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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ABOUT this time a terrible commotion shook the whole state, of which it is needful to give a summary account of the principal heads. We mentioned in our first book, that after the death of the founder of Constantinople, his three sons succeeded him in the empire: it must now be also stated, that their kinsman Dalmatius, so named from his father, shared with them the imperial authority. This person after being associated with them in the sovereignty for a very little while, was slain by the soldiery, Constantius having neither commanded his destruction, nor forbidden it. The manner in which Constantine the younger was killed by the soldiers, on his invading that division of the empire which belonged to his brother, has already been recorded. After his death, a Persian war was raised against the Romans, in which Constantius did nothing prosperously: for in a battle fought by night on the frontiers of both parties, the Persians had to some slight extent the advantage. Meanwhile the affairs of Christians became no less unsettled, there being great disturbance throughout the churches on account of Athanasius, and the term consubstantial. During this general agitation, there sprang up a tyrant in the western parts called Magnentius; who by treachery slew Constans, the emperor of that division of the empire, at that time residing in the Gallias. In the furious civil war which thence arose, this usurper made himself master of all Italy, reduced Africa and Libya under his power, and even obtained possession of the Gallias. But at the city of Sirmium in Illyricum, the military set up another tyrant whose name was Vetranio; while a fresh trouble threw Rome itself into commotion: for Nepotian, Constantine’s sister’s son, supported by a body of gladiators, there assumed the sovereignty. He was however slain by some of the officers of Magnentius, who himself invaded the western provinces, and spread desolation in every direction.








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