despite the disapproval of Galerius, he soon obtained the title of Augustus from the senior emperor, Maximian, who had re-emerged from retirement. This politically useful endorsement was sealed by a dynastic marriage between Constantine and Maximian's daughter Fausta (307).15 At this stage it is clear that Constantine was willing to use the title Herculius, which was part of the apparatus of tetrarchic imperial cult.16 Nevertheless, there were others jostling for power, including Maxentius (the son ofMaximian), Maximin Daia, Galerius and Licinius.17 This is a confused period of intermittent warfare and alliances, for which we have no complete narrative history, and which can be reconstructed only with difficulty, with the help of numismatic and legal evidence.18
Constantine was as ruthless as any in his pursuit of personal ambition, and sought divine help where he found it expedient. Probably implausibly, Lactantius claims that Constantine supported Christians from as early as 306.19 A Latin panegyric written in Gaul in 310 depicts him as having had a vision of Apollo, and dedications to the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) featured on his coins until as late as the early 320s.20 After 307 Maximian's fortunes were chequered; he was forced to retire a second time in 308, but even then re-emerged; he committed suicide after Constantine defeated him in 310.21 But his son Maxentius held Rome, and Constantine's next priority was to march through Italy on Rome and to defeat him. His advance south through Italy, including his siege of Verona, and his victorious entry into Rome are depicted in the sculptures on the Arch of Constantine (315 ce) which still stands beside the Colosseum in Rome.22 To save Constantine's reputation, the Christian sources paint Maxentius as a tyrant and a usurper; they do the same with Licinius, who was for the moment a necessary ally but was clearly destined to be a further target. Constantine's actions in the months following his victory
15 Pan. Lat. 7 (307); on these events see Rees, Layers of loyalty, 153-84.
16 Pan. Lat. 7 (307) 2.5, 8.2; for the title see Nixon and Rodgers, In praise of later Roman emperors, 44-51; Kolb, Diocletian, 63-6.
17 For the evidence see Barnes, New empire, especially ch. 4.
18 See Barnes, New empire, with Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, 28-43; Kolb, Diocletian; Sutherland and Carson, Roman imperial coinage, vol. yi, introduction; Cameron, 'Reign of Constantine, 306-37'.
20 For the vision: Pan. Lat. 6 (310). 21.4-22.1, on which see Nixon and Rodgers, In praise oflater Roman emperors, 249-50; Rodgers, 'Constantine's pagan vision'; van Dam, 'The many conversions of the emperor Constantine', 135; coins: Bruun in Sutherland etal., Roman imperial coinage, vol. yii. Modern scholars have often argued for Constantine's continuing devotion to the cult ofSol Invictus.
21 Pan. Lat. 6 (310) 14.3-6; 20.1-4; Lactant. Mort. 29.7-8; both accounts are highly tendentious.
22 Elsner, ImperialRome, 16-22,187-9.
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