Nearly Back to the Holy Land

For his new Rome, Constantine so nearly picked old Troy …

Having, therefore, discovered a convenient site between Troas and old Ilium, he there accordingly laid a foundation, and built part of a wall to a considerable height, which may still be seen by any that sail towards the Hellespont

as the first Caesar nearly had …

A report was very current, that he had a design of withdrawing to Alexandria or Ilium [Troas], whither he proposed to transfer the imperial power, to drain Italy by new levies, and to leave the government of the city to be administered by his friends.

Troas had location, the first secure shelter near the mouth of the Hellespont. But more than that, it was where Father Aeneas, the son of a goddess, gathered the remains of Troy and set sail for Italy to found Rome. Building here meant rebuilding Rome’s mother city. What if he had proceeded, built on this holy land? Would its lore have dominated him? Could he have taken up with Christians?

But she lost out to the less storied city, up the Hellespont …

Afterwards changing his [Constantine's] purpose, he left his work unfinished, and went to Byzantium, where he admired the situation of the place, and therefore resolved, when he had considerably enlarged it, to make it a residence worthy of an emperor.

Any attention for Troas now is not for Aeneas or any Augustus. Paul, the greatest Christian proselytizer, obscure to most when the fourth century starts, now owns her ruins [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], even for the more history-minded traveller [6].

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