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Said by Lætus to be the husband of Claudia, daughter of Claudius Augustus

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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(361 - 289 BCE)

Tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily (317 - 304 BCE); king of Sicily (304 - 289 BCE)

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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(c. 673/4 - 735) [ODNB]

Benedictine monk at Wearmouth and Jarrow; historian and theologian

Wrote on the use of language, computation, chronology, biblical commentaries, hagiography and biography

Author of Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum

Bede entered the monastery at Wearmouth under Abbot Benedict Biscop when he was seven years old. 1570, p. 164; 1576, p. 124; 1583, p. 122.

Bede was made deacon at nineteen years of age, and priest when he was twenty. 1570, p. 170; 1576, p. 128; 1583, p. 127.

Pope Sergius I sent a letter to Ceolfrith, abbot of Wearmouth, praising Bede's learning and asking that he be sent to Rome. 1570, p. 170; 1576, p. 128; 1583, p. 127.

Bede gave his Anglorum Historia to King Ceolwulf of Northumbria to be approved and amended. 1570, p. 170; 1576, p. 128; 1583, p. 127.

Bede wrote that in his time Easter was celebrated in Britain following the eastern practice. 1570, p. 145; 1576, p. 107; 1583, p. 106.

Thomas Arthur and Thomas Bilney, in their examination for heresy, said that Bede had translated the gospel of St John into English. 1563, p. 465; 1570, p. 1137; 1576, p. 974; 1583, p. 1000.

Bede died during the reign of Æthelbald of Mercia. 1570, p. 150; 1576, p. 112; 1583, p. 111.

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Supposed illegitimate daughter of Claudius repudiated by him

She is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Claudius (Claudius Nero Germanicus)

(10 BCE - 54 CE) [G. G. Fagan]

Roman emperor (41 - 54 CE)

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, pp. 38, 42, 114; 1576, pp. 30, 34, 82; 1583, pp. 30, 34, 81.

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Constantine I

(271x273 - 337) [H. A. Pohlsander]

Roman emperor in the West (306 - 37); defeated Maxentius, rival emperor, in 312

Sole Roman emperor (324 - 37)

Constantine took three legions with him out of Britain, thereby weakening its defence. 1570, p. 148; 1576, p. 109; 1583, p. 108.

Maximian plotted to have Constantine killed; the plot was detected by Fausta, Constantine's wife and daughter of Maximian. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

The citizens and senators of Rome appealed to Constantine to rid them of Maxentius. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

Constantine, preparing for battle against Maxentius and fearing his magical powers, saw the sign of a cross in the sky. He then had a dream with a vision of the cross and of Christ. He took a cross into battle with him as a standard and defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge. 1570, p. 119; 1576, p. 86; 1583, p. 85.

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After the defeat of Maxentius, Constantine no longer sacrificed to the Roman gods, but he deferred baptism to his old age. He issued edicts restoring church goods and bringing Christians back from exile. 1570, pp. 139-41; 1576, pp. 103-04; 1583, pp. 101-03.

Constantine wrote to Anulinus, his proconsul in Africa, instructing him to restore goods to the Christian churches and to ensure that Christian ministers were freed from public duties. 1570, p. 141, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Constantine wrote to Pope Miltiades, instructing him to set up a synod to examine the cause of Cæcilian of Carthage, and sent letters to other bishops, issuing instructions and encouraging the ending of schisms. 1570, p. 141, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Initially Constantine and Licinius were on good terms, and Constantine gave Lucinius his sister in marriage. 1570, p. 122; 1576, p. 88; 1583, p. 87.

Licinius and Constantine issued a joint edict authorising freedom of worship for Christians. But Licinius began to turn against Constantine and the Christians, instigating a new, more surreptitious persecution. 1570, pp. 120-21, 122; 1576, pp. 86-87, 88; 1583, p. 86, 87.

Constantine defeated Licinius. 1570, p. 39; 1576, p. 31; 1583, p. 31.

He wrote to Alexander of Alexandria and Arius, urging them to end their disagreement. 1570, p. 142, 1576, p. 104, 1583, p. 103.

Constantine built churches and schools and provided books of scripture. 1570, pp. 142-43, 1576, p. 105, 1583, pp. 103-04.

Constantine wrote a letter to Shapur II, asking him to treat the Christians in Persia well. 1570, p. 137; 1576, p. 100; 1583, p. 99.

Constantine renounced the Roman gods and was baptised. 1563, p. 8.

Constantine fulfilled St Cyprian's vision of a time of peace for the church. 1570, p. 144; 1576, p. 106; 1583, p. 105.

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Constantius I Chlorus

(c. 250 - 306) [ODNB; M. DiMaio]

Caesar of Maximian in the West (293 - 305); Roman emperor in the West (305 - 06); died in York

Father of Constantine I

Constantius was sent to Britain to collect tribute. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Constantius behaved favourably towards Christians. 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Cyrus the Great

(c. 600 - c. 530 BCE)

Founder of the Achaemenid empire; son of Cambyses I, king of the Persian kingdom of Ansan 559

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Eusebius of Caesarea

(263 - 339) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Christian scholar, presbyter at the church at Caesarea; wrote History of the Church

Eusebius said that he himself had known the martyrs in Palestine who died during Diocletian's persecution. 1570, p. 110; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

He personally witnessed the persecutions in the Thebiade. 1570, p. 113; 1576, p. 80; 1583, p. 80.

He was present at the martyrdom of Philoromus at Alexandria. 1570, p. 128; 1576, p. 93; 1583, p. 92.

Eusebius received a letter from Constantine, instructing him to build and repair churches in Caesarea. 1570, p. 141; 1576, p. 104; 1583, p. 103.

Foxe uses Eusebius extensively as a source throughout Book 1.

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According to Pomponius Lætus, father of Constantius I Chlorus

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian

(236/7 - 316) [R. W. Mathisen]

Roman emperor (284 - 305), succeeding Carus's son, Numerian, in the east; controlled the whole empire after the death of Carinus, Carus's younger son, in 285. Introduced tetrarchy; enforced imperial cult; abdicated.

Declined an offer to take the throne in 308; died at Split.

Diocletian came to the throne with the support of the troops. 1570, p. 108; 1576, p. 77; 1583, p. 76.

Having accused Aper of killing Numerian, Diocletian killed him with his sword in front of the troops. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Diocletian commanded that he be worshipped as a god. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Diocletian introduced the most severe persecution of the Christians. The persecution began with the destruction of churches and books of scripture. 1570, pp. 39, 109-111; 1576, pp. 31, 78-79; 1583, pp. 31, 77-79.

He went on use threats and imprisonment, and eventually he devised a great variety of tortures and methods of execution. 1570, pp. 112-14; 1576, pp. 80-81; 1583, pp. 79-81.

Diocletian abdicated and, having heard of the edict of Constantine and Licinius granting freedom of worship to Christians, died. 1570, p. 121; 1576, p. 87; 1583, p. 86.

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(d. 311) [M. Di Maio]

Served as Diocletian's caesar in the East (293 - 305)

Roman emperor in the East (305 - 11)

Galerius was made ceasar in the eastern empire to deal with the Persian threat. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

He was the chief persecutor of the Christians, and developed an unpleasant illness. He issued a proclamation ending the persecution, but a few months later restrictions, banishment and persecutions began again. 1570, pp. 39, 115; 1576, pp. 31, 82-83; 1583, pp. 82-83.

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Herculius Maximianus

(d. 310) [M. Di Maio]

Soldier; Roman emperor (286 - 305); elevated by Diocletian to rule in the West; made to abdicate with Diocletian

Attempted to depose his son Maxentius in 308; proclaimed himself emperor in 310; imprisoned by his son-in-law Constantine and pardoned. Maximian plotted to have Constantine killed; Maximian died soon after, either by suicide or on the orders of Constantine.

Maximian was made emperor in the west because uprisings and unrest made it impossible for Diocletian to rule the entire empire alone. 1570, p. 109; 1576, p. 78; 1583, p. 77.

Maximian was a persecutor of Christians. He decimated the troops of Maurice twice when they refused to sacrifice to his gods and finally commanded they all be killed. 1570, pp. 113-14; 1576, p. 81; 1583, pp. 80-81.

Having abdicated with Diocletian, he attempted to regain power when his son Maxentius was set up as emperor. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

Maximian plotted to have Constantine, his son-in-law, killed; the plot was detected by Fausta, Constantine's wife. Maximian was killed on the return journey from Gaul. 1570, pp. 118-19; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

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Licinius (Valerius Licinianus Licinius)

(c. 265 - 324) [M. Di Maio]

of Dacia; Roman emperor (311 - 24), with Maximinus Daia

Married Constantine's sister; defeated Maximinus; fought Constantine; abdicated. He was arrested and executed by Constantine.

Licinius was made caesar after Severus II was killed fighting Maxentius. 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

Initially Constantine and Licinius were on good terms, and Constantine gave Lucinius his sister in marriage. 1570, p. 122; 1576, p. 88; 1583, p. 87.

Licinius and Constantine issued a joint edict authorising freedom of worship for Christians. But Licinius began to turn against Constantine and the Christians, instigating a new, more surreptitious persecution. 1570, pp. 120-21, 122; 1576, pp. 86-87, 88; 1583, p. 86, 87.

Licinius continued persecution in the east after Constantine had caused it to cease in the west. 1570, p. 135; 1576, p. 98; 1583, p. 97.

Foxe says Licinius, having been defeated by Constantine and arrested, was killed by his own soldiers. 1570, pp. 39, 123; 1576, pp. 31, 88; 1583, pp. 31, 81, 88.

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Maxentius (Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius)

(c. 278 - 312) [M. Di Maio]

Son of Maximian; married the daughter of Galerius

Roman emperor (306 - 12); entered into civil war with his father Maximian and with Galerius; died at the battle of Milvian Bridge

Maxentius was set up as emperor by the praetorian guard, but was opposed by his father. 1570, p. 118; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 84.

He initially feigned favouring the Christians in order to ingratiate himself with the people of Rome. He then instituted persecutions. 1570, p. 119; 1576, p. 85; 1583, p. 85.

The citizens and senators of Rome appealed to Constantine to rid them of Maxentius. Constantine responded and, having received a vision and taking the cross as his standard, defeated Maxentius at Milvian Bridge.1570, pp. 118-19; 1576, pp. 85-86; 1583, pp. 84-85.

While in retreat, Maxentius fell into the Tiber and, weighted down by his armour, drowned. 1570, pp. 39, 119; 1576, pp. 31, 86; 1583, pp. 31, 85.

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Maximinus Daia

(c. 270 - 313) [M. Di Maio]

Served as Galerius's caesar in the East (305 - 11)

Roman emperor of the East (311 - 13)

Maximinus fought off a revolt by Maxentius. He renewed persecution of the Christians after the publication of the toleration edict of Galerius. 1570, pp. 114, 117; 1576, pp. 82, 84; 1583, pp. 81, 83.

Maximinus issued contradictory edicts urging persecution and toleration of Christians. He eventually, after defeat by Licinius, turned against the priests of the Roman gods. 1570, pp. 121-22; 1576, pp. 87-88; 1583, pp. 86-87.

Maximinus died of an abdominal complaint. 1570, pp. 39, 122; 1576, pp. 31, 88; 1583, pp. 31, 88.

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(d. 828) [Gams]

Greek Orthodox theologian and historian; patriarch of Constantinople (806 - 15)

He is cited extensively by Foxe as a source in Book 1.

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Pomponius Lætus

(1425 - 1497) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Italian humanist; founded an academy with Platina and Sabellico; prefect of the library of San Marco, Venice

Imprisoned with Platina and others in 1463, tortured. The academy resumed in 1471; Lætus wrote a compendium of Roman history

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Salminius Hermias Sozomen

(d. 447/8) [Catholic Encyclopedia]

Historian of the Christian church; lawyer in Constantinople

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, pp. 56, 78, 135, 1315; 1576, pp. 36, 53, 98, 1125; 1583, pp. 36, 53, 97, 1151.

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Severus II

(d. 307) [M. Di Maio]

Appointed caesar by Galerius in 305 to rule the west with Constantius I

Emperor in the West (306 - 07); captured trying to put down Maxentius' revolt; killed

He is mentioned by Foxe: 1570, p. 114; 1576, p. 82; 1583, p. 81.

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Izmit (Nicomedia)


Anatolia, Turkey

Coordinates: 40° 46' 0" N, 29° 55' 0" E

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(Mediolanum) [Mediolanensis; Millan; Millaine; Miliane; Millayne; Millen]

Lombardy, Italy

Coordinates: 45° 28' 0" N, 9° 10' 0" E

Cathedral city

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Solin (Salonae)


Dalmatia, Croatia

Coordinates: 43° 32' 6" N, 16° 29' 6" E

104 [81]

ioyced thereat, for that they haue bene counted worthy to suffer for the lord their God. The extreeme necessitie of death cannot moue vs agaynst your maiesty, neyther yet any despiratiō, O Emperour, which is wont in ventrous affayres to do much, shal arme vs agaynst you. Behold here we cast downe our weapons, and resist not, for that we had rather to be killed, then kill, and guiltles to dye, then gilty to liue. What soeuer more ye will commaūd, appoynt and inioyne vs, we are here ready to suffer, yea both fire sword, and whatsoeuer other tormentes. We confesse our selues to be Christians, we cannot persecute Christians, nor will do sacrifice to your deuilish Idols.

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MarginaliaMauritius and hys company Martyred. With which their aunswer the kyng beyng altogether incensed and mooued, commaunded the second tyme the tenth man of them that were left to be in like case murdered. That crueltie also beyng accomplished, at length whē the christian souldiours would in no wise condescend vnto his mynde, he set vpon them with his whole host, both footemen and also horsemen, and charged them to kil them al. Who with all force set vpon them, they making no resistance, but throwyng downe their armour, yelded theyr lyues to the persecutors, and offered to them theyr naked bodies.

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MarginaliaThe constant boldnes of Victor in refusing to eat with the cruell persecutors, for the whiche he was also slayne. Victor Martyr. Victor at the same tyme was not of that bande, nor yet then any souldiour, but one beyng an old souldior, and dismissed for his age. At which tyme he comming sodainly vpon them as they were bāketting and making mery with the spoyles of the holy Martyrs, was bidden to sit downe with them: and first asking the cause of that their so great reioysing, and vnderstanding the truth therof, detested the guestes, and refused to eate with them. And then being demaunded of them whether happily he were a Christian or no, openly confessed and denied not, but that he was a christian, and euer would be. And therupon they rushing vpō him, killed him, and made him partner of the like Martyrdome and honour.

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MarginaliaThe number of the Christians increased for all this persecutiō. Beda in his history writeth, that this persecution beyng vnder Dioclesian, endured vnto the seuenth yere of Constantinus, and Euseb Lib 8. cap. 6 sayth, that it lasted vntill the x. yeare of Constantinus. 

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Abdication of Diocletian to death of Maximinius

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).

It was not yet one yeare from the day in which Dioclesian & Maximianus ioyning themselues together, began their persecution, when that they sawe the number of the Christians rather to encrease then to diminish, notwithstanding all the cruelty that euer they coulde shew, and now were out of all hope for the vtter rootyng out of them, which thing was the cause of their first enterprise, and had now euen their fill of bloud, and lothed as it were, the shedding thereof, they ceased at the last of theyr owne accord to put any mo christians to death: MarginaliaDioclesian and Maximinian were tyred with persecution, and gaue vp their kingdome. But yet of a great multitude they did thrust out their right eyes, and maymed their left legs at the hamme with a searing iron, condemning them to the mines of mettals; not so much for the vse of their labour, as for the desire of afflicting them. And this was the clemencie and release of the crueltie of those Princes, which sayd that it was not meete that the cities should be defiled with the bloud of citizens, and to make the Emperours highnesse to bee destained with the name of cruelty, but to shew his princely beneficence and liberalitie to all men. Eusebius, Lib. 8. cap 10. MarginaliaEuse lib. 8. cap. 10.

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When Dioclesianus and Maximianus had raigned together Emperours twenty yeares and one (Nicephorus saith xxij. yeares) at length Dioclesian put himselfe from his imperiall dignitie at Nicomedia, and liued at Salona, Maximinianus at Mediolanum, and led both of thē a priuate life in the 309. yeare after Christ. MarginaliaAn. 309. This strange and meruailous alteration gaue occasion, and so came to passe, that within short space after, there were in the Romaine commō welth many Emperours at one tyme.

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MarginaliaThe names of the tyrantes. In the beginning of this persecution, you heard how Dioclesian beyng made Emperour, tooke to him Maximinian. Also how these two gouerning as Emperours together, chose other two Cæsars vnder them; to wit, Galerius Maximinus & Constantius the father of Constantine the great. Thus then Dioclesian raigning with Maximinian, in the 19. yeare of his raigne, began his furious persecution against the christians, whose raigne after the same continued not long. MarginaliaDioclesian, Maximinian Emperors deposed. For so it pleased God to put such a snaffle in the tyrants mouth, that within two yeares after, he caused both him and Maximinian (for what cause he knoweth) to geue ouer his Imperial function, and so to remayne not as emperours any more, but as priuate persones, MarginaliaGale Maximinus. Constantius Emperours. Maximinus Seuerus, Constantius, Cæsars So that they beyng now displaced and dispossessed, the Imperial dominion remayned wt Constantius & Galerius Maximinus, which two deuided the whole Monarchie betwene them: so that Maximinus should gouerne the East countreys, & Constantius the West partes. But Constantius as a modest Prince, onely contented with the Imperial title, refused Italy and Aphrike, contenting himselfe only with Fraunce, Spaine,and Britaine. Wherefore Galerius Maximinus chose to hym his two sonnes Maximinus and Seuerus. Likewise Constantius tooke Constantinus his sonne, Cæsar vnder him. In the meane tyme, while Maximinus with his two Cæsars were in Asia, the Romaine souldiours set vp for their emperour Maxentius MarginaliaMaxentius, Emperour. the sonne of Maximinian, who had before deposed himselfe. Against whom Maximinus the Emperour of the East, sent his sonne Seuerus, which Seuerus was slayne in the same voyage of Maxentius In whose place then Maximinus tooke Licinius. MarginaliaLicinius Cæsar. And these were the Emperours and Cæsars, which succeeding after Dioclesian, and Maximinian, prosecuted the rest of that persecution, which Dioclesian and Maximinian before begun, duryng neare the space of seuen or viij. yeares, which was to the yeare of our Lorde, 318. MarginaliaAnno. 318. Saue onely that Constantius with his sonne Constantinus, was no great doer therin, but rather a maintainer and a supporter of the Christians. MarginaliaThe commendation of Constantius. Which Constantius surnamed Chlorus for his palesnesse, was the sonne of Eutropius, a mā of great nobilitie of the Romaine nation, as Lætus affirmeth. He came of the lyne of Æneas and Claudia, the daughter of Claudius Augustus. This man had not the desire of great and mightie dominion, and therefore parted he the Empire with Galerius, and would rule but in France, Britaine, and Spayne, refusing the other kingdomes for the troublesome and difficult gouernment of the same. Otherwise he was a Prince, as Eutropius maketh description of him, very excellent, ciuill, meeke, gentle, liberall, and desirous to do good vnto those that had any priuate authoritie vnder him. MarginaliaO happy Constantius. And as Cyrus once sayd, that he gate treasure inough, when he made his friendes rich: euen so it is sayd that Constantius would often tymes say, that it were better that his subicts had treasure, thē he to haue it in his treasure house. Also he was by nature suffised with a little, In so much, that he vsed to eate and drinke in earthen vessels (which thing was counted in Agathocles the Sicilian, a great commendation) and if at any tyme cause required to garnish his table, he would send for plate and other furniture to his frendes. To these vertues he added yet a more worthy ornament, that is, deuotion, loue, and affection towards the word of God, as Euseb. Lib. 8. cap. 13. affirmeth, MarginaliaEuseb. lib. 8. Cap, 13. Constantius gratious to the Christians. after which vertues ensued great peace and tranquillitie in all his Prouinces: By which worde he being guided, neither leuied any warres contrary to pietie and christian religion, neither he aided anye that did the same: neither destroyed he the churches, but commaunded that the christians should be preserued and defended, and kept them safe from all contumelious iniuries. And when that in the other iurisdictions of the Empire, the congregatiōs were molested with persecution, as Sozomenus declareth, Lib. 1 cap. 6. MarginaliaZozomenus. lib. cap. 6. he only gaue licence vnto the Christians to liue after their accustomed maner. This wonderfull acte of his followyng, besides other, doth shew that he was a sincere worshipper of the christian religion.

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Those which bare the chiefe offices among the Ethnikes, draue out of the emperors court all the godly Christians: wherupon this ensued, that the Emperors themselues at the last, were destitute of helpe, when suche were driuen away, which dwelling in their courtes, and liuyng a godly lyfe, poured out their prayers vnto God for þe prosperous estate and health both of the Empire & Emperor. MarginaliaConstantius proueth who were true Christians in hys Court, and who were not. Constantius therefore mindyng at a certayne tyme to try what sincere and good Christians he had yet in hys courte, called together all hys officers and seruaunts in the same, fayning himselfe to chuse out such as would do sacrifice to deuils, and that those only should dwell there & keep their offices, and that those which would refuse to doe the same, should be thrust out & banished the court. At this appointment, all the courtiers deuided thēselues into companies: MarginaliaEx Euseb. de vita Constan. Lib. 1. Ex Zozomeno. lib. cap. 6 False Christians discerned from true. The Emperor marked which were the constantest & godliest from the rest: And when some sayd that they would willingly do sacrifice, other some openly and boldly denied to do the same: Then the Emperor sharply rebuked those which were so redy to doe sacrifice, & iudged them as false traitors vnto God, accountyng them vnworthy to bee in his court, which were such traitors to God, and forthwith commaunded that they only should be banished the same. But greatly he commended them, which refused to doe sacrifice and confessed God, affirmyng that they onely were worthy to be about a prince, forthwith commaunding thē that thenceforth they should be the trusty counsellors and defēders both of his person & kingdom, saying thus much more, that they onely were worthy to be in office, whome he might make account of as his assured friends, and that he ment to haue them in more estimation, then the substāce he had in his treasurie. Eusebius maketh mention hereof in his first booke of the life of Constantius, MarginaliaEuseb. lib de vita Constan. and also Sozomenus in his 1. booke and 6. chap.

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