Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter IX
Chapter IX.—That One of the Cross-Bearers, who fled from his Post, was slain: while Another, who faithfully stood his Ground, was preserved.
For he said that once, during the very heat of an engagement, a sudden tumult and panic attacked his army, which threw the soldier who then bore the standard into an agony of fear, so that he handed it over to another, in order to secure his own escape from the battle. As soon, however, as his comrade had received it, and he had withdrawn, and resigned all charge of the standard, he was struck in the belly by a dart, which took his life. Thus he paid the penalty of his cowardice and unfaithfulness, and lay dead on the spot: but the other, who had taken his place as the bearer of the salutary standard, found it to be the safeguard of his life. For though he was assailed by a continual shower of darts, the bearer remained unhurt, the staff of the standard receiving every weapon. It was indeed a truly marvelous circumstance, that the enemies darts all fell within and remained in the slender circumference of this spear, and thus saved the standard-bearer from death; so that none of those engaged in this service ever received a wound.
This story is none of mine, but for this, 3169 too, I am indebted to the emperors own authority, who related it in my hearing along with other matters. And now, having thus through the power of God secured these first victories, he put his forces in motion and continued his onward march.
[Π€λιν, “again,” alluding to the former miracle, the vision of the cross, which Eusebius does not venture to attest himself, but relates on the word and oath of Constantine. Vide Bk. 1, cc. 28 and 30.—Bag.]
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