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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE emperor divided the empire among his sons, who were styled Cæsars. To Constantine and Constans he awarded the Western regions; and to Constantius, the Eastern; and, as he was indisposed, and required to have recourse to bathing, he repaired for that purpose to Helenopolis, a city of Bithynia. His malady, however, increased, and he went to Nicomedia, and received the rite of holy baptism in one of the suburbs of that city. After the ceremony he was filled with joy, and returned thanks to God. He then confirmed the division of the empire among his sons, according to his former allotment, and bestowed certain privileges on Old and on New Rome. He placed his testament in the hands of the priest who constantly extolled Arius, and who had been recommended to him as a man of virtuous life by his sister Constantia in her last moments, and commanded him to deliver it to Constantius on his return, for neither Constantius nor the other Cæsars were with their dying father. After making these arrangements, Constantine survived but a few days; he died in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the thirty-first of his reign. He was a powerful protector of the Christian religion, and was the first of the emperors who manifested zeal in the extension of the church. He was more successful than any other sovereign in all his undertakings; for he formed no design, I am convinced, without God. He was victorious in his wars against the Goths and Sarmatians, and indeed, in all his military enterprizes; and he changed the form of government according to his own mind with so much ease that he created another senate and another capital city, to which he gave his own name. He utterly subverted the Grecian religion, which had prevailed for ages among the princes and the people.

After the death of Constantine, his body was placed in a golden coffin, conveyed to Constantinople, and deposited in the palace; and the same honours were rendered to the body by those who were in the palace, as if the emperor had been still alive. On hearing of his father’s death, Constantius, who was then in the East, hastened to Constantinople, and interred the royal remains with the utmost magnificence, and deposited them in the tomb which had been constructed by order of the deceased in the Church of the Apostles. From this period it became the custom to deposit the remains of subsequent Christian emperors in the same place of interment; and here bishops, likewise, were buried, for the hierarchial dignity is not only equal in honour to imperial power, but, in sacred places, even takes the ascendancy.








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