17 This saying of Constantine has occasioned a deal of exegesis and conjecture. Compare monograph of Walch mentioned under Literature in the Prolegomena for discussion and references to other older literature.
18 The most accessible reference for getting a glimpse of the legislation of Constantine in these and similar regards is the section, The alteration in general and penal legislation in Wordsworth's Constantinus I., in Smith and Wace, Dict. 1 (1877). This section is on p. 636-7. Compare also the laws themselves as gathered in Migne, Patrol. lat. vol. 8. Compare also Prolegomena for general statement of the value of his legislation and his reputation as legislator.
19 [The word "philosophy," here and in the 28th chapter, plainly indicates that virginity which was so highly honored in the earlier ages of Christianity, and the undue exaltation of which was productive, necessarily, of evils which it is scarcely possible to estimate at their full extent.-Bag.] On the growing prevalence of the practice of virginity compare Hatch, Virgins, in Smith and Cheetham, Dict. But this note belongs rather to the paragraph below; for the author does not refer to Christian virginity but primarily to philosophical celibacy in this instance. The Neo-Platonic philosophy of the times, through its doctrine of the purification of the soul by its liberation from the body or sensuous things, taught celibacy and ascetic practices generally. So Plotinus (d. 270 a.d.) practiced and taught to a degree, and Porphyry (d. 301+) more explicitly. Compare rich literature on Neo-Platonism, and conveniently Zeller, Outlines of Gr. Philos, Lond., 1886, p. 326-43, passim.
26 Molz. in a note regards these as lectionaries, but they are usually thought to have been regular copies of the Scriptures in Greek-Septuagint and N. T., and the Codex Sinaiticus has been thought to be one of them. It dates from not earlier than the time of Eusebius, as it contains the Eusebian Canons, but yet from the fourth century. Altogether it is not impossible that it was one of these, and at all events a description of it, extracted from Scriveners (Introduction, 1883, p. 88 sq.), will be a fair illustration. "13 1/2 inches in length by 14 7/8 inches high." "Beautiful vellum." "Each page comprises four columns, with 48 lines in each column." "Continuous noble uncials." "Arranged in quires of four or three sheets." It is evident from comparison of several quotations of Eusebius that the copy of the New Testament which he himself used was not closely related with the Sinaitic text, unless the various readings headed by this ms. are all mistakes originating with it. Compare allusions in the notes to such different readings. The last clause, although in the text of Heinichen, is of doubtful authority.
27 This word is a transcription, rendered "Procurator" by Bag., and is perhaps corresponding to that official (cf. Long. article Fiscus, in Smith, Dict. Gr. and R. Ant.). But this transcription is recognized (cf. Ffoulkes, Catholicus, in Smith and Cheetham, Dict.).
29 [The parchment copies were usually arranged in quaternions, i.e. four leaves made up together, as the ternions consisted of three leaves. The quaternions each contained sixteen pages, the ternions twelve (Valesius in loc.).-Bag.] So probably, although the three-columned form of the Sinaiticus and the four of the Vaticanus suggest a possible other meaning.
31 [Griadoj logw. Well may the old English Translator remark on this, "An odd expression." We may go further, and denounce it as an instance of the senseless and profane adulation to which our author, perhaps in the spirit of his age, seems to have been but too much inclined.-Bag.]
34 [Alexander, bishop of Thessalonica. By the Pannonian and Maesian bishops are meant Ursacius and Valens, leaders of the Arian party; by the Bithynian and Thracian, Theogonius of Nicaea, and Theodorus of Perinthus (Valesius).-Bag.]