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April 10, 2011


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Account Deleted

The "God" jokes were a bit annoying in the beginning. But, because of the summation and teaser, I forgive you. But, thanks for narrating how a battle can result in a miraculous victory without painting crosses in the sky.

Was there nothing else tactically significant to Constantine's victory other than the loyalty he fostered? Or Maxentius' bad generalship? Did Constantine's Germans have any other secret weapons?

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If what you plugged in does not work it is likely because the switch is turned off on the wall.


It seems like Constantine sounds like the second coming of the our favorite kid from the Roman slums who ended up conquering the world, Julius Caesar. While their personal lives are different, it seems like their strategies to acquire power are nearly identical: clemency, winning though vastly outnumbered, seemingly reckless strategies, and very intentionally playing politics while playing soldier.

Did Constantine intentionally follow in Caesar's footsteps, or is it just a coincidence?


Good point! But it seems that Constantine didn't extend his clemency to his Arch-rivals. He did try his best to paint Maxentius as a tyrant and forced Maximian to commit suicide, unlike Caesar who forgave Cicero and Pompey(Had he lived).

Monkey Hanger

I don’t think too many parallels can be drawn between Constantine and Julius Caesar as the clemency they showed wasn’t unique to them.

As early as the Latin War, we saw a policy of generosity and clemency toward former enemies who surrendered to Rome. Also, Aurelian also showed a great deal of mercy during the Palmyrene Wars. This generosity just seems to be good policy. In contrast, Galba and Maximimius Thrax’s aggressive approach when rising to power was key to their downfalls.

However, the nicely-nicely approach did fail at least once; Macrinus showing compassion towards Elagabalus and Alexander lead to his fall from power.


Seems like the rule is never to show mercy to the enemy that can hurt you.


The version of the battle I had heard previously had Maxentius sabotaging part of the pontoon bridge, with the intention of collapsing it when Constantine was trying to cross. Then follows a little poetic justice when the trap is sprung too early and Maxentius falls victim to his own ploy.
I personally find it far easier to blame poor planning and poor generalship on the part of Maxentius for the disaster as seems to be suggested in your podcast, rather than devine intervention, but I wondered if the 'sabotage' version has been widely publicised and if it has serious recognised sources, or if it was just a case of commentators license at work.

Javier Reyes

The Milvian Bridge battle seems to me on Maxentius side another typical roman mistake... Generally bad roman generals tend to become dead bad roman generals when they outnumber the enemy.

In general, the best or most successful / the ones we hear from most, are generals who won when outnumbered. It seems that being outnumbered triggers the 'hey lets plan this right' sort of thinking, while having a seemingly endless line of cohorts triggers no thinking beyond the victory celebration. Seen it with carthage, the persians even in civil wars.

Then again, it could all just be a massive re-write to try and depict the victors always as outnumbered to make them seem more 'heroic'... makes you wonder, huh?


In late 2006 excavations on the slope of the Palatine Hill unearthed a buried box containing a set of Imperial Insignia. These have been ascribed to Maxentius, and are assumed to have been deliberately hidden by his supporters after the battle.
They are the only set of Imperial insignia ever discovered, and are identified from ancient writings and carvings.



2nd link has photos.

יין ישראלי

An endless succession of cohorts not start thinking beyond the celebration of victory. Seen from Carthage, the Persians themselves in civil wars.

גני אירועים בשרון

I think it's much easier to blame poor planning and poor tactics on the part of Maxentius at the catastrophe that seems to be suggested in your podcast.

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