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Religion of Julian. . . . 135 He prohibits the Christians
He embraces the Mythology
Disgrace and Oppression of
Fanaticism of the Philoso-
The Temple and sacred Grove
Paganism . . . . . . 147 George of Cappadocia op-
Julian composes a Satire
against Antioch. . . .
phrates. . . . . . 187
Toleration . . . . . . 230 366-384. Ambition and Luxury
Catholics . . . . . . 249 V. The DANUBE. Conquests
and their first Victories : 324 383-395. Settlement of the Goths
380. Ruin of Arianism at Constan 380. Influence and Conduct of Am-
387. Maximus invades Italy . . 381
• MAP OF WESTERN Asia, SHOWING THE MARCHES OF JULIAN
AND HERACLIUS . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE DECLINE AND FALL
THE MOTIVES, PROGRESS, AND EFFECTS OF THE CONVERSION OF CONSTAN
TINE. — LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT AND CONSTITUTION OF THE CHRISTIAN OR CATHOLIC CHURCH.
TINE. — LEGATROGRESS, AND EF
The public establishment of Christianity may be considered as one of those important and domestic revolutions which excite the most lively curiosity, and afford the most valuable instruction. The victories and the civil policy of Constantine no longer influence the state of Europe ; but a considerable portion of the globe still retains the impression which it received from the conversion of that monarch ; and the ecclesiastical institutions of his reign are still connected, by an indissoluble chain, with the opinions, the passions, and the interests, of the present generation.
In the consideration of a subject which may be examined with impartiality, but cannot be viewed with indifference, a difficulty immediately arises of a very unexpected nature—that conversion of
Constantine. of ascertaining the real and precise date of the conversion of Constantine. The eloquent Lactantius, in the midst of A.D. 306. his court, seems impatient' to proclaim to the world the glorious
1 The date of the Divine Institutions of Lactantius has been accurately discussed, difficulties have been started, solutions proposed, and an expedient imagined of two original editions—the former published during the persecution of Diocletian, the latter under that of Licinius. See Dufresnoy, Præfat. p.v. Tillemont, Mém. Ecclésiast. tom. vi. p. 465–470. Lardner's Credibility, part ii. vol. vii. p. 78-86. For my own part, I am almost convinced that Lactantius dedicated his Institutions to the sovereign of Gaul, at a time when Galerius, Maximin, and even Licinius, persecuted the Christians; that is, between the years 306 and 311.
Date of the