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Their relationship was further complicated by the schemes and consequently, in 310, the death of Maximian.
Open hostilities between the two rivals broke out in 312, and Constantine won a decisive victory in the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge.
During the next night, so Eusebius' account continues, Christ appeared to Constantine and instructed him to place the heavenly sign on the battle standards of his army. "Laktanz: Erzieher von Konstantins Sohn Crispus zu Trier." Kurtrierisches Jahrbuch 25 (1985) 35-59.
The new battle standard became known as the labarum.
6 Constantine henceforth observed this day as his dies imperii. "The Celestial Sign on Constantine's Shields at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge." Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 2 (1981) 15-28.]]
Constantine and Maxentius, although they were brothers-in-law, did not trust each other.
Upon coming to power Constantine unilaterally ended all persecution in his territories, even providing for restitution. Der spätantike Bilderschmuck des Konstantinsbogen .
His personal devotions, however, he offered first to Mars and then increasingly to Apollo, reverenced as Sol Invictus.
4 Upon the retirement of Diocletian and Maximian on 1 May 305 Constantius succeeded to the rank of Augustus.]]
12 Twenty-five years later Eusebius gives us a far different, more elaborate, and less convincing account in his Life of Constantine.||
5 Constantine, in the meanwhile, had served with distinction under both Diocletian and Galerius in the East. "Constantine's Epistle to the Bishops at the Council of Arles: A Defense of Imperial Authorship." JRH 17 (1993) 274-89. "The Christian Basilicas of Constantinian Rome." Ancient World 26 (1995) 3-28. 12 Twenty-five years later Eusebius gives us a far different, more elaborate, and less convincing account in his Life of Constantine.]]