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Trajan, and Diocletian, had been disappointed of c H A P.

posterity; and the frequent revolutions had never
allowed sufficient time for any Imperial family to

grow up and multiply under the shade of the

purple. But the royalty of the Flavian line,
which had been first ennobled by the Gothic Clau-
dius, descended through several generations; and
Constantine himself derived from his royal father
the hereditary honours which he transmitted to his
children. The emperor had been twice married.
Minervina, the obscure but lawful object of his
youthful attachment ', had left him only one son,
who was called Crispus. By Fausta, the daughter
of Maximian, he had three daughters, and there
sons, known by the kindred names of Constantine,
Constantius, and Constans. The unambitious
brothers of the great Constantine, Julius Constan-
tius, Dalmatius, and Hannibalianus", were per-
mitted to enjoy the most honourable rank, and the
most affluent fortune, that could be consistent
with a private station. The youngest of the three
lived without a name, and died without posterity.
His two elder brothers obtained in marriage the
daughters of wealthy senators, and propagated
new branches of the Imperial race. Gallus and

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7 Zosimus and Zonaras agree in representing Minervina as the concubine of Constantine : but Durange has very gallantly rescued her charaćter, by producing a decisive passage from one of the panegyrics : “Ab ipso fine pueritiae te matrimonii isgibus dedisti.”

8 Ducange (Familiae Byzantinae, p. 44.) bestows on him, after

- - . o Zonaras, the name of Constantine; a name somewhat unlikely, as it

was already occupied by the elder brother. That of Hannibalianus is mentioned in the Paschal Chronicle, and is approved by Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, tom. iv. p. 527.

- Julian

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admirably qualified to form the taste, and to c H A p.

excite the virtues, of his illustrious disciple". At the age of seventeen, Crispus was invested with the title of Caesar, and the administration of the Gallic provinces, where the inroads of the Germans gave him an early occasion of signalizing his military prowess. In the civil war which broke out soon afterwards, the father and son divided their powers; and this history has already celebrated the valour as well as condućt displayed by the latter, in forcing the streights of the Hellespont, so obstinately defended by the superior fleet of Licinius. This naval vićtory contributed to determine the event of the war; and the names of Constantine and of Crispus were united in the joyful acclamations of their eastern subjects: who loudly proclaimed, that the world had been subdued, and was now governed, by an emperor endowed with every virtue; and by his illustrious son, a prince beloved of heaven, and the lively image of his father's perfections. The public favour, which seldom accompanies old age, diffused its lustre over the youth of Crispus. He deserved the esteem, and he engaged the affections, of the court, the army, and the people. The experienced merit of a reigning monarch is acknowledged by his subjects with reluctance, and frequently denied with partial and discon

9 Jerom. in Chron. The poverty of Laëtantius may be applied either to the praise of the disinterested philosopher, or to the shame of the unfeeling patron. See Tillemont, Mem. Ecclesiast. tom. vi. part i. p. 345. Dupin, Bibliotheque Ecclesiast. tom. i. p. 205. JLardner's Credibility of the Gospel History, part ii. vol. vii. p. 66.

tented

XVIII, S-N-2

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tented murmurs; while, from the opening vir-
tues of his successor, they fondly conceive the
most unbounded hopes of private as well as pub-
lic felicity ".
This dangerous popularity soon excited the at-
tention of Constantine, who, both as a father and
as a king, was impatient of an equal. Instead of
attempting to secure the allegiance of his son, by
the generous ties of confidence and gratitude, he
resolved to prevent the mischiefs which might be
apprehended from dissatisfied ambition. Crispus
soon had reason to complain, that while his infant
brother Constantius was sent, with the title of
Caesar, to reign over his peculiar department of
the Gallic provinces “, he, a prince of mature
years, who had performed such recent and fignal

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” Euseb. Hist. Ecclesiast. 1.x. c. 9, Eutropius (x. 6.) styles him “egregium virum ;” and Julian (Orat. i.) very plainly alludes to the exploits of Crispus in the civil war. See Spanheim. Comment. p. 92.

** Compare Idatius and the Paschal Chronicle, with Ammianus (l. xiv. c. 5.). The year in which Constantius was created Caesar, seems to be more accurately, fixed by the two chronologists; but the historian who lived in his court, could not be ignorant of the day of the anniversary. For the appointment of the new Caesar to the provinces of Gaul, see Julian, Orat. i. p. 12. Godefroy, Chronol. legum, p. 26, and Blondel de la Primauté de l'Eglise, p. 1183.

7 encompassed

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