MILVIAN BRIDGE. On 28 October 312, Constantine (q.v.) fought and won a decisive victory at the Saxa Rubra on the Flaminian Way against his competitor, Maxentius, for control of the Western Empire. Maxentius was drowned in the Tiber five miles nearer Rome at the Milvian Bridge. Constantine’s victory marked the beginning of the reconciliation between the Roman Empire (q.v.) and the Christian Church. According to a tradition contemporary with Constantine, he was accorded a vision on the eve of the battle, seeing the Cross against the night sky together with the words, in hoc signo, vinces (“with this sign, you shall conquer”). It is a matter of record that the emperor did adorn his troops’ shields and horses with Christian symbols prior to the engagement.