Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume I/Constantine/Prolegomena/The Mythical Constantine/Voyage of Helena

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6. Voyage of Helena.

A matter-of-fact account of things which are not so, given in Hakluyt’s Voyages, 2 (1810), p. 34, is worth giving in the words of the translator:

“Helena Flavia Augusta, the heire and onely daughter of Cœlus, sometime the most excellent king of Britaine, by reason of her singular beautie, faith, religion, goodnesse, and godly Maiestie (according to the testimonie of Eusebius) was famous in all the world. Amongst all the women of her time there was none either in the liberall arts more learned, or in the instruments of musike more skilfull, or in the divers languages of nations more abundant than herselfe. She had a naturall quicknesse of wit, eloquence of speech, and a most notable grace in all her behaviour. She was seene in the Hebrew, Greeke, and Latin tongues. Her father (as Virumnius reporteth) had no other childe,…had by her a sonne called Constantine the great, while hee remained in Britaine…peace was granted to the Christian churches by her good meanes. After the light and knowledge of the Gospel, she grew so skilfull in divinity that she wrote and composed divers bookes and certaine Greeke verses also, which (as Ponticus reporteth) are yet extant…went to Jerusalem…lived to the age of fourscore years, and then died at Rome the fifteenth day of August, in the yeere of oure redemption 337…Her body is to this day very carefully preserved at Venice.”