The Battle of the Milvian Bridge took place between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius on 28 October 312. It takes its name from the Milvian Bridge, an important route over the Tiber. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. Maxentius drowned in the Tiber during the battle; his body was later taken from the river and decapitated, and his head was paraded through the streets of Rome on the day f
- 28 October 312
- Ponte Milvio, Rome
- Decisive Constantinian victory
Mar 30, 2018 · While casualties for the Battle of the Milvian Bridge are not known, it is believed that Maxentius' army suffered badly. With his rival dead, Constantine was free to consolidate his hold over the Western Roman Empire. He expanded his reign to include the entire Roman Empire after defeating Licinius during the civil war of 324. Constantine's vision prior to the battle is believed to have inspired his ultimate conversion to Christianity.
- Death and legacy
Galerius died in AD 311 and early the next year Constantine invaded Italy, won battles at Turin and Verona and marched on Rome. Maxentius came out to fight and was destroyed at the Milvian Bridge, which carried the Via Flaminia over the Tiber into the city. The battle was one of a succession of victories that in AD 324 made Constantine master of the entire Roman Empire, but it is most famous for its link with his conversion to Christianity, which would prove to be one of the most important events in world history.
The story, or a story, of what happened was told by Eusebius of Caesarea, a Christian biblical scholar and historian who wrote the first biography of Constantine soon after the emperors death. He knew Constantine well and said he had the story from the emperor himself. Constantine was a pagan monotheist, a devotee of the sun god Sol Invictus, the unconquered sun. However before the Milvian Bridge battle he and his army saw a cross of light in the sky above the sun with words in Greek that are generally translated into Latin as In hoc signo vinces (In this sign conquer). That night Constantine had a dream in which Christ told him he should use the sign of the cross against his enemies. He was so impressed that he had the Christian symbol marked on his soldiers shields and when the Milvian Bridge battle gave him an overwhelming victory he attributed it to the god of the Christians.
This story was generally accepted for centuries, but todays historians who are not believers in prophetic visions and dreams have serious doubts about it. The earliest account of the battle, dating from AD 313, mentions nothing about a vision or a dream. It says that Maxentius drew up his army on the bank of the Tiber. He had cut the bridge itself, but in case of defeat he could retreat to Rome across a temporary bridge made of boats. When Constantines cavalry charged, however, Maxentiuss men were driven in flight across the bridge of boats, which collapsed under them, and many were drowned, including Maxentius himself. His head was cut off and carried into the city on a spear by the triumphant Constantine and his men.
According to another early account, written within two years of the battle by the Christian author Lactantius, who had been at Constantines court for some time, the emperor had a dream in which he was told to mark the heavenly sign of God on his soldiers shields. He did as instructed, had the sign, whatever exactly it was, inscribed on the shields and attributed his victory against odds to the god of the Christians. In AD 315 the Senate dedicated a triumphal arch in Rome to Constantine (it may have been built originally for Maxentius), with an inscription praising him because with divine instigation he and his army had won the victory. It tactfully refrained from saying which god had provided the instigation and citizens could credit it to Sol Invictus or the Christian deity or whichever god they chose.
What is not in doubt is that Constantine became a believing Christian who vigorously promoted Christianity without trying to force it down pagan throats. Diocletian and Galerius had persecuted the Christians savagely, but in AD 311 Galerius had granted them freedom of worship. In AD 313 Constantines Edict of Milan proclaimed that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion. He appointed Christians to high office and gave Christian priests the same privileges as pagan ones. By AD 323 the birthday of Sol Invictus on December 25th had become the birthday of Christ. The emperor strove to iron out theological disagreements among Christians and in AD 325 he personally attended the Council of Nicaea, which formulated the doctrine of the Trinity. He also built magnificent churches, including Santa Sophia in his capital city of Byzantium, renamed Constantinople. When he died in AD 337 Christianity was well on its way to becoming the state religion of the Roman Empire and Constantine considered himself the 13th apostle of Jesus Christ.
Oct 28, 2020 · Battle of the Milvian Bridge by Giulio Romano, 1520-24 On October 28, 312 AD, the Battle of the Milvian Bridge between the Roman Emperors Constantine I and Maxentius took place. Constantine won the battle and started on the path that led him to end the Tetrarchy and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.
According to ancient sources, on the evening of October 27, 312 CE, just before the battle at the Milvian Bridge, Constantine the Great was to have a vision that led him to victory with the support of a Christian god. Historical sources, however, are not consistent and differ on certain issues as to the so-called “miracle of Constantine”.
The Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio) over the Tiber, north of Rome, where Constantine and Maxentius fought in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge Maxentius prepared for the same type of war he had waged against Severus and Galerius: he sat in Rome and prepared for a siege. 
Eusebius of Caesarea and other Christian sources record that Constantine experienced a dramatic series of events sometime between his father Constantius I's death in 306 and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge on 28 October 312.
Aug 10, 2018 · On October 28, 312, Constantine marched on Rome and met Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge. The story goes that Constantine had a vision of the words in hoc signo vinces ("in this sign you will conquer") upon a cross, and he swore that, should he triumph against great odds, he would pledge himself to Christianity. (Constantine actually resisted baptism until he was on his deathbed.)
Constantine’s adherence to Christianity was closely associated with his rise to power. He fought the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in the name of the Christian God, having received instructions in a dream to paint the Christian monogram () on his troops’ shields. This is the account given by the Christian apologist Lactantius.
Oct 01, 2020 · By Gregory S. Aldrete P.h.D., University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. Roman emperor Constantine’s victory at the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD and the accompanying conversion to Christianity is considered to be one of the crucial events in Western history. Yet, the genuineness and completeness of Constantine’s conversion has been under scrutiny for several centuries now.
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