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that Constantine then took is not clear,29 but this is another instance where the exact nature of the act is not important for this discussion. What is important is that Constantine made some kind of sign in accordance with the dream and vision. This would have been enough of a step to make him believe that he was obeying the divine message and that he would be ensured victory.

We have established that it was possible for Constantine to believe that he had been given a dream and that he had seen a vision. We have also noted that, at a later date, Constantine swore to Eusebius that he had see the vision. Thus the dream and vision truly occurred in the mind of Constantine; this is the promise of divine assistance and victory of which Baynes wrote. Therefore it is no surprise that Constantine, with a relatively small portion of his army, marched down the peninsula of Italy to Rome. Constantine had seen a vision and had a dream that promised him divine aid; we have already seen, in the case of Maxentius, what the effects of such a promise could have.

The circumstances of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge are also important to note, especially the death of Maxentius and the destruction of much of his army during their retreat over the Milvian Bridge.30 During the battle, the armies of Constantine and Maxentius met beside the Tiber. Despite the staunch opposition of the Praetorians, the forces of Maxentius fled in disorder. As they crossed the Tiber on a bridge of boats, the bridge broke, and Maxentius drowned in the Tiber and his army was destroyed.31 It is important to note that Eusebius wrote that Maxentius' death and the army's destruction


29. See Stevenson 284 (Eusebius, Vita Constantini) and Timothy D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius, (Cambridge, 1981), 41, 48. Scholars have interpreted this passage in different ways. Eusebius states that he made some kind of sign and used it against his enemies, while Barnes wrote that he replaced the pagan standards with the labarum, a standard with Christian symbols on it.
30. Barnes, 43 and Burkhardt, 271.
31. Barnes, 41.
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