1.9.1 The tyrant Maximinus in the east, however, kept seeking to destroy the churches of God.” “And the following sort of circumstances enveloped him: He was not able to bear the magnitude of authority which had been undeservingly entrusted to him. Nevertheless, on account of his lack of self-control and his inability to reason like an emperor, he committed many foolish acts. He irrationally exalted himself above everyone with his arrogant boasting. And furthermore, Maximinus became so overconfident that he dared to put himself forward as first in rank above the others who shared rule over the empire, even over Constantine, who was far better than he was in every respect—in direct descent, in nurture, in learning, in honor, and in intelligence, and who also stood out as first and foremost of all in self-control and piety towards the true God.

1.9.2 Then Maximinus’s madness grew into complete insanity as he broke the treaties which he had made with Licinius, thus beginning an implacable war. In a short time he had stirred up everything and had thrown every city and every camp into confusion. He gathered together a mass of 10,000 men and marched out for battle against both Licinius and against Constantine, who had dispatched him. Positioning his platoons of soldiers, he stood without God watching over him, and right away, the only God who rules over all gave the victory to the prevailing Constantine.

1.9.3 That guilty Maximinus first lost the majority of his heavily-armed troops in which he had trusted. He was left unprotected by the bodyguards around him and by all those who left him deserted and were fleeing for refuge to the one who was prevailing. So, that scoundrel slipped off his imperial decorations (which had been unfitting for him to ever wear) as quickly as possible. After he had cowardly, pathetically, and spinelessly stripped, he slipped into the crowd and ran away. And by hiding amid fields and villages, he barely slipped through the hands of the warriors as he tried to obtain safety for himself.

1.9.4 By these things, it is thus possible to provide proof that the divine oracles are extremely trustworthy and true when they say, ‘A king is not saved because of his great power, and a mighty man will not be saved by his massive strength. It is incorrect to trust in a horse for safety; in the greatness of its power, it will not save you. Behold, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, the ones who hope in his mercy; he delivers their lives from death.’” [Psalm 33:16-19; LXX Ps. 32] And so that ungodly Maximinus, “having been struck by a sudden plague from God in the second battle of the war, passed away.

1.9.5 But the events surrounding Maximinus’s death were nothing like what happens to those military leaders who often act courageously for the sake of virtue and their loved ones and who boldly undergo a noble death in war. For he, once and for all, as an impious fighter-against-God, remained at home hiding when the battle-line was arranged on the plain. Yet, he suffered the proper retribution, being struck suddenly by God with a plague. As he was tormented with terrible sufferings and excessive pains, he fell down headlong and perished by hunger, and his entire body melted away due to an invisible and God-sent fire. As he wasted away, every trace of his old appearance was destroyed. And after a long time, only dry bones remained, making him look like a skeleton. Thus those who were there concluded that his body had become a tomb for his soul, which was buried in a dead and completely decaying form.

1.9.6 And as the heat from deep down inside kept burning Maximinus up more and more violently, his eyes sprang out and fell from their sockets, making him blind. But after this happened, while he was still breathing, he confessed freely and openly to the Lord and prayed for death. And thus having confessed that he had suffered these things justly on account of his drunken rage against Christ, he gave up his spirit for the very last time.


Next Chapter – 1.10 The restoration of the churches

Previous Chapter – 1.8 The godly Constantine sends Licinius out against the tyrant in the east

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Created by NJ 4-18-17

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