Prussia and … Warfare History Network. F. Grossi-Gondi, ‘La battaglia di Costantino Magno a "Saxa Rubra"’. Another concept of “Constantine’s vision” indicates that the event may … In the traditional view, as depicted in Guilio Romano's huge fresco in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, the … [13] Constantine's official coinage continues to bear images of Sol until 325/6. Constantine’s conversion to the Cross may have been prompted by a dream of victory. Constantine's men inflicted heavy losses on the retreating army. Constantine reached Rome at the end of October 312 approaching along the Via Flaminia. Lactantius states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to "delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers" (On the Deaths of the Persecutors 44.5). It takes its name from the Milvian Bridge, an important route over the Tiber. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the … However, it is important to note that many historians attribute his victory to superior tactics. M.P. W. Kuhoff, ‘Die Schlacht an der Milvische Brücke – Ein Ereignis von weltgeschichtlicher Tragweite’ in K. Ehling & G. Weber (eds). Galerius died in AD 311 and early the next year Constantine invaded Italy, won battles at Turin and Verona and marched on Rome. [14] The official cults of Sol Invictus and Sol Invictus Mithras were popular amongst the soldiers of the Roman Army. [25] After the ceremonies, Maxentius' head was sent to Carthage as proof of his downfall, Africa then offered no further resistance. [21] Finally, the temporary bridge set up alongside the Milvian Bridge, over which many of the Maxentian troops were escaping, collapsed, and those stranded on the north bank of the Tiber were either taken prisoner or killed. [5], By 312, however, Constantine and Maxentius were engaged in open hostility with one another, although they were brothers-in‑law through Constantine's marriage to Fausta, sister of Maxentius. a battle at the Milvian (Mulvian) Bridge between Constantine and Maxentius resulted in victory for Constantine. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. It was expected that Maxentius would remain within Rome and endure a siege; he had successfully employed this strategy twice before, during the invasions of Severus and Galerius. On October 28, 312 c.e. After Diocletian stepped down on 1 May 305, his successors began to struggle for control of the Roman Empire almost immediately. The battle gave Constantine undisputed control of the western half of the Roman Empire. Violators are now fined €50 for attaching locks to the bridge. Maxentius then decided to order a retreat, intending to make another stand at Rome itself. Nixon, C.E.V. Acclaimed as emperor by his troops in York in AD 306, he was appointed Caesar or deputy emperor of the West by Diocletian’s successor, Galerius. © Copyright 2021 History Today Ltd. Company no. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Various emperors portrayed Sol Invictus on their official coinage, with a wide range of legends, only a few of which incorporated the epithet invictus, such as the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, claiming the Unconquered Sun as a companion to the emperor, used with particular frequency by Constantine. He camped at the location of Malborghetto near Prima Porta, where remains of a Constantinian monument, the Arch of Malborghetto, in honour of the occasion are still extant. Maxentius' Praetorian Guard, who had originally acclaimed him emperor, seem to have made a stubborn stand on the northern bank of the river; "in despair of pardon they covered with their bodies the place which they had chosen for combat. Nevertheless, the meaning of the vision was clear – the battle at the Milvian Bridge was the victory of the emperor, supported by Christ, over the pagan Maxentius. Additionally, Maxentius is reported to have consulted the oracular Sibylline Books, which stated that "on October 28 an enemy of the Romans would perish". What is not in doubt is that Constantine became a believing Christian who vigorously promoted Christianity without trying to force it down pagan throats. The dispositions of Maxentius may have been faulty as his troops seem to have been arrayed with the River Tiber too close to their rear, giving them little space to allow re-grouping in the event of their formations being forced to give ground. This is based on Constantine's application of the Chi-Rho symbol to his military standard after receiving his famous vision before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312. Lactantius describes that sign as a "staurogram", or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion. Speidel, 'Maxentius' Praetorians' in, This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 09:01. Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}41°56′08″N 12°28′01″E / 41.93556°N 12.46694°E / 41.93556; 12.46694, "Vision of Constantine" redirects here. The battle of the Milvian Bridge, fought 1703 years ago today - 28th October 312 - is often considered one of the most significant clashes in Roman history. Today at 7:01 AM. 1 year ago . The foot is carved from marble. The victory was to be proof and the beginning of the reign of new faith and order. Christ Appearing to Constantine, Paul Rubens. Today at 6:01 AM. (click to read) See More. Both authors agree that the sign was not widely understandable to denote Christ (although among the Christians, it was already being used in the catacombs along with other special symbols to mark and/or decorate Christian tombs). The Arch of Constantine and the Roman cityscape", "Maxentius' Head and the Rituals of Civil War", http://www.catacombe.roma.it/it/simbologia.php, The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World, Milvian Bridge 312 - Rise of Christianity, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_the_Milvian_Bridge&oldid=1000491052, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. He appointed Christians to high office and gave Christian priests the same privileges as pagan ones. Fought by the Roman Emperor Constantine against a rival claimant to the throne, the usurper Emperor Maxentius, the battle ultimately resulted in the conversion of Constantine to Christianity. The Arch of Constantine, erected in celebration of the victory, certainly attributes Constantine's success to divine intervention; however, the monument does not display any overtly Christian symbolism. According to this version, Constantine with his army was marching (Eusebius does not specify the actual location of the event, but it clearly is not in the camp at Rome), when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words " Ἐν Τούτῳ Νίκα", En toutō níka, usually translated into Latin as "in hoc signo vinces". When Constantine’s cavalry charged, however, Maxentius’s men were driven in flight across the bridge of boats, which collapsed under them, and many were drowned, including Maxentius himself. Milvian Bridge The Milvian Bridge was first built by Gaius Claudius Nero on 206 B. C. Marcus Aemilius Scaurus rebuilt the bridge in 115 BC. According to chroniclers such as Eusebius of Caesarea and Lactantius, the battle marked the beginning of Constantine's conversion to Christianity. The Battle of the Milvian Bridge (1520–24) by Giulio Romano. Eusebius of Caesarea recounts that Constantine and his soldiers had a vision sent by the Christian God. The one known as Saint Jude wrote the following: W. Kuhoff, ‘Ein Mythos in der römischen Geschichte: Der Sieg Konstantins des Großen über Maxentius vor den Toren Roms am 28. It is commonly understood that on the evening of 27 October with the armies preparing for battle, Constantine had a vision which led him to fight under the protection of the Christian God. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle; his body was later taken from the river and decapitated, and his head was paraded through the streets of Rome on the day following the battle before being taken to Africa.[3]. His head was paraded through the streets for all to see. Indeed, Maxentius had organised the stockpiling of large amounts of food in the city in preparation for such an event. The monk Acuzio renewed the bridge in the Middle Ages and in 1429 Pope Martin V asked architect Francisco da … Constantine was a pagan monotheist, a devotee of the sun god Sol Invictus, the unconquered sun. That evening, as thousands of doomed men prepared for battle, Constantine is said to have had a vision of a … However, it is still a favorite … [8], From Eusebius, two accounts of the battle survive. It continues to be widely used today. [18], The next day, the two armies clashed, and Constantine won a decisive victory. 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