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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen.: Death of the Tyrants Magnentius and Silvanus the Apostate. Sedition of the Jews in Palestine. Gallus Cæsar is slain, on Suspicion of Revolution.

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Chapter VII.—Death of the Tyrants Magnentius and Silvanus the Apostate. Sedition of the Jews in Palestine. Gallus Cæsar is slain, on Suspicion of Revolution.

In the meantime, 1295 Magnentius made himself p. 304 master of ancient Rome, and put numbers of the senators, and of the people, to death. Hearing that the troops of Constantius were approaching, he retired into Gaul; and here the two parties had frequent encounters, in which sometimes the one and sometimes the other was victorious. At length, however, Magnentius was defeated, and fled to Mursa, which is the fortress of this Gaul, and when he saw that his soldiers were dispirited because they had been defeated, he stood on an elevated spot and endeavored to revive their courage. But, although they addressed Magnentius with the acclamations usually paid to emperors, and were ready to shout at his public appearance, they secretly and without premeditation shouted for Constantius as emperor in place of Magnentius. Magnentius, concluding from this circumstance, that he was not destined by God to hold the reins of empire, endeavored to retreat from the fortress to some distant place. But he was pursued by the troops of Constantius, and being overtaken at a spot called Mount Seleucus, he escaped alone from the encounter, and fled to Lugduna. On his arrival there, he slew his own mother and his brother, whom he had named Cæsar; and lastly, he killed himself. 1296 Not long after, Decentius, another of his brothers, put an end to his own existence. Still the public tumults were not quelled; for not long after, Silvanus assumed the supreme authority in Gaul; but he was put to death immediately by the generals of Constantius.

The Jews of Diocæsarea also overran Palestine and the neighboring territories; they took up arms with the design of shaking off the Roman yoke. 1297 On hearing of their insurrection, Gallus Cæsar, who was then at Antioch, sent troops against them, defeated them, and destroyed Diocæsarea. Gallus, intoxicated with success, could not bear his prosperity, but aspired to the supreme power, and he slew Magnus, the quæstor, and Domitian, the prefect of the East, because they apprised the emperor of his innovations. The anger of Constantius was excited; and he summoned him to his presence. Gallus did not dare to refuse obedience, and set out on his journey. When, however, he reached the island Elavona he was killed by the emperor’s order; this event occurred in the third year of his consulate, and the seventh of Constantius. 1298



Soc. ii. 32–34; cf. Philost. iii. 26–28; iv. 1; Orosius, vii. 29; language and order like Soz.; Sulp. Sev. H. S. ii. 38; Am. Marcel. xiv. 1, 7–9, 11; Zos. ii. 45–55; Eutrop. Brev. hist. Rom. x. 12, 13.


a.d. 353.


Soc. ii. 33, 34.


a.d. 353.

Next: Arrival of Constantius at Rome. A Council held in Italy. Account of what happened to Athanasius the Great through the Machinations of the Arians.

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