Constantine reveals quite another character in a Church dispute developing at first beneath the surface of the persecutions, soon swelling to a confused prominence, and by 313 capable of absorbing a major part of his thoughts and energies. At about the time of the battle of the Milvian bridge, a council of Numidian bishops was in session, weighing the right of Caecilian to continue as bishop of Carthage, the chief city of the province of Africa. The emperor had been absent in the late summer, waging war on Licinius. He had thus not interrogated the Donatist forger whom he had ordered to be sent to him at Rome; nor, of course, had he attended the council. The Church, thanks to Constantine, had attained a new wealth and public prominence. There was only one obvious language of magnificence, the language of the imperial cult and court. But in that fact was implicit the danger of a friend becoming a master.