Citation needed the bulk of his troops simply could

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[citation needed]The bulk of histroops simply could not be withdrawn from the Rhine frontiers without negativeconsequences.[16]It was against the recommendations of his advisers andgenerals, against popular expectation, that Constantine anticipated Maxentius,and struck first.[12]Turin[edit]
Battle ofConstantineand Maxentius (detail-of-fresco-in-Vatican-Stanze) c1650 byLazzaroBaldiafterGiulio Romanoat the University of EdinburghAs early as weather permitted,[12]late in the spring of 312,[17]Constantine crossedthe Alps with a quarter of his total army,[citation needed]a force equivalent to somethingless than forty thousand men.[12]Having crossed theCottian Alpsat theMontCenispass,[17]he first came to Segusium (Susa,Italy), a heavily fortified towncontaining a military garrison, which shut its gates to him. Constantine orderedhis forces to set its gates on fire and scale its walls, and took the town quickly.Constantine forbade the plunder of the town, and advanced into northern Italy.[18]At the approach to the west of the important city of Augusta Taurinorum (Turin,Italy), Constantine encountered a large force of heavily armed Maxentian cavalry,[19]labeledclibanariiorcataphractiin the ancient sources. In theensuingbattleConstantine spread his forces into a line, allowing Maxentius'cavalry to ride into the middle of his forces. As his forces broadly encircled theenemy cavalry, Constantine's own cavalry charged at the sides of the Maxentiancataphracts, beating them with iron-tipped clubs. Many Maxentian cavalrymenwere dismounted, while most others were variously incapacitated by the blows.Constantine then commanded his foot soldiers to advance against the survivingMaxentian infantry, cutting them down as they fled.[20]Victory, the panegyrist whospeaks of the events declares, came easily.[21]Turin refused to give refuge to theretreating forces of Maxentius. It opened its gates to Constantine instead. Othercities of the north Italian plain, recognizing Constantine's quick and clementvictories, sent him embassies of congratulation for his victory. He moved on toMilan, where he was met with open gates and jubilant rejoicing. He resided thereuntil the middle of the summer of 312 before moving on.[22]
Milvian bridge[edit]The Battle of the Milvian BridgebyGiulio RomanoIt was expected that Maxentius would try the same strategy as against Severusand Galerius earlier; that is, remaining in the well-defended city of Rome, and sitout a siege which would cost his enemy much more. For somewhat uncertainreasons, he abandoned this plan, however, and offered battle to Constantinenear theMilvian Bridgeon 28 October 312. Ancient sources usually attribute thisaction to superstition or (if pro-Constantinian) divine providence. Maxentius ofcourse had consulted soothsayers before battle, as was customary practice, andit can be assumed that they reported favourableomens, especially as the day ofbattle would be hisdies imperii, the day of his accession to the throne (which was

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Constantine I, Galerius, Maxentius, Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius

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