The Info List - Constans II

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II (Medieval Greek: Κώνστας Β', Kōnstas II; Latin: Heraclius
Constantinus Augustus
or Flavius Constantinus Augustus); 7 November 630 – 15 September 668), also called Constantine the Bearded (Κωνσταντῖνος ὁ Πωγωνάτος Kōnstantinos ho Pogonatos), was emperor of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
from 641 to 668. He was the last emperor to serve as consul, in 642.[1][2] Constans
is a diminutive nickname given to the Emperor, who had been baptized Herakleios and reigned officially as Constantine. The nickname established itself in Byzantine texts and has become standard in modern historiography.


1 Life

1.1 Early life and reign as co-emperor 1.2 As sole emperor 1.3 Death and succession

2 Record in Chinese sources 3 Family 4 See also 5 References 6 Sources 7 External links

Life[edit] Early life and reign as co-emperor[edit] Constans
was the son of Constantine III and Gregoria. Due to the rumours that Heraklonas
and Martina had poisoned Constantine III, he was named co-emperor in 641. Later that same year his uncle was deposed, and Constans
II was left as sole emperor. Constans
owed his rise to the throne to a popular reaction against his uncle and to the protection of the soldiers led by the general Valentinus. Although the precocious emperor addressed the senate with a speech blaming Heraklonas
and Martina for eliminating his father, he reigned under a regency of senators led by Patriarch Paul II of Constantinople. In 644 Valentinus attempted to seize power for himself but failed. As sole emperor[edit] Under Constans, the Byzantines completely withdrew from Egypt in 642, and Caliph Uthman launched numerous attacks on the islands of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
and Aegean Sea. A Byzantine fleet under the admiral Manuel occupied Alexandria
again in 645, but after a Muslim
victory the following year this had to be abandoned. The situation was complicated by the violent opposition to Monothelitism
by the clergy in the west and the related rebellion of the Exarch of Carthage, Gregory the Patrician. The latter fell in battle against the army of Caliph Uthman, and the region remained a vassal state under the Caliphate
until civil war broke out and imperial rule was again restored.

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
in 650 under Constans

of Constans

attempted to steer a middle line in the church dispute between Orthodoxy and Monothelitism
by refusing to persecute either and prohibiting further discussion of the natures of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ
by decree in 648. Naturally, this live-and-let-live compromise satisfied few passionate participants in the dispute. Meanwhile, the advance of the Caliphate
continued unabated. In 647 they had entered Armenia
and Cappadocia
and sacked Caesarea Mazaca. In the same year, they raided Africa and killed Gregory. In 648 the Arabs raided into Phrygia, and in 649 they launched their first maritime expedition against Crete. A major Arab offensive into Cilicia
and Isauria
in 650–651 forced the Emperor to enter into negotiations with Caliph Uthman's governor of Syria, Muawiyah. The truce that followed allowed a short respite and made it possible for Constans
to hold on to the western portions of Armenia. In 654, however, Muawiyah renewed his raids by sea, plundering Rhodes. Constans
led a fleet to attack the Muslims at Phoinike (off Lycia) in 655 at the Battle of the Masts, but he was defeated: 500 Byzantine ships were destroyed in the battle, and the Emperor himself was almost killed. Before the battle, chronicler Theophanes the Confessor says, the Emperor dreamed of being at Thessalonika; this dream predicted his defeat against the Arabs because the word Thessalonika
is similar to the sentence "thes allo niken", which means "gave victory to another (the enemy)".[3] Caliph Uthman was preparing to attack Constantinople, but he did not carry out the plan when the first Fitna broke out in 656.

A tremissis coin of Constans
II Pogonatos

In 658, with the eastern frontier under less pressure, Constans defeated the Slavs
in the Balkans, temporarily reasserting some notion of Byzantine rule over them and resettled some of them in Anatolia (ca. 649 or 667). In 659 he campaigned far to the east, taking advantage of a rebellion against the Caliphate
in Media. The same year he concluded peace with the Arabs. Now Constans
could turn to church matters once again. Pope Martin I had condemned both Monothelitism
and Constans' attempt to halt debates over it (the Type of Constans) in the Lateran Council of 649. Now the Emperor ordered his Exarch of Ravenna
to arrest the Pope. Exarch Olympius excused himself from this task, but his successor, Theodore I Calliopas, carried it out in 653. Pope Martin was brought to Constantinople
and condemned as a criminal, ultimately being exiled to Cherson, where he died in 655. Constans
grew increasingly fearful that his younger brother, Theodosius, could oust him from the throne; he therefore obliged Theodosius to take holy orders and later had him killed in 660. Constans' sons Constantine, Heraclius, and Tiberius
had been associated on the throne since the 650s. However, having attracted the hatred of citizens of Constantinople, Constans
decided to leave the capital and to move to Syracuse in Sicily. From there, in 663, he launched an assault against the Lombard Duchy of Benevento, which then encompassed most of Southern Italy. Taking advantage of the fact that Lombard king Grimoald I of Benevento
Grimoald I of Benevento
was engaged against Frankish forces from Neustria, Constans
disembarked at Taranto
and besieged Lucera
and Benevento. However, the latter resisted and Constans
withdrew to Naples. During the journey from Benevento
to Naples, Constans
II was defeated by Mitolas, Count of Capua, near Pugna. Constans
ordered Saburrus, the commander of his army, to attack again the Lombards, but he was defeated by the Beneventani at Forino, between Avellino
and Salerno. In 663 Constans
visited Rome
for twelve days—the only emperor to set foot in Rome
for two centuries—and was received with great honor by Pope Vitalian
Pope Vitalian
(657–672). Although on friendly terms with Vitalian, he stripped buildings, including the Pantheon, of their ornaments and bronze to be carried back to Constantinople, and in 666 declared the Pope of Rome
to have no jurisdiction over the Archbishop of Ravenna, since that city was the seat of the exarch, his immediate representative. His subsequent moves in Calabria
and Sardinia
were marked by further strippings and request of tributes that enraged his Italian subjects. According to Warren Treadgold, the first themes were created between 659 and 661, during the reign of Constans
II.[4] Death and succession[edit] Rumours that he was going to move the capital of the Empire to Syracuse were probably fatal for Constans. On September 15, 668, he was assassinated in his bath by his chamberlain, according to Theophilus of Edessa, with a bucket. His son Constantine succeeded him as Constantine IV. A brief usurpation in Sicily
by Mezezius
was quickly suppressed by the new emperor. Record in Chinese sources[edit] Further information: Sino-Roman relations
Sino-Roman relations
and Europeans in Medieval China

A solidus (coin) of Constans
II that was minted in Carthage

The Chinese dynastic histories of the Old Book of Tang
Old Book of Tang
and New Book of Tang mention several embassies made by Fu lin (拂菻), which they equated with Daqin
(i.e. the Roman Empire).[5] These are recorded as having begun in the year 643 with an embassy sent by the king Boduoli (波多力, i.e. Constans
II Pogonatos) to Emperor Taizong of Tang, bearing gifts such as red glass and green gemstones.[5] Other contacts are reported taking place in 667, 701, and perhaps 719, sometimes through Central Asian intermediaries.[6] These histories also record that the Arabs (Da shi 大食) sent their commander "Mo-yi" (Chinese: 摩拽伐之, Pinyin: Mó zhuāi fá zhī), to besiege the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and forced the Byzantines to pay them tribute.[5] This Arab commander "Mo-yi" was identified by historian Friedrich Hirth
Friedrich Hirth
as Muawiyah I (r. 661-680), the governor of Syria before becoming the Umayyad caliph.[5] The same books also described Constantinople
in some detail as having massive granite walls and a water clock mounted with a golden statue of man.[5] The Byzantine historian Theophylact Simocatta, writing during the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), relayed information about China's geography, its capital city Khubdan (Old Turkic: Khumdan, i.e. Chang'an), its current ruler Taisson whose name meant "Son of God" (Chinese: Tianzi, although this could be derived from the name of Emperor Taizong of Tang), and correctly pointed to its reunification by the Sui Dynasty
(581-618) as occurring during the reign of Maurice, noting that China had previously been divided politically along the Yangzi River
Yangzi River
by two warring nations.[7] Family[edit] By his wife Fausta, a daughter of the patrician Valentinus, Constans II had three sons:

Constantine IV, who succeeded him as Emperor Heraclius, co-emperor from 659 to 681 Tiberius, co-emperor from 659 to 681

See also[edit]

Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire

List of Byzantine emperors


^ JSTOR: The Last Consul: Basilius and His Diptych ^ JSTOR: The Iranian Factor in Byzantium during the Reign of Heraclius ^ «θὲς ἄλλῳ νὶκην», see Bury, John Bagnell (1889), A history of the later Roman empire from Arcadius
to Irene, Adamant Media Corporation, 2005, p.290. ISBN 1-4021-8368-2 ^ Warren Treadgold, Byzantium and Its Army 284-1081 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995). pp. 23-25;72-3. ^ a b c d e Hirth, Friedrich (2000) [1885]. Jerome S. Arkenberg, ed. "East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. - 1643 C.E." Fordham.edu. Fordham University. Retrieved 2016-09-10.  ^ Mutsaers, Inge. "Ashgate Joins Routledge - Routledge" (PDF). Gowerpublishing.com. Retrieved 2016-09-10.  ^ Yule, Henry (1915), Henri Cordier, ed., Cathay and the Way Thither: Being a Collection of Medieval Notices of China, Vol I: Preliminary Essay on the Intercourse Between China and the Western Nations Previous to the Discovery of the Cape Route, 1, London: London: Hakluyt Society, pp. 29–31; see also footnote #4 on p. 29; footnote #2 on p. 30; and footnote #3 on page 31., retrieved 21 September 2016 


Ostrogorsky, George (1956). History of the Byzantine State. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.  Meyendorff, John (1989). Imperial unity and Christian divisions: The Church 450-680 A.D. The Church in history. 2. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-88-141056-3.  The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, 1991. Liber Pontificalis Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum, Book V

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Constans

II Heraclian Dynasty Born: 7 November 630 Died: 15 September 668

Regnal titles

Preceded by Heraklonas Byzantine Emperor 641–668 with Constantine IV
Constantine IV
(654–685) Heraclius
(659–681) Tiberius
(659–681) Succeeded by Constantine IV

Political offices

Vacant Title last held by Heraclius Consul of the Roman Empire 642 Vacant Title next held by Justinian II

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: 267303429 LCCN: nb2010016663 ISNI: 0000 0003 8301 301X GND: 124745938 SUDOC: 109248430 BNF: