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5.57. Conſtantius.

EEBO page image 89


Compare 1587 edition: 1 Conſtã| [...]ius. [figure appears here on page 89] COnſtanti+us, a Se|natoure of Rome begã to reigne ouer the Britons,Mat. VVest. [...]th. 302. in ye yeare of oure Lorde .289.289. as oure Hiſtories report [...]. Thys Cõſtanus, as before ye haue hearde, hadde to wyfe Helene the daughter of the foreſayd king Coyll, of whome he begat a ſon named Conſtantinus, which a [...]|warde was Emperour, and for his worthy do|ings ſurnamed Conſtantine the great. S. Am|broſe folowing the common report, writeth, that this Helene was a mayde in an Inne: [...]rofius. [...]eda. and ſome agayne write, that ſhe was concubine to Con|ſtantius, and not his wyfe. But whatſoeuer ſhe was, it appeareth by the writers of the Romain hiſtories, that Conſtantius being the daughters ſonne of one Criſpus, [...]ſpiniã. that was brother to the Emperour Claudius, came into Britayne, and quieted the troubles that were rayſed by the Bri|tons, [...]abian. and there (as ſome write) maryed the for|ſayd Helen being a woman of an excellent beau|tie, whom yet (after) he was conſtrayned to for|ſake, & to marrie Theodora, the daughter in law of Herculeus Maximianus, by whom he hadde ſixe ſons, & finally was treated Emperor togi|ther with ye ſaid Galerius Maximianus, at what tyme Diocletianus and his fellowe Herculeus Maximianus renounced the rule of the empire, and committed the ſame vnto them. The Em|pire was then deuided betwixte them, ſo that to Conſtantius the regiõs of Italy, Affrik, France, Spayne and Britayne were aſſigned, and to Galerius, Illyrium, Grecia, and all the Eaſte partes. But Conſtantine being a man voyde of ambition, was contented to leaue Italy and Affrike, ſuppoſing his charge to be great inough to haue the gouernment in his hands of France, Spayn, and Britayn (as Eutropius hath.)

Compare 1587 edition: 1 But as touching his reigne ouer the Britons wee haue not to ſaye further than as we fynde in our owne writers recorded: but for his gouern|ment in the empire: it is to be conſidered, that firſt he was admitted to rule as an aſſiſtãt to Maxi|mian vnder ye title of Ceſar: & ſo from that time if you ſhall accompt his reigne, it may compre|hend xj.xij. or .xiij. yeares, yea more or leſſe, ac|cording to the diuerſitie founde in writers.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 But if we ſhal recken his reign from the time onely that Diocletian and Maximian reſigned their title to the Empire,VVil. Hariſ. we ſhall fynde that he reigned not fully .iij. yeares. For where as be|tweene the ſlaughter of Alectus, and the com|ming of Conſtantius, are accompted .8. yeeres and odde monethes, not only thoſe .8. yeeres, but alſo ſome ſpace of tyme before maye be aſended vnto Conſtantius: for although before his com|ming ouer into Britayn now this laſt tyme (for he had bin here afore, as it well appeareth) Aſcle|p [...]odetus gouerned as Legate, albeit vnder Con|ſtantius, who had a greate portion of the weſt part [...]es of the empire vnder his regiment, by the title, as I haue ſayd of Ceſar, although he was not ſayde to reigne abſolutelye, till Diocletian and Maximian reſigned, wherof it is not amiſſe to giue this briefe aduertiſement, accordyng as in William Harriſons Chronologie is ſuffici|ently proued. But now to cõclude with the do|ings of Conſtãtius, at lẽgth he fel ſick at Yorke, and there dyed about the yeare of our Lord .306.306.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 This is not to be forgotten, that whyleſt hee lay on his death bed, ſomewhat before he depar|ted this life, hearing that his ſonne Conſtantine was come, & eſcaped from the emperours Dio|cletian & Maximianus, with whome he remai|ned as a pledge, as after ſhall be partly touched he receyued him with all ioye, and raiſing him|ſelfe vp in his bed, in preſence of his other ſonnes and counſellours, with a greate number of other people and ſtrangers that wer come to viſit him, he ſit the crowne vpon his ſonnes head, and ad|orned him with other imperiall roabes and gar|mentes, executing as it were himſelfe,Niceph. the older of an heralde, and withall ſpake theſe wordes vnto his ſayd ſonne, and to his counſellors there about him.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 Nowe is my death to me more welcome,Tripartit. hiſtoria. and my departure hence more pleaſant. I haue heere a large epitaphe and monumente of buriall, to witte, myne owne ſonne, and one whome in earth I leaue to be Emperor in my place, which by Gods good helpe ſhall wipe awaye the teares of the Chriſtians, and reuenge the crueltie exer|ciſed by tyrants. This I recken to chaunce vn|to me in ſtede of moſte felicitie. After this, tur|ning himſelfe to the multitude, he commaunded them all to be of good comforte, meaning thoſe that had not forſaken true vertue & godlineſſe in Chriſte, which Chriſt he vndertooke ſhould con|tinue with his ſonne Conſtantine in al enterpri|ſes, which in warres or otherwyſe he ſhuld take in hande.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 That deuiſe alſo is worthie to be had in me|morie, which he put in practiſe in his lyfe time, to vnderſtand what true & ſincere Chriſtians were remayning in his courſe: for where as he hadde bin firſte a perſecuter, and after was conuerted, it was a matter eaſy to perſuade the world, that he was no earneſte Chriſtian: and ſo the policie whiche hee thoughte to worke, was the ſooner EEBO page image 90 brought to paſſe, whiche was this: He called to|gether al his officers and ſeruants, feyning him|ſelfe to chooſe out ſuche as would doe ſacrifice to deuils, and that thoſe only ſhould remayne with hym, and keepe their office, and the reſte that re|fuſed ſo to doe, ſhoulde be thruſt out, and bani|ſhed the courte.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Herevpon all the Courtyers deuided themſel|ues into companies: and when ſome offred wil|lingly to do ſacrifice, & other ſome boldly refuſed: the Emperoure marking their dealings, ſharp|ly rebuked thoſe which were ſo ready to diſhonor the liuing God, accompting them as traytors to his diuine maieſtie, and not worthy to remayne within the Court gates: but thoſe that conſtant|ly ſtood in the profeſſion of the chriſtian fayth, he greatly commended, as men worthie to be about a prince: and withall declared, that from thence|foorth they ſhould be as chiefe counſellours and defendors both of his perſon and kingdom, eſtee|ming more of them than of al the treaſure he had in his coffers.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 To conclude, hee was a prince graue, ſober, vpright, courteous and liberall, as he which kept his mynde euer free from couetous deſire of great riches: inſomuch that when he ſhould make any great feaſt to his frendes, he was not aſhamed to borow plate and ſyluer veſſell to ſerue his turne, and to furniſhe his cupborde for the tyme,Pomponius Latus. beyng contented for himſelfe to be ſerued in cruſes and earthen veſſell. He was wonte to haue this ſay|ing in his mouth, that better it was that the ſub|iectes ſhould haue ſtore of money and riches, thã the Prince to keepe it cloſe in his treaſorie, where it ſerued to no vſe. By ſuche curteous dealyng the prouinces whiche were in his charge flouri|ſhed in greate wealth and quietneſſe. He was a right wiſe and politike Prince in the ordering of all weightie matters,He dyed in the yere. 306 as Math. VVeſt. hath noted, and reigned ouer the Britaynes. but .11. yeares as Galf. hath. & verie ſkilfull in the prac|tiſe of warres ſo that he ſtoode the Romane em|pire in great ſtead, and was therfore highly belo|ued of the Souldiours, in ſo muche that imme|diatly after his deceaſe, they proclaymed his ſon Conſtantine Emperour.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 That the Chriſtian faithe was imbraced of the Britons in this ſeaſon, it may appeare, in that Hillarius biſhop of Poictiers writeth to his brethren in Britayne, and Conſtantine in an Epiſtle, as Theodoretus hath in his firſte boke and tenth chapiter maketh mencion of the chur|ches in Britayne: Which alſo Sozomenus doth affirme. For the Britons after they had recey|ued the faithe, defended the ſame euen with the ſheading of their bloud, as Amphibalus who in this Conſtantius days being apprehended, ſuffe|red at Redburne nere to Werlamcheſter, about xv. yeares after the martirdome of his hoſte S. Albane.

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