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style and title, as it seems, of emperor and Augustus. Immediately upon the death of his father, Constantine was so proclaimed by the soldiers in Britain: but Galerius Maximian would allow him no higher title than that of Cæsar: which Constantine accepted of for the present. So, as Eusebius says in his Chronicle, Constantine began to reign in the fourth year of the persecution.

On the 27th day of October in 306, Maxentius, son of Maximian Herculius, who had married the daughter of Galerius, assumed the title of emperor and Augustus at Rome and being sensible that this would displease Galerius, he sends for his father Maximian Herculius, who thereupon resumed the purple. And in this year, or the following, 307, Severus, who, as Cæsar, had for his share Italy and Africa, was overcome and put to death.

Maximian and his son Maxentius did not long agree together; Maximian therefore, the better to strengthen his interest, and carry on his own views, goes to Constantine in Gaul: and some time in this year, 307, gives to him in marriage his daughter Fausta: Minervina his former wife, by whom he had his eldest son Crispus, being dead, as is supposed: and now, as it seems, Constantine receives the title of Augustus from Maximian.

About this time Galerius makes Licinius, his old acquaintance, a man of mean extraction, Augustus: and now there were in effect six emperors; Maximian, who, as before said, had resumed the purple, Galerius, Constantine, Maximin, Maxentius, and Licinius.

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Maximian Herculius, after a base and unsteady conduct, was condemned and put to death by Constantine's order in 310. Galerius died in 311, of a long and grievous distemper, supposed to have been inflicted upon him as a judgment. from heaven for his inhuman treatment of the christians. Maxentius was overcome by Constantine, and drowned in the river Tiber on the 27th day of October in 312. Maximin died in 313: the manner of his death is particularly described in the f book of the Deaths of Persecutors, and in Eusebius. I just add here, though it was mentioned before, that Dioclesian also died in the year 313.

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But before the death of Maximin in the same year 313, Constantine married his sister Constantia to Licinius: and, as from that time their interests were united, so, upon the death of Maximin the whole empire was in their power, and was divided between them.

e Quarto persecutionis anno Constantinus regnare cœpit. Chr. p. 180.
f De M. P. cap. 49.
H. E. 1. ix. cap. 10. p. 363. C. D. 364. A

But their friendship did not long subsist without interruption: for in the year 314 the animosity between them broke out into an open war, and two battles were fought : after the last of which, peace was concluded, and a new partition was made of the empire.

A second war between them began in 323, and was concluded in 324, with the entire defeat of Licinius, who was then reduced to a private condition: and though his life was then given him, at the intercession of Constantia, he was put to death in the year 324 or 325.

That was the end of those civil wars in the empire; and Constantine now became sole emperor of the East and the West and having reigned above thirty years from the death of his father Constantius, he died on the day of Pentecost, May 22, 337.


III. I shall now observe some general accounts of this persecution, which are to be found in divers ancient authors. Says Orosius: The tenth persecution was ordered by Dioclesian and Maximian Herculius, the one ruling in the • East and the other in the West: which persecution was


longer and more grievous than any of the former: it was carried on for ten years without ceasing, with burning 'down the churches, proscriptions of innocent men, and slaughters of martyrs.' But he presently after says, that i in the second year of the persecution Dioclesian and Herculius resigned the empire, leaving the government to Galerius and Constantius.


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Sulpicius Severus says, that in the reigns of Dioclesian

n Interea Diocletianus in Oriente, Maximianus Herculius in Occidente vastari ecclesias, adfligi interficique christianos, decimo post Neronem loco, præceperunt. Quæ persecutio omnibus fere ante actis diuturnior et immanior fuit. Nam per decem annos incendiis ecclesiarum, proscriptionibus innocentum, cædibus martyrum, incessabiliter acta est. Oros. lib. vii. cap. 25.

Per annos decem eversæ sunt ecclesiæ vestræ, ut etiam tu fateris: dilacerati cruciatibus, exinaniti mortibus toto orbe christiani. Tenemus evidens testimonium tuum, nullam superiorem persecutionem adeo vel gravem vel diuturnam fuisse. Id. lib. vii. cap. 26.

i Secundo persecutionis anno Diocletianus ab invito exegit Maximiano, ut simul purpuram imperiumque deponerent- -&c. Id. ibid.

k Post eum [Valerianum] interjectis annis fere quinquaginta, Diocletiano et Maximiano imperantibus, acerbissima persecutio exorta, quæ per decem continuos annos plebem Dei depopulata est: quâ tempestate omnis fere sacro martyrum cruore orbis infectus est: quippe certatim gloriosa in certamina ruebatur, multoque avidius tum martyria gloriosis mortibus quærebantur, quam nunc episcopatus pravis ambitionibus adpetuntur. Nullis unquam magis bellis mundus exhaustus est; neque majore unquam triumpho vicimus, quam cum decem annorum stragibus vinci non potuimus. Sed finis persecutionis illius fuit abhinc annos ix. et lxxx. A quo tempore christiani imperatores esse cœperunt. Namque tum Constantinus rerum potiebatur, qui primus om

and Maximian began that severe persecution which for ten 'whole years afflicted the people of God. At which time almost the whole world was stained with the precious blood of martyrs; for then glorious martyrdoms were as earnestly 'contended for, as bishoprics are now sought by ambitious


men. Never was the world more wasted by any war; nor ' ever had we a more glorious victory than when we could 'not be overcome by the slaughters of ten years. After the ' end of that persecution there began to be christian empe


rors, which have continued to this time.'

Theodoret1 says, this persecution lasted nine years the author of The Deaths of Persecutors says,m ten years and about four months, making his computation from the first beginning of it at Nicomedia, to the edicts of Constantine and Licinius, which restored full peace to the churches.

IV. These are only general accounts of this persecution: the particulars of it, the time, the events and circumstances of it, and the several edicts then published against the christians, or in their favour, may be seen in Eusebius, and in the Author of The Deaths of Persecutors, who by many has been supposed to be Firmianus Lactantius, but I rather think to be Lucius Cæcilius, as was formerly shown at large, and has often been hinted again in several places.



There had been before a persecution in the army, which began, as some think," in the year 298, others P in the year 301. It is taken notice of by Eusebius in his Chronicle, and by the Author of The Deaths of Persecutors. In his Ecclesiastical History Eusebius says, that many military men embraced a private life, rather than renounce the worship of the great Creator of all: and that some of them not only resigned their honours, but also suffered death for their resolution in professing the truth.

In the year 303 the persecution became general; for" on nium Romanorum principum christianus fuit, &c. Sul. Sever. Hist. lib. ii. cap. 47. al. cap. 32, et 33. 1 Theod. H. E. 1. viii. cap. 39. p. 248. B. in Sic ab eversâ ecclesiâ usque ad restitutam fuerunt anui decem, menses plus minus quatuor. De M. P. cap. 48. ad fin.


n See Vol. iv. p. 495—499.

Pagi 298. num. ii. et ann. 302. iii. Itaque ab anno 298, particularis militum vexatio incipere potuit. Ab anno 301, generalis exorsa est. Basnag. ann. 301. num. ii.

¶ Veturius, magister militiæ, christianos milites persequitur, paullatim ex illo jam tempore persecutione adversum nos incipiente. Chr. p. 179. Et conf. Vales. Ann. in H. E. 1. viii. cap. iv. Vid. et Basnag. ann. 301. n. ii. iii. iv. --datisque ad Præpositos literis, etiam milites cogi ad nefanda sacrificia præcepit, ut qui non paruissent, militiâ solverentur. De M. P. cap. 10.

s L. viii. cap. iv.

↑ Vide Pagi 302. num. iii. v. Basnag. 303. num. v.

* Terminalia deliguntur, quæ sunt ad septimum Kalendas Martias; ut


the 23rd day of February in that year, the church of the christians at Nicomedia in Bithynia was demolished, Dioclesian and Galerius being then both in that city: on the next day, Feb. 24th, the edict against the christians was published. According to the author of The Deaths of Persecutors, and Eusebius likewise, Galerius was the chief author of this persecution. When the edict had been published at Nicomedia, it was sent to Herculius and Constantius, to be put in execution by them in those parts of the empire which were particularly under their care. Maximian Herculiusz in Italy readily complied; but Constantius, though he did not dare openly to oppose his colleagues, moderated the persecution within the extent of his government.


When the prætorian and other soldiers, who were appointed to demolish the church at Nicomedia, had broken open the doors, they searched for the image of the God of the christians, but found none: however, they found their scriptures, which they burnt.

When the edict was set up the next day, a christian of uncommon zeal took it down, and tore it to pieces, not rightly, as Cæcilius acknowledgeth; for which he was put to death, after having suffered great torments; all which he endured with great fortitude. This particular is mentioned both by c Cæcilius and Eusebius.




By that edict, as Cæcilius says, whom I consider as quasi terminus imponeretur huic religioni-Qui dies cum illuxisset-ad ecclesiam profectus cum ducibus, et tribunis, et rationalibus venit-Veniebant igitur prætoriani, acie structâ, cum securibus-et immissi undique, tamen illud editissimum paucis horis solo adæquatur. De M. P. cap. 12.

▾ De M. P. cap. 13. in.

w De M. P. cap. 10, 11, 12. * Euseb. H. E. 1. viii. c. 16. p. 314. D.

y Et jam literæ ad Maximianum et Constantium commeaverant, ut eadem facerent. Eorum sententia in tantis rebus non expectata erat. De M. P. cap. 15. 2 Et quidem senex Maximianus libens per Italiam paruit, homo non adeo clemens. Id. ib.

a Nam Constantius, ne dissentire a majorum præceptis videretur, conventicula, id est, parietes, qui restitui poterant, dirui passus est; verum autem Dei templum, quod est in hominibus, incolume servavit. De M. P. cap. 15.

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Vexabatur ergo universa terra, et præter Gallias, ab oriente usque ad occasum tres acerbissimæ bestiæ sæviebant. Id. cap. 16. Vid. et Euseb. H. E. 1. vii. cap. 13. p. 309. D. et p. 317. D. Vit. Const. 1. i. cap. 13. p. 413. D. et cap. 16, et 17.

bet revulsis foribus, simulacrum Dei quæritur. Scripturæ repertæ incenduntur; datur omnibus præda. Rapitur, trepidatur, discurritur. De M. P. cap. 12. c Quod edictum quidam, etsi non recte, magno tamen animo, diripuit et conscidit.—Statimque productus, non modo extortus, sed etiam legitime coctus, cum admirabili patientiâ postremo exustus. De M. P. cap. 13. d H. E. 1. viii. cap. 5.

e Postridie propositum est edictum, quo cavebatur, ut religionis illius homines carerent omni honore et dignitate, tormentis subjecti essent ex

author of the book Of the Deaths of Persecutors, it was ' ordained, that all men of the christian religion should be


deprived of all honours and dignities; that of whatever ' rank or degree they were they should be liable to torture ; that any action might be received against them; and that they, on the other hand, should have no right to bring an 'action against any, for any violence done to them, or for any goods taken from them; and finally, that they should lose all privileges, and the right of voting.'


Eusebius says, that in the nineteenth year of the reign ' of Dioclesian, in the month of March, were set up every where imperial edicts, " appointing, that the churches should be demolished to the foundation, that the scriptures 'should be burnt; that they who enjoyed any honours 'should lose them, and that men of private condition should

be deprived of their liberty if they persisted in the pro'fession of christianity." Such was the first edict that was 'published against us. Soon after which, by other edicts, it was ordered," that all presidents of the churches every * where should be put into prison, and then that they should by all ways imaginable be compelled to sacrifice."



He afterwards speaks of a third edict, to this purpose: "The former edicts were followed by another, in which it was ordained, that they who were in prison should be set at liberty upon their having sacrificed: but that they who refused should be subjected to all kinds of torments." Whereupon,' he says, it is scarcely possible to reckon up the numbers of martyrs who after that suffered in every province, especially in Africa, Mauritania, Thebais, and Egypt: from which [last] many went to other cities and ' provinces, where they were honoured with martyrdom.'


In the third chapter of his book concerning the Martyrs of Palestine, Eusebius has these words: Afterwards, in 'the second year of this terrible war waged against us, im'perial edicts were first brought to Urbanus governor of quocumque ordine aut gradu venirent, adversus eos omnis actio valeret: ipsi non de injuriâ, non de adulterio, non de rebus ablatis agere possent, libertatem denique ac vocem non haberent. De M. P. cap. 13.


L. viii. cap. 2. p. 294. B.

παραδίδοσθαι, ειθ ̓ ὑπερον πασῃ μηχανῃ θυειν εξαναγκαζεσθαι. Ibid.


Αυθις δ ̓ ἑτερων τα πρωτα γραμματα επικατειληφότων, εν οἷς τες κατακλεισες, θυσαντας μεν, εαν βαδίζειν επ' ελευθεριας ενιςαμενες δε μυριαις καταξαινειν προςετακτο βασανοις. Ib. cap. 6. p. 298. C.


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-πρωτα μεν δεσμοις

Δευτερε δ' ετ8ς διαλαβοντος, και δη σφοδρότερον επιταθεντος τε καθ' ἡμων πολεμ8, της επαρχίας ήγεμενε τηνικαδε Ουρβανε, γραμματων τετῳ πρωτον βασιλικων πεφοιτηκοτων, ἐν οἷς καθολικῳ προςαγματι παντας πανδημει τες κατα πολιν θυειν τε και σπενδειν τοις ειδωλοις εκελευετο. De Mart. Pal. cap. 3. p. 321. A

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