by Maximian in his African war, preferring the natural feelings of gratitude to the artificial ties of allegiance. Anulinus, the praetorian praefect, declared himself in favour of Maxentius, and drew after him the most considerable part of the troops accustomed to obey his commands. Rome, according to the expression of an orator, recalled her armies; and the unfortunate Severus, destitute of force and of counsel retired, or rather fled, with H. itation to Ra. venna. Here he might for some time have been safe. The fortifications of Ravenna were able to resist the attempts, and the morasses that surrounded the town were sufficient to prevent the approach, of the Italian army. The sea which Severus commanded with a powerful fleet, secured him an inexhaustible supply of provision, and have a free entrance to the legions, which on the return of spring, would advance to his assistance from Illyricum and the East. Maximian, who conducted the siege in person, was soon convinced that he might waste his time and his army in the fruitless enterprise, and that he had nothing to hope either from force or famine. With an art more suitable to the character of Dioclesian than to his own, he directed his attack, not so much against the walls of Ravenna, as against the mind of Severus. ... The treachery which he had experienced, disposed that unhappy prince to distrust the most sincere of his friends and adherents. The emissaries of Maximian easily persuaded his credulity, that a conspiracy was formed to betray the town, and prevailed upon his fears not to expose himself to the discretion of an irritated conqueror, but to accept the faith of an honourable capitulation. He was at first received with humanity and treated with respect. , Maximian conducted the captive emperor to Rome, and gave him the most solemn assurances that he had secured his life by the resignation of the o But Severus could obtain only an easy †† and an imperial i. hen the sentence was signified to #. the manner of executing it was left to his own choice; he preferred the favourite mode of the ancients, that of opening his veins; and as soon as he expired, his body was carried to the sepulchre which had been constructed for the family of Gallienus.(23 [A.D. 307.] Though the characters of Constantine and Maxentius had . little affinity with each other, their situation and interest were the same; and prudence seemed to require that they should unite their forces against the common enemy. Notwithstanding the superiority of his age and dignity, the indefatigable Maximian passed the Alps, and courting a personal interview with the sovereign of Gaul, carried with him his daughter, Fausta as the pledge of the new alliance. The marriage was celebrated at Arles with every circumstance of ... and the ancient colleague of Dioclesian, who again asserted his claim to the western empire, conferred on his son-in-law and ally, the title of Augustus. By consenting to receive that honour from Maximian, Constantine seemed to embrace the cause of Rome and of the senate; but his professions were ambiguous, and his assistance slow and ineffectual. He considered with attention the approaching contest between the masters of Italy and the emperor of the East, and was prepared to consult his own safety or ambition in the event of the war.(24) The importance of the occasion called for the presence and abilities of Gaterius. At the head of a powerful army collected from Illyricum and the East, he entered Italy, resolved to revenge #. death of Severus, and to chastise the rebellious Romans; or, as he expressed his intentions, in the furious language of a barbarian, to extirpate the senate, and to destroy the people by the sword. But the skill of Maximian had concerted a prudent system of defence. The invader found * place hostile, fortified, and inaccessible; and though he forced his way as far as Narni, within sixty miles of Rome, his dominion in Italy was confined to the narrow limits of his camp. Sensible of the increasing

(23) The circumstances of this war, and the death of Severus, are very doubtfully and variously told in our ancient fragments (see Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, toin. iv. part i. p. 555). I have endeavoured to extract from them a consistent and probable narration.*

(24) The sixth Panegyric was pronounced to celebrate the elevation of Constantine; but the prudent orator avoids the mention either of Galerius or of Maxentius. He introduces only one slight allusion to the actual troubles and to the majesty of Rome.f -


balance of power in the divided empire, and he no longer hated Galerius, when that aspiring prince had ceased to be an object of terror.(28) The mind of Galerius was the most susceptible of the sterner passions, but it was not however incapable of a sincere and o friendship. Licinius, whose manners as well as character were not unlike his own, seems to have engaged both his affection and esteem. Their intimacy had commenced in the happier period perhaps of their youth and obscurity. It had been cemented by §. freedom and dangers of a military life; they had advanced almost by equal steps through the successive honours of the service; and as soon as Galerius was invested with the imperial dignity, he seems to have conceived the design of raising his companion to the same rank with himself. During the short period of his prosperity, he considered the rank of Cesar as unworthy of the age and merit of Licinius, and rather chose tetreserve for him the place of Constantius and the empire of the West. While the emperor was employed in the Italian war, he intrusted his friend with the defence of the Danube: and immediately, after his return from that unfortunate expedition, he invested Licinius with the vacant F. of Severus, resigning to his immediate command the provinces of Il {..". The news of his promotion was no sooner carried into the East, than Maximin, who governed, or rather oppressed, the countries of Egypt and Syria, betrayed his envy and discontent, disdained the inferior name of Cesar, and, notwithstanding the prayers as well as arguments of Galerius, exacted almost by violence the equal title of Augustus.(30 [A. D. 308.] For the first, and indeed for the last time, the Roman worl was administered by six emperors. In the West, Constantine and Maxenfius affected to reverence their father Maximian. In the East, Licinius and Maximin honoured with more real consideration their benefactor Galerius. The opposition of interest, and the memory of a recent war, divided the empire into two great hostile powers ; but their mutual fears produced an apparent *}. and even a feigned reconciliation, till the death of the elder princes, of Maximian, and more particularly of Galerius, gave a new direction to the views and passions of their surviving associates. When Maximian had reluctantly abdicated the empire, the venal orators of the times applauded his philosophic moderation. When his ambition excited, or at least encouraged, a civil war, they returned thanks to his generous patriotism, and É.} censured that love of ease, and retirement which had withdrawn him from the public service.(31) But it was impossible, that minds like those of Maximian and his son, could long o: in harmony an undivided o Maxentius considered himself as the legal sovereign of Italy, elected y the Roman senate and people; nor would he endure the control of his father, who arrogantly declared, that by his name and abilities the rash youth had been established on the throne. The cause was solemnly pleaded before the Praetorian guards, and those troops who dreaded the severity of the old emperor, espoused the party of Maxentius.(32) The life and freedom of Maximian were however respected, and he retired from Italy into Illyricum, affecting to lament his past conduct, and secretly contriving new mischiefs. But Galerius, who was well acquainted with his character, soon obliged him to leave his dominions, and to. refuge of the disappointed Maximian was

(28) Lactantius de M. P. c. 27. Zosim. l. ii. p. 82. The latter insinuates, that Constantine, in his interview with Maximian, had promised to declare war against Galerius. (29) M. de Tillemont (Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. part i. p. 559,) has proved that Licinius, without assing through the intermediate rank of Cesar, was declared Augustus, the 11th of November, A. D. 7, after the return of Galerius from Italy. (30) Lactantius de M. P. c. 32. When Galerius declared Licinius Augustus with himself, he tried to satisfy his younger associates, by inventing, for Constantine and Maximin (not JMazentius, see Baluze, p. 81), the new title of sons of the Augusti. But when Maximin acquainted him that he had been saluted Augustus by the army; Galerius was obliged to acknowledge him, as well as Constantine, as equal associates in the imperial dignity. (31) See Panegyr. Wei. vi. 9. Audi doloris nostriliberam vocem, &c. The whole passage is imagined with artful flattery, and expressed with an easy flow of eloquence. (32) Lactantius de M. P. c. 28. Zosim. l. ii. p. 82. A report was spread, that Maxentius was the son of some obscure Syrian, and had been substituted by the wife of Maximian as her own child. See Aurelius Victor, Anonym. Walesian. and Panegyr Vet. ix. 3, 4.

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