Europe 316: Battle of Cibalae
Three years after the downfall of Maximinus Daza, the alliance between Constantine and Licinius broke down. Constantine invaded Licinius’ territory in the fall of 316, defeating him at Cibalae, near Sirmium, in early October.
313 Edict of Tarsus▲
While retreating east from Licinius, Maximinus Daza issued a final edict stating that the attacks on the Christians had got out of hand and that, for the good of the provincials, they should be brought to an end. There is some disagreement among modern historians as to whether this action occurred before or after Licinius’ edict at Nicomedia. Either way, this edict marked the end of the persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire.
13 Jun 313 “Edict of Milan”▲
In June 313 Licinius issued a letter at Nicomedia in which he and Constantine called upon the governors of the eastern provinces to treat all religions equally and restore the property confiscated from the Christian Church during the Great Persecution. The letter also stated that the Christians were protected by the Supreme Deity, who had brought the emperors to power. In Church tradition this letter is known as the “Edict of Milan”, from the meeting between Constantine and Licinius at Mediolanum (Milan) earlier in the year.
1 Jul 313–29 Oct 314 Constantine’s Third Rhenish War▲
In July 313 Constantine arrived on the Rhine and scared a gathering Frankish army into aborting their attempt to invade the Roman Empire. Realizing that the Franks would simply bide their time until he departed, Constantine feigned a withdrawal and then attacked and defeated the Frankish force when it did cross over. The following year the Alemanni joined the Franks in their war against Rome, but Constantine decisively defeated them both, ending their incursions into the empire for several years to come.
Aug 313 Death of Maximinus Daza▲
After his defeat at Tzirallum in April 313, Maximinus Daza disguised himself as a slave and fled across the Bosporus to Nicomedia. From there he withdrew eastward across Asia to Tarsus, where he began fortifying the Cilician Gates while attempting to rally new forces in the East. When Licinius and his army nonetheless broke through, Maximinus killed himself, probably by poison. Due to the decline of the old religions, he would be the last Roman emperor, and thus the last ruler, to hold the title of Pharaoh of Egypt—a 3,450-year-old office.
315 Licinius’ Gothic campaign▲
In the spring or early summer of 315 Licinius had a major victory over the Tervingi Goths near the Danube. Little else is known about this encounter.
Aug–Sep 316 Conspiracy of Bassianus▲
Sometime after the birth of Licinius’ son Licinius II in the summer of 315, Constantine proposed to Licinius that Bassianus, the husband of Constantine’s half-sister Anastasia, be made Caesar and given control of all Italia as a buffer between the two Augusti. Licinius refused and, by the time of the birth of Constantine’s son Constantine II to Fausta in August 316, Bassianus had also fallen out of favor with Constantine, who had him executed on charges of conspiracy. Constantine then demanded that Licinius hand over Bassianus’ brother Senecio, who he accused of being complicit in the conspiracy, but Licinius refused and instead ordered the destruction of the statues of Constantine in Emona, effectively declaring war.
8 Oct 316 Battle of Cibalae▲
In early October 316 Constantine led a force of as few as 20,000 infantry and cavalry across Pannoniae, where he met an army of 35,000 under Licinius at Cibalae. Constantine attacked with his cavalry at dawn but the fighting continued until nightfall, when he managed to break through with his right wing. Having sustained losses of some 20,000 infantry, Licinius abandoned his camp and fled under cover of darkness with his own cavalry to Thrace via Sirmium, destroying bridges along the way.