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The Life Of The Blessed Emperor Constantine -Eusebius Pamphilus

SUCH was the punishment which he underwent who had commenced the persecution. Licinius, however, of whom we were just now speaking, who had been a witness of these things, and known them by his own actual experience, banished the remembrance of them altogether from his mind, and reflected neither on the punishment of the first, nor the divine judgment which had been executed on the second persecutor. The latter had indeed endeavoured to outstrip his predecessor in the career of crime, and prided himself on the invention of new tortures for us. Not content with tormenting his victims by fire and sword, piercing them with nails, or destroying them by the fangs of wild beasts or in the depths of the sea; in addition to all these, he discovered a new and strange mode of punishment, and issued an edict directing that they should be partially bereft of sight. So that numbers, not of men only, but of women and children, after being deprived of the sight of their eyes, and the use of the joints of their feet, by mutilation or cautery, were consigned in this condition to the painful labour of the mines. Hence it was that this tyrant also was overtaken not long after by the righteous judgment of God, at a time when, confiding in the aid of the demons whom he worshipped as his gods, and relying on the countless multitudes of his troops, he had ventured to engage in battle. For, feeling himself on that occasion destitute of all hope in God, he threw from him the imperial dress which so ill became him, hid himself with unmanly timidity in the crowd around him, and sought safety in flight.

He afterwards lurked about the fields and villages in the habit of a slave, hoping he should thus be effectually concealed. He had not, however, eluded the mighty and all-searching gaze of God: for even while he was expecting to pass the residue of his days in security, he fell prostrate, smitten by God’s fiery dart, and his whole body withered by the stroke of Divine vengeance; so that all trace of the original lineaments of his person was lost, and nothing remained to him but dry and parched bones, presenting the appearance of a lifeless image.



Image or Constantine is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. Attribution: I, Jean-Christophe Benoist





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