Text #3196

Theophanes the Confessor. Chronicle
[p. 20]

ln this year1 the most holy and most Christian Constantine became emperor of the Romans in Gaul and Britain. […]

This Galerius Maximianus was such a fornicator that his subjects sought anxiously where they could hide their wives. He was so absorbed with the trickery of deceitful demons that he refrained from tasting anything without the support of divination. He ordered total destruction of the Christians not so much because of his own impiety as to plunder their property. Divine retribution followed him because of his immense licentiousness and the intolerable harm he did to the Christians. For the organ of his intemperance developed a grievous ulcer, too virulent to be cured by human means, and a mass of feeding worms infested his corrupt parts; for he was also obese. He realizing that he had been struck because of his unjust murders, wrote ordinances to all places on behalf of the Christians, bidding them do everything as they wished and to pray on his behalf2. When this had happened, his worst suffering was immediately relieved beyond his hopes by the Christians’ prayer, but with the wound not yet healed entirely, he began to rage all the more continuing with his lawless deeds. Immediately once again there ensued wars and revolts, famine and plagues and incessant droughts, so that the living were insufficient to bury the dead. Thunderbolts and terrors were sent forth so that each person thought only about himself.

  1. Note that for the whole of this year Theophanes introduces material from several subsequent years and includes nothing from Constantine’s first year. The transfer of material was presumably made to give some substance to the opening of the great Constantine’s reign. It may partly explain too the absence of any material for the following four years. [OF]

  2. The so-called Edict of Toleration was displayed at Nicomedia on 30 Apr. 311 . The text is in Euseb. HE viii. 17. 3-10. [OF]

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