Chapter XI.—Flight, and Magic Arts of Licinius.
In these circumstances their commander, finding himself bereft of the aid of his followers, 3170 having lost his lately numerous array, both of regular and allied forces, having proved, too, by experience, how vain his confidence had been in those whom he thought to be gods, ignominiously took to flight, by which indeed he effected his escape, and secured his personal safety, for the pious emperor had forbidden his soldiers to follow him too closely, 3171 and thus allowed him an opportunity for escape. And this he did in the hope that he might hereafter, on conviction of the desperate state of his affairs, be induced to abandon his insane and presumptuous ambition, and return to sounder reason. So Constantine, in his excessive humanity, thought and was willing patiently to bear past injuries, and extend his forgiveness to one who so ill deserved it; but Licinius, far from renouncing his evil practices, still added crime to crime, and ventured on more daring atrocities than ever. Nay, once more tampering with the detestable arts of magic, he again was presumptuous: so that it might well be said of him, as it was of the Egyptian tyrant of old, that God had hardened his heart. 3172
“Slaves,” a word which has frequently been used by Eusebius in this literal sense.503:3171
This idiom here is nearly the English, “followed on the heels” of any one.503:3172
Ex. ix. 12.