976 UNIVERSAL HISTORY THE ANCIENT WORLD.
323; and it was soon apparent that the conflict was essentially a battle between paganism
and Christianity. Constantine, with a hundred and thirty thousand men, set out for the
East. He inscribed on the banners carried at
the head of the legions the monogram of Christ
and gave to the soldiers the battle-cry of "God
our Savior!" The forces of Licinius numbered a hundred and sixty-five thousand. The
two armies met at Adrianople, where Licinius
was completely routed. The remnant of his
forces was driven into Byzantium, but the fortress was soon taken by the fleet of Constantine. For a brief season the cause of the
pagans was upheld in Asia Minor by a certain
Martinianus, but he was pursued, taken, and
put to death. Soon afterwards Licinius shared
his fate, and the undisputed sovereignty of
the world was left to Constantine.
From this time forth the Emperor, who
was now honored with the title of the Great,
began to show still greater, favor to the Christians and more pronounced symptoms of hostility towards his pagan subjects. Having
completed his campaigns in the East, he returned to Italy and undertook the reconstruction of the government on an Oriental basis.
The Empire was divided into praefectures after
the manner of the satrapies of Persia. The
basilica became the scene of intrigues and
crimes, such as rivaled in number and character the deeds of Caligula and Nero. The
queen mother Helena and the wife Fausta
were deadly rivals. The brothers of the Emperor were excluded from the palace and forbidden to appear in public. His son Chrispus,
by whose energies as commander of the fleet
the siege of Byzantium had been brought to
a successful conclusion, became the victim of
his father's jealousy, and was suddenly ordered
to execution. Then Fausta, the queen, was
for no better reason sent to a similar fate.
Crime followed crime until the bloody mind
of Constantine became haunted with specters.
Not even the absolution which was freely given
to their champion by the Christian priests
could allay the remorse or quiet the distemper
in his nature. He became a devotee to the