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132 [119]

MarginaliaThe death and end of Maximiniāflight by the waye he was apprehended, and so put to death. And this is the ende of Maximinian.

MarginaliaThe wyckednes of Maxentius described.Now let vs returne to Maxentius agayne, who all this whyle raigned at Rome, with tyrannye and wyckednes intollerable, much like to an other Nero or Domitianus. 

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Maxentius, Licentius and Constantine

The Foxe Project was not able to complete the commentary on this section of text by the date by which this online edition was compiled (23 September 2008).

For he slew the most part of his noble men, & tooke from them their goods. And sometime in his rage he woulde destroye great multitudes of the people of Rome by his soldiours, as Eusebius declareth. lib. 8. cap. 14. Also he left no mischeuous nor lasciuious act vnattempted, but was the vtter enemy of al womanly chastity, which vsed to send the honest wiues whom he had adulterated with shame and dishonesty vnto their husbandes (being worthy Senatours) after that he had rauished them. He abstayned from no adulterous act, but was inflamed with the inquenchable lust of deflouring of women. MarginaliaA shameful act of incōtinency.Letus declareth that he being at a tyme far in loue with a noble and chaste gentlewomā of Rome, sent vnto her such courtiers of his, as wer mete for that purpose, whom also he had in greater estimation then any others, and with such was wont to consult about matters for the common weale. These first fel vpon her husband and murdered him within his own house: then when they could by no meanes nether with feare of the tyrant, not with threatning of death pul her awaye frō him: At length she being a Christian desired leaue of thē to go into her chamber, and after her prayers she wold accomplish that which they requested. MarginaliaA Christian matron slaieth her self to auoyde the lust of MaxentiusAnd whē she had gotten into her chamber, vnder this pretence, she kylled her selfe. But the courtiers when they saw that the womā taried so long, they being displeased therwith, brake open the doores, and found her ther lying dead. Then returned they and declared this matter to the Emperour, who was so far past shame, that in steede of repentaunce, he was the more set on fire in attempting the like.

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MarginaliaA monster in the likelyhoode of an emperorHe was also much addict to the arte Magicall, which to execute, he was more fyt then the imperiall dignitie. Also sometyme he would ryppe women when they wer in labour, and would search the place where the infant lay, being borne a litle before. Often he would inuocate diuels in a secrete maner, and by the answers of them he sought to breake the warres, which he knewe Constantius and Licinus prepared against him. MarginaliaA lyuely paterne of an hypocrite.And to the end he might the rather perpetrate his mischieuous and wicked attemptes, which in his vngracious mynde he had conceaued, according to his purpose, in the beginning of his raygne he fayned him selfe to be a fauourer of the Christians. In which thing doing, thinking to make the people of Rome his friendes, he commaunded that they should cease from persecuting of the Christians, and he himselfe in the meane season abstained frō no contumelious vexation of them, tyl that he began at last to shewe hym selfe an open persecutor of them: at which time as Zonaras writeth he most cruelly raged against al the Christians ther aboutes, vexing thē wt al maner of iniuries. Which thing he in no lesse wise did, then Maximinus, as Eusebius in his. 8. booke and. 15. chap. seemeth to affirme. And Platina declareth in the life of Marcellus the bishop, that he banished a certaine noble woman of Rome, because she gaue her goods to the church.

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MarginaliaThe Romaynes sēd to Constantine for succour.Thus by the greuous tyrannye and vnspeakeable wyckednes of this Maxentius, the Citezens and Senatours of Rome, being much greued and oppressed, sent their complayntes with letters vnto Constantinus, wt much sute and most hartye peticions, desiring him to helpe and release their country and citie of Rome: who hearing and vnderstanding their miserable and pitiful state, and greued therewith not a litle, fyrst sendeth by letters to Maxentius, desiring and exhorting him to refraine his corrupt doinges, and great cruelty. But whēno letters nor exhortations would preuayle, at length piteing the woful case of the Romaines, gathered together his power and armye in Britaine and Fraunce, wherwith to represse the violent rage of that tyraunt. Thus Constantinus sufficiently appoynted wt strength of men, but especially with strength of God, entred hys iourney comming toward Italy, MarginaliaAn. 318which was about the laste yeare of the persecution, an. 318. Maxentius vnderstanding of the comming of Constantine, and trusting more to his diuelish arte of Magick, thē to the good wyl of his subiectes, which he lytle deserued, durst not shewe himselfe out of the Citie, nor encounter with him in the open field, but with priuye garisons layd in wayte for him by the way, in sundry straights as he should come. With whom Constantine had diuers skyrmishes, and by the power of the Lorde did euer vanquishe them and put them to flight. MarginaliaMaxentius feared for hys magick & sorcery.Not withstanding Constātinus yet was in no great comfort, but in great care and dreade in his minde (approching now nere vnto Rome) for the magical charmes and sorceries of Maxentius, wherewith he had vanquished before Seuerus sent by Galerius against him, as hath bene declared, which made also Constantinus the more afrayd. Wherfore beyng in great doubt and perplexitie in him selfe, and reuoluing many thinges in hys mynde, what helpe he might haue against the operations of his charming, which vsed to cut womē great wt childe, to take his diuelysh charmes by the entrals of the infātes, with such other like feates of deuilishnes which he practised: These things (I saye) Contantinus doubting and reuoluing in hys minde, in his iourney drawing toward the Citie, and castyng vp his eyes many times to heauen,, in the South part, about the going down of the sunne, MarginaliaA myracle of a crosse apearing to Constantine in heauen.saw a great brightnes in heauen, appearing in the similitude of a Crosse, with certayne starres of equal bignes, geuing this inscription like lattin letters, MarginaliaIn hoc vince.IN HOC VINCE, 

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Maxentius, Licentius and Constantine: citation from Eusebius.
Foxe text Latin

IN HOC VINCE

Foxe text translation

In thys ouvercome.

that is: In thys ouvercome. Euseb. De vita Constant. lib. 1. Niceph. lib. 7. cap 29. Eutrop. lib. 11. Sozom. lib. 1. cap. 3. Socrat. lib. 1. cap. 2. Vrspurgens. Chronic. Paul. Diacon. lib. 11. This miraculous vision to be true, for the more credit, Eusebius Pamphilus in his first booke De vita Constantin. doth witnes more ouer, MarginaliaThys vision reported & testified by Constantine hymself to be true.that he had heard the said Constantinus him selfe often times report, & also to sweare this to be true and certayne, which he did see with hys own eyes in heauen, and also his soldiours about hym. At the sight wherof, when he was greatly astonied, and consulting with his men vpon the meaning therof, behold in the night season in his sleepe Christ appeared to him with the signe of the same crosse, which he had sene before, bidding him to make the figuration thereof, and to cary it in hys warres before him, and so shoulde he haue the victorie.

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MarginaliaAn admonition concernyng the material crosse not to be woorshypped, but to be a meanes to bryng Constātin to the fayth of hym whych was crucified.¶ Wherin is to be noted (good Reader) that this signe of the Crosse, and these letters added withal: In hoc vince, was geuen to him of God, not to induce anye superstitious worship or opinion of the crosse, as though the crosse it self, had any such power or strength in it, to obtayne victorie: but onelye to beare the meanyng of an other thyng, that is, to be an admonition to him, to seeke and aspire to the knowledge and fayth of hym, which was crucified vpō the crosse, for the saluation of hym, and of al the world, and so to set forth the glory of his name, as afterward it came to passe. Thys by the way, now to the matter.

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MarginaliaContantinus with hys army approcheth toward Rome.The next day following after this nightes vision, Constantinus caused a crosse after the same figuracion to be made of golde and precious stone, and to be borne before him in steede of his standard: and so wyth much hope of victory & great confidence, as one armed from heauen, speedeth himselfe toward his enemye. Against whom Maxentius being constrayned perforce to issue out of the Citie, sēdeth al his power to ioyne with

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him in