The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 11 (part 3)

The story continues… sadly with very little historical value.

7.  Constantine made the necessary preparations and prepared to fight against Maxentius, King of the Romans.  He had prepared a large cross, placed it on top of a standard, and went against Maxentius, king of Rome.  Having heard that Constantine had moved to fight against him, Maxentius prepared to face him, and chose a bridge over the river in front of Rome as the place of battle. Then he came out with all his men, and fought against Constantine, who conquered and triumphed making a great slaughter of his men.  Maxentius tried to return into the city with the rest of the soldiers, but the bridge gave way and he drowned with all his men: the river was choked with drowned and killed men.  With golden crowns and every kind of music, the inhabitants of Rome poured out of the town to meet Constantine and celebrated the triumph with great jubilation.

On entering the city, [Constantine] ordered that the bodies of the Christian martyrs, and those who were crucified, should be buried.  All those who had fled, and those whom Maxentius had exiled, returned to their country and to their homes, and those who had seen them confiscated got them back.  The inhabitants of Rome made festival for seven days in honour of Constantine and the Cross, eating, drinking and rejoicing.  On hearing these things Maximian, called Galerius, was furious, gathered his troops and went out to fight against Constantine.  Hearing about this, Constantine also prepared his army and went to fight him. But when the men of Maximian saw the cross on the banner they fled: many were killed, others were taken prisoner and others begged to be spared.  Maximian fled away naked, and passed as a traveller, from place to place until he came to his city.  Here he called the priests of his gods, the magicians, the soothsayers that he loved so much, and whose recommendations he followed, and had them beheaded so that they would not fall into the hands of Constantine and serve him.  God sent down into the body of Maximian a devouring fire, so that his bowels were falling to pieces from the intense burning sensation that he had inside.  His eyes swelled to the point that they fell out, coming out of their sockets, and his flesh was burned so much as to break away from the bones, and he died the worst of deaths.

8. Constantine ruled all the territories of the Romans, in tranquility and peace. This was in forty-first year of the reign of Sabur, son of Hurmuz, king of the Persians.  Constantine was the son of Constantius, son of Wālantiyūs, son of Arsis, son of Decius, son of King Claudius, who lived in Rome at the time of the Apostles.  Constantine had a general whom he loved and preferred to the others, named Licinius.  He gave him his sister Constantina, entrusted him with the government and ordered him to honour the Christians, to love them and not to hurt any of them. When he came into his kingdom, Licinius returned to the worship of idols and ordered that the Christians should be put to death.  In his day found martyrdom the soldier Theodorus, Metropolitan of Barqah, and the Forty Martyrs, originating in the city of Sebastia of Cappadocia (20). Licinius had in Sebastia a lieutenant named Agricolaus. He had the Forty Martyrs brought outside the city of Cappadocia, and thrown naked into a pool of water, where on account of the excess cold, because of the snow, they died of frostbite.  Only one of them got out of the pool and headed for a tepidarium which was located at the shore of the lake to warm up, but the tepidarium collapsed on him, killing him instantly. The captain of the guard guarding the Forty then saw forty crowns of light coming down from heaven and resting on the heads of those martyrs, but one of these was suspended in the air.  The guard then stripped off his garments, and threw himself into the pool and believed in Christ, earning for himself the crown of light.  Then they took them out of the pool and loaded them on to a cart. There was, among them, a young man who had not yet died and was left aside.  His mother, who was standing beside them, had in fact picked him up to put him on the cart with the others, but would not release him because he was still alive. He expired on her shoulder and only then could she place him on the cart along with the martyrs. Then they took them out of the city of Sebastia and burned them. Informed of the fact, King Constantine wrote a letter to Licinius in which he rebuked him for what he had done.  But [Licinius] did not repent; indeed he gathered a large army and went to fight against Constantine who confronted him with his own soldiers in Bithynia.  [Licinius] was defeated; he was taken prisoner and was brought before Constantine who demoted him then to the city of Thessaloniki and designated him as his prefect.  Here he tried to gather a new army among the people of Thessaloniki with the intent to set out again against Constantine who, having heard about this, sent some of his men and killed him, cutting off his head.


5 thoughts on “The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 11 (part 3)

  1. Hi, do you have a translation of Patrologiae Graeca 111, pages 1012-13 where Eutychius talks about how Constantine killed the Jewish Christians on Passover?

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