days. And now Licinius by expeditious marches had reached Adrianople, but with forces not numerous. Then Daia, having taken Perinthus by capitulation, and remained there for a short space, moved forwards eighteen miles to the first station. Here his progress was stopped; for Licinius had already occupied the second station, at the distance also of eighteen miles. Licinius, having assembled what forces he could from the neighbouring quarters, advanced towards Daia rather indeed to retard his operations than with any purpose of fighting, or hope of victory: for Daia had an army of seventy thousand men, while he himself had scarce thirty thousand; for his soldiers being dispersed in various regions, there was not time, on that sudden emergency, to collect all of them together.
Next: Chap. XLVI
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