Another Exodus

Eusebius describes the drowning of Pharoah Maxentius as he fought Constantine, the new Moses, …

For as once in the days of Moses and the Hebrew nation, who were worshipers of God, Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea and his chosen chariot-captains are drowned in the Red Sea, –so at this time Maxentius, and the soldiers and guards with him, went down into the depths like stone,

as in the holy song …

So that one might well say, He hath made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violence shall. come down upon his own pate. Thus, in the present instance, under divine direction, the machine erected on the bridge, with the ambuscade concealed therein, giving way unexpectedly before the appointed time, the bridge began to sink, and the boats with the men in them went bodily to the bottom.

the holy scriptures well described …

And first the wretch himself, then his armed attendants and guards, even as the sacred oracles had before described, sank as lead in the mighty waters.

and praise was made to God …

So that they who thus obtained victory from God might well, if not in the same words, yet in fact in the same spirit as the people of his great servant Moses, sing and speak as they did concerning the impious tyrant of old: Let us sing unto the Lord, for he hath been glorified exceedingly: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. He is become my helper and my shield unto salvation. And again, Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, marvelous in praises, doing wonders?

Here is Roman history - the battle between Maxentius and Constantine - given in terms of a defining Jewish (Christian for Eusebius) battle. Here to fore, such a history would have drawn on Hannibals and Alexanders, but the “father of Church history” sees God and Moses. He would be the first in a long line. From now on, Christian figures and metaphors are exalted.

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