The Info List - Constans

--- Advertisement ---

(Latin: Flavius Julius Constans
Augustus;[1] Greek: Κῶνστας Αʹ; c. 323[1][2] – 350) or Constans
I was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350. He defeated his brother Constantine II in 340, but anger in the army over his personal life (homosexuality) and favouritism towards his barbarian bodyguards led the general Magnentius
to rebel, resulting in the assassination of Constans
in 350.


1 Career

1.1 Homosexuality

2 Death 3 See also 4 See also 5 References 6 Sources

6.1 Primary sources 6.2 Secondary sources

7 External links

Career[edit] Constans
was the third and youngest son of Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
and Fausta, his father's second wife.[3] He was educated at the court of his father at Constantinople
under the tutelage of the poet Aemilius Magnus Arborius.[1] On 25 December 333, Constantine I
Constantine I
elevated Constans
to the rank of Caesar at Constantinople.[1] Constans
became engaged to Olympias, the daughter of the Praetorian Prefect
Praetorian Prefect
Ablabius, but the marriage never came to pass.[3] With Constantine’s death in 337, Constans
and his two brothers, Constantine II and Constantius II, divided the Roman world between themselves[4] and disposed of virtually all relatives who could possibly have a claim to the throne.[5] The army proclaimed them Augusti on September 9, 337.[1] Almost immediately, Constans
was required to deal with a Sarmatian
invasion in late 337, over whom he won a resounding victory.[3]

Division of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
among the Caesars appointed by Constantine I: from west to east, the territories of Constantine II, Constans, Dalmatius
and Constantius II. After the death of Constantine I (May 337), this was the formal division of the Empire, until Dalmatius
was killed and his territory divided between Constans
and Constantius.

was initially under the guardianship of Constantine II. The original settlement assigned Constans
the praetorian prefectures of Italy
and Africa.[6] Constans
was unhappy with this division, so the brothers met at Viminacium
in 338 to revise the boundaries.[6] Constans
managed to extract the prefecture of Illyricum and the diocese of Thrace,[6] provinces that were originally to be ruled by his cousin Dalmatius, as per Constantine I’s proposed division after his death.[5] Constantine II soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory that was his due as the eldest son.[7] Annoyed that Constans
had received Thrace and Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius, Constantine demanded that Constans
hand over the African provinces, which he agreed to do in order to maintain a fragile peace.[7][8] Soon, however, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, and thus Constantine, and which belonged to Italy, and therefore Constans.[9] This led to growing tensions between the two brothers, which were only heightened by Constans
finally coming of age and Constantine refusing to give up his guardianship. In 340 Constantine II invaded Italy.[8] Constans, at that time in Dacia, detached and sent a select and disciplined body of his Illyrian troops, stating that he would follow them in person with the remainder of his forces.[7] Constantine was eventually trapped at Aquileia, where he died, leaving Constans
to inherit all of his brother’s former territories – Hispania, Britannia and Gaul.[4]

A Nummus
of Constans

Obverse showing Constans
portrait Reverse showing Constans
on a galley

began his reign in an energetic fashion.[4] In 341-42, he led a successful campaign against the Franks, and in the early months of 343 he visited Britain.[3] The source for this visit, Julius Firmicus Maternus, does not provide a reason, but the quick movement and the danger involved in crossing the channel in the dangerous winter months suggests it was in response to a military emergency, possibly to repel the Picts
and Scots.[3] Regarding religion, Constans
was tolerant of Judaism
and promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341.[3] He suppressed Donatism
in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother Constantius. Although Constans
called the Council of Sardica in 343 to settle the conflict,[10] it was a complete failure,[11] and by 346 the two emperors were on the point of open warfare over the dispute.[12] The conflict was only resolved by an interim agreement which allowed each emperor to support their preferred clergy within their own spheres of influence.[12] Homosexuality[edit] The Roman historian Eutropius says Constans
"indulged in great vices," in reference to his homosexuality, and Aurelius Victor stated that Constans
had a reputation for scandalous behaviour with "handsome barbarian hostages."[3][12] Nevertheless, Constans
did sponsor a decree alongside Constantius II
Constantius II
that ruled that marriage based on "unnatural" sex should be punished meticulously. Boswell argues that the decree outlawed homosexual marriages only, rather than homosexual activity more generally. However, it was likely the case that Constans promulgated the legislation under pressure from the growing band of Christian leaders, and attempting to placate public outrage at his own perceived indecencies.[13] Death[edit] In the final years of his reign, Constans
developed a reputation for cruelty and misrule.[14] Dominated by favourites and openly preferring his select bodyguard, he lost the support of the legions.[7] In 350, the general Magnentius
declared himself emperor at Augustodunum
with the support of the troops on the Rhine
frontier and, later, the western provinces of the Empire.[15] Constans
was enjoying himself nearby when he was notified of the elevation of Magnentius.[7] Lacking any support beyond his immediate household,[7] he was forced to flee for his life. As he was trying to reach Hispania, supporters of Magnentius
cornered him in a fortification in Helena (now Elne) in the eastern Pyrenees
of southwestern Gaul,[16] where he was killed after seeking sanctuary in a temple.[12] An alleged prophecy at his birth had said Constans
would die in the arms of his grandmother. His place of death happens to have been named after Helena, mother of Constantine and his own grandmother, thus realizing the prophecy.[17] See also[edit]

Itineraries of the Roman emperors, 337–361

See also[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire

List of Byzantine emperors


^ a b c d e Jones, p. 220 ^ Victor, 41:23 ^ a b c d e f g DiMaio, Constans
I (337–350 A.D.) ^ a b c Eutropius, 10:9 ^ a b Victor, 41:20 ^ a b c Canduci, pg. 130 ^ a b c d e f Gibbon, Ch. 18 ^ a b Victor, 41:21 ^ Zosimus, 2:41-42 ^ Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, book 2, chapter 20. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, 1930, Patrick J. Healy, Sardica ^ a b c d Canduci, pg. 131 ^ Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, 1980 ^ Zosimus, 2:42 ^ Eutropius, 10:9:4 ^ Victor, 41:21:23 ^ Cárdenas, Fabricio (2014). 66 petites histoires du Pays Catalan [66 Little Stories of Catalan Country] (in French). Perpignan: Ultima Necat. ISBN 978-2-36771-006-8. OCLC 893847466. 

Sources[edit] Primary sources[edit]

Zosimus, Historia Nova, Book 2 Historia Nova Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus Eutropius, Breviarium ab urbe condita

Secondary sources[edit]

DiMaio, Michael; Frakes, Robert, Constans
I (337–350 A.D.), in De Imperatoribus Romanis (D.I.R.), An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors Jones, A.H.M., Martindale, J.R. The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I: AD260-395, Cambridge University Press, 1971 Canduci, Alexander (2010), Triumph & Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Immortal Emperors, Pier 9, ISBN 978-1-74196-598-8  Gibbon. Edward Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire

External links[edit]

Media related to Constans
at Wikimedia Commons

Constans Constantinian dynasty Born: 320 Died: 350

Regnal titles

Preceded by Constantine I Roman Emperor 337–350 Served alongside: Constantius II and Constantine II Succeeded by Vetranio and Magnentius (usurper)

Political offices

Preceded by Ursus , Polemius Consul of the Roman Empire 339 with Constantius II Succeeded by Septimius Acindynus, Lucius Aradius Valerius Proculus

Preceded by Petronius Probinus , Antonius Marcellinus Consul of the Roman Empire 342 with Constantius II Succeeded by Marcus Maecius Memmius Furius Baburius Caecilianus Placidus, Flavius Romulus

Preceded by Amantius , Marcus Nummius Albinus Consul of the Roman Empire 346 with Constantius II Succeeded by Vulcacius Rufinus, Flavius Eusebius

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

(whole empire) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) with Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
I Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
and Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 89202717 LCCN: no2015090472 ISNI: 0000 0000 6215 3580 GND: 1047495465 SUDOC: 111591198 ULA