326 April 1-4 Constanitine is at Aquileia; Pola, where Crispus was killed in spring 326 is very near Aquileia
326 May this is when most scholars believe Crispus was killed at Pola
326 July 18 (or 21) Constantine enters Rome for the end of his 20th anniversary year.
326 July 25 Death of Helena Augusta. Suicide of Fausta Augusta.
Institution of a law of silence regarding Helena and the True Cross.
326 August 3 Constantine leaves Rome.
326 September 25 Constantine at Spoletium.
326 October 23 Constantine at Milan.
326 November 22(?) Constantine at Aquileia.
326 December 21 Constantine at Sirmium.
Constantine's execution of his son Crispus.
Constanitine's execution of his wife Fausta.
Constantine is in Rome for the last time.
Helena travels to the eastern provinces (specifically Palestine) shortly after the celebrations of Constantine's vicennalia.
Construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem), the Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem), and the Church on the Mount of Olive (site of the Ascension in Jerusalem) begins.
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
18 August -- the feast of Saint Helena
Did Helena's initialize the building of churches [as many legends say she did] in the towns she passed through as she began to travel across the again united Empire?
After her activities in the Holy Land, activities which legends say included the finding of the True Cross, did Helena travel back to Rome via the northern coast of Africa?
Is it possible that Helena was making her way back to Rome (to be present at Constantine's twentieth jubilee, July 326) when she learned that Constantine ordered the death of Crispus (Constanitne's first son) in May 326?
Did Crispus snap into schizophrenia in 326, and is that the main reason Constanitne had Crispus killed, aside from the fact that Fausta, Constantine's wife but not the mother of Crispus, may have prodded Constantine's action for the advancement of her own children?
Did Helena have a hand in the subsequent murder of Fausta as some ancient historians surmise she did?
After all her enormous religious activities, did Helena suddenly find herself within the greatest test of her faith?
Crispus and Fausta
I wonder if you could provide me with some information regarding the damnatio memoriae of Crispus and Fausta. Particularly, I'm trying to find out what ancient evidence there is that there was a damnatio memoriae of these two imperials. For example, was a damnatio memoriae typically issued as a Roman law, and, if so, what ancient legal text contains the damnatio of Crispus and Fausta. Or do we only know that there was a damnatio memoriae from post Constantine historians such as Aurelius Victor and Zosimus?
The main thrust of my present research involves Helena and Eutropia and their role in the rise of Christian architecture throughout the Empire. Presently, I am of the opinion that Crispus, Fausta, and Helena all died in 326--Crispus in May, and Fausta and Helena in Rome sometime next week 1675 years ago. Essentially, I take Eusebius' chapters 4 - 53 of book III of the Vitae Constantini as being in chronological order. Who were those three imperials that first entered the Council of Niceae? I say Crispus, Fausta and Helena. The burial of Helena probably occurred August 1 or 2, just before Constantine left Rome for the last time of August 3. Eutropia remained ever loyal to Constantine, like she did in Rome, 312 when she admitted the adulterous paternity of Maxentius. Moreover, Eutropia continued Helena's church building efforts in the Holy Land, and I believe it was Eutropia that died in 329 when the Helena coins stopped appearing. Did Eustathius speak of Helena and the Cross when everyone know that Constantine forbade such talk of his dead mother. You see, I believe with the Cross came again three deaths, and that this 'sign' became Constantine's greatest test of faith--there was first confusion and then there was silence.
exactly 1675 years ago
It was yesterday 1675 years ago that Constantine the Great arrived in Rome to end his Vicennalia, his 20th anniversary as a Roman ruler. The next two weeks were not all joy and happiness, however, and indeed there was already a dark cloud over the celebration. Just two months prior, Constantine was for some reason forced to command the execution of his eldest son Crispus. That a father had to authorize and witness the death of his son is frightening enough, but just imagine what Rome was thinking given that, at this very same time 1675 years ago, Helena, Constantine's mother was also making her way to Rome for the celebrations, and she was bringing with her part of the newly discovered True Cross, testimony of the death of another Son.
Constantine's second wife, Fausta, was not the mother of Crispus, yet it is written that Constantine also ordered her death right around this time. It's said she died in an overheated bath, a compulsory suicide even. Could it be that Fausta died exactly on July 25, the very day of Constantine's anniversary? That might explain why she also suffered damnatio memoriae, like Crispus.
Eusebius, in his Life of Constantine, which was published the year after Constantine's death in 337, writes of Helena's death and burial, and even states that Constantine was with her at the time. Helena was indeed buried in Rome in what many believe was the mausoleum and sarcophagus originally intended for Constantine. Were the mausoleum and sarcophagus already complete in 326, and awaiting their presentation to Constantine during the Vicennalia? On August 3 Constantine left Rome and was never to return to Rome, alive or dead. After dying with a very broken heart, could it be that Helena was buried August 1 or 2? Could it be that with the finding of the True Cross again came three deaths?