Letter Regarding Fifty Copies of the Scriptures

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Letter Regarding Fifty Copies of the Scriptures
by Constantine, translated by T. H. Tywman
The Emperor Constantine had fifty, large, copies of the scriptures made and distributed in his library in Constantinople.

Victor Constantine Maximus Augustus to Eusebius

It happens through the favoring of God our Saviour, that great numbers have united themselves to the most holy church in this city, which is called by my name. It seems, therefore, highly requisite, since the city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other respects, that the number of churches should also be increased. Do you, therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf. I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred Scriptures, the provisions and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the churches, to be written on prepared parchment, in a legible manner, and in a commodious and portable form, by transcribers thoroughly practised in their art. The procurator of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies, and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have authority, also in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies, when fairly written, will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection, and one of the deacons of your church may be intrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, shall experience my liberality. God preserve you, beloved brother."