Friday, 29 October 2021

τούτῳ νίκα

Staging a grand, triumphant adventus (from the Greek ἀπάντησις for escort to celebrate the return of the emperor or other dignitary with parades and decoration), Constantine the Great enters Rome following his

victory at Milvian Bridge (previously), at a strategically important crossing of the Tiber with the supporters of unrecognised emperor Maxentius whose defeat Constantine supposedly attributes to his marching under the sign of the Cross (), on this day in 312. While divine intervention was an accepted cause for winning or loosing in a struggle, contemporary accounts have little no no references to credit Christianity and no overly Christian iconography. Amid the fanfare Constantine over the body of his drowned enemy fished out of the river and beheaded. Despite the veracity of the miracle supposedly witnessed by Constantine and his entire army, the above letter form, Chi Rho—the first two letters of Jesus Christ and the commandment that came to him in a dream, “In this sign you will conquer,” Christianity was later decreed to be the state religion of the empire.