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 XLIV
p. 511 Chapter XLIV.—That he promoted Christians to Offices of Government, and forbade Gentiles in Such Stations to offer Sacrifice.
After this the emperor continued to address himself to matters of high importance, and first he sent governors to the several provinces, mostly such as were devoted to the saving faith; and if any appeared inclined to adhere to Gentile worship, he forbade them to offer sacrifice. This law applied also to those who surpassed the provincial governors in rank and dignity, 3190 and even to those who occupied the highest station, and held the authority of the Prætorian Præfecture. 3191 If they were Christians, they were free to act consistently with their profession; if otherwise, the law required them to abstain from idolatrous sacrifices.
[That is, the proconsuls, the vicars (or vice-præfects), and counts, or provincial generals.—Bag.]511:3191
[The power of the four Prætorian Præfects in the time of Constantine is thus described by Gibbon: “1. The Præfect of the East stretched his ample jurisdiction into the three parts of the globe which were subject to the Romans, from the cataracts of the Nile to the banks of the Phasis, and from the mountains of Thrace to the frontiers of Persia. 2. The important provinces of Pannonia, Dacia, Macedonia, and Greece once acknowledged the authority of the Præfect of Illyricum. 3. The power of the Præfect of Italy was not confined to the country from whence he derived his title; it extended over the additional territory of Rhætia as far as the banks of the Danube, over the dependent islands of the Mediterranean, and over that part of the continent of Africa which lies between the confines of Cyrene and those of Tingitania. 4. The Præfect of the Gauls comprehended under that plural denomination the kindred provinces of Britain and Spain, and his authority was obeyed from the wall of Antoninus to the fort of Mount Atlas.”—Decline and Fall, chap. 17.— Bag.]
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