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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

MAGNENTIUS in the interim having made himself master of the imperial city Rome, put to death many of the senatorial order, as well as of the populace. But as soon as the commanders under Constantius had collected an army of Romans, and commenced their march against him, he left Rome, and retired into the Gallias. There several battles were fought, sometimes to the advantage of one party, and sometimes to that of the other: but at last Magnentius having been defeated near Mursa, a fortress of the Gallias, was there closely besieged. In this place the following remarkable incident is said to have occurred. Magnentius desiring to arouse the courage of his soldiers who were disheartened by their late overthrow, ascended a lofty tribunal for this purpose. They wishing to receive him with such acclamations as emperors are usually greeted with, contrary to their intention simultaneously shouted the name, not of Magnentius, but of Constantius Augustus. Regarding this as an omen wholly unfavourable to himself, Magnentius immediately withdrew from the fortress, and retreated to the remotest parts of Gaul, whither he was closely pursued by the generals of Constantius. An engagement having again taken place near Mount Seleucus, Magnentius was totally routed, and fled alone to Lyons a city of Gaul, which is distant three days journey from the fortress at Myrsa. Magnentius having reached this city, first slew his own mother; then having killed his brother also, whom he had created Cæsar, he at last committed suicide by falling on his own sword. This happened in the sixth consulate of Constantius, and the second of Constantius Gallus, on the fifteenth day of August. Not long after, another brother of Magnentius named Decentius, put an end to his own life by hanging himself. Such was the issue of the ambitious enterprises of Magnentius, whose death however did not restore the affairs of the empire to perfect tranquillity; for soon after this another tyrant arose whose name was Silvanus: but the generals of Constantius speedily destroyed him, whilst raising disturbances in Gaul.








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