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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol I:
The Life of Constantine with Orations of Constantine and Eusebius.: Chapter LXXV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter LXXV.—He surpassed all Preceding Emperors in Devotion to God.

Standing, as he did, alone and pre-eminent among the Roman emperors as a worshiper of God; alone as the bold proclaimer to all men of the doctrine of Christ; having alone rendered honor, as none before him had ever done, to his Church; having alone abolished utterly the error of polytheism, and discountenanced idolatry in every form: so, alone among them both during life and after death, was he accounted worthy of such honors as none can say have been attained to by any other; so that no one, whether Greek or Barbarian, nay, of the ancient Romans themselves, has ever been presented to us as worthy of comparison with him. 3365



The sharp sarcasms of Julian’s Cæsars seem almost to have taken their text from this challenge. He marshals the great emperors before the gods, where each presents his claim to greatness. Constantine is greatly ridiculed, and yet to choose between Julian and Eusebius, if regard is had to Constantine’s real effect on world history, Eusebius is the truer judge, and is at least not so far wrong that his superlative enthusiasm for his imperial friend cannot be readily pardoned.

Next: The Oration of Constantine.

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