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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. II: The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus.: The Emperor Constantine having enlarged the Ancient Byzantium, calls it Constantinople.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVI.—The Emperor Constantine having enlarged the Ancient Byzantium, calls it Constantinople.

After the Synod the emperor spent some time in recreation, and after the public celebration of his twentieth anniversary of his accession, 205 he immediately devoted himself to the reparation of the churches. This he carried into effect in other cities as well as in the city named after him, which being previously called Byzantium, he enlarged, surrounded with massive walls, 206 and adorned with various edifices; p. 21 and having rendered it equal to imperial Rome, he named it Constantinople, establishing by law that it should be designated New Rome. This law was engraven on a pillar of stone erected in public view in the Strategium, 207 near the emperor’s equestrian statue. 208 He built also in the same city two churches, one of which he named Irene, and the other The Apostles. 209 Nor did he only improve the affairs of the Christians, as I have said, but he also destroyed the superstition of the heathens; for he brought forth their images into public view to ornament the city of Constantinople, and set up the Delphic tripods publicly in the Hippodrome. It may indeed seem now superfluous to mention these things, since they are seen before they are heard of. But at that time the Christian cause received its greatest augmentation; for Divine Providence preserved very many other things during the times of the emperor Constantine. 210 Eusebius Pamphilus has in magnificent terms recorded the praises of the emperor; 211 and I considered it would not be ill-timed to advert thus to them as concisely as possible.



The Vicennalia.


These walls were superseded by the great walls built under Theodosius the Younger; see VII. 31.


‘Mansion house,’ the building in which the two chief magistrates had their headquarters.


The city was formally dedicated as the capital of the empire in 330 a.d.


Cf. II. 16, and I. 40.


The text seems somewhat doubtful here. Valesius conjectures τε ἄλλα πλεῖστα καὶ τοῦτο μάλιστα, idiomatically, ‘this among many other things’; but the mss. read more obscurely, καὶ ἄλλα πλεῖστα.


Euseb. Life of Const. III. 33; cf. also 52–55.

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