Chapter

Now, there drew near to him the judgment of God, and a period followed in which his affairs began to waver and fall to ruin. He had not yet directed his attention to the overthrow and expulsion of Constan-tius, while he was engaged in those affairs which I described above. And he was waiting for that one's death, though he did not think that he would die so quickly.

When Constantius was suffering under serious i 11 -ness, he had issued instructions that his son, Con-stantine, be sent back to him. He had now pleaded for him for long, but in vain. That one (i.e., Galerius), however, wished nothing less than this. He had often striven after the youth in insidious ways, for he dared nothing openly, lest he stir up against himself civil war and, what he feared especially, the hatred of the soldiers. Under pretense of exercise and games, he had put him in the way of wild beasts, but it was to no avail because the hand of God was protecting the man. God liberated him from the hands of that Ga-lerius at the very turning point. After the request had been asked of him very often, Galerius, since he could no longer refuse, gave the sign at the end of the day, but ordered that he was not to set out until the next day when he would receive the orders. This was because either he himself was going to retain him on some pretext, or he was going to send letters so that he would be held by Severus.

Since Constantine suspected this, after supper when the emperor was at rest, he hastened to set out, and taking all the state horses from the many stopping places, he rode away quickly. The following day, after he had slept until midday according to his purpose, the emperor (Galerius) ordered Constantine to be summoned. He was told that Constantine had set out immediately after supper. He began to rage furiously. He called for the state horses so that he could have him brought back. He was told that the relay stations were robbed of their mounts. He held back his tears only with difficulty.

But Constantine, using incredible speed, had reached his father, now failing rapidly, who gave the command into his hands with the approval of his soldiers. And thus he received the repose of his days at his bed, as he had wished.

When he took control, Constantine Augustus did nothing until he returned the Christians to their religion and their God. This was his first sanction of the restoration of the holy religion. . . .

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