10. There are three opinions with regard to the place of Constantine's birth. 1. Our English antiquarians were used to dwell with rapture on the words of his panegyrist, "Britannias illic oriendo nobiles fecisti." But this celebrated passage may be referred with as much propriety to the accession as to the nativity of Constantine. 2. Some of the modern Greeks have ascribed the honour of his birth to Drepanum, a town on the gulf of Nicomedia (Cellarius, tom. ii. p. 1 74), which Constantine dignified with the name of Helenopolis, and Justianian adorned with many splendid buildings (Procop. de Edificiis, v. 2). It is indeed probable enough that Helena's father kept an inn at Drepanum, and that Constantius might lodge there when he returned from a Persian embassy in the reign of Aurelian. But in the wandering, life of a soldier, the place of his marriage, and the places where his children are born, have very little connection with each other. 3. The claim of Naissus is supported by the anonymous writer, published at the end of Ammianus, p. 710 [vol. ii. p. 295, ed. Bip.], and who in general copied very good materials: and it is confirmed by Julius Firmicus (de Astrologia, 1. i. c. 4), who flourished under the reign of Constantine himself. Some objections have been raised against the integrity of the text and the application of the passage, of Firmicus; but the former is established by the best MSS., and the latter is very ably defended by Lipsius de Magnitudine Romana, 1. iv. c. II, et Supplement.
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