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Constantius I (Latin: Marcus Flavius Valerius Constantius Herculius Augustus;[2][3] 31 March c. 250 – 25 July 306), commonly known as Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(Greek: Κωνστάντιος Χλωρός, Kōnstantios Khlōrós, literally "Constantius the Pale"), was Caesar, a form of Roman co-emperor, from 293 to 306.[4] He was the father of Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
and founder of the Constantinian dynasty. As Caesar, he defeated the usurper Allectus
Allectus
in Britain and campaigned extensively along the Rhine
Rhine
frontier, defeating the Alamanni
Alamanni
and Franks. Upon becoming Augustus
Augustus
in 305, Constantius launched a successful punitive campaign against the Picts
Picts
beyond the Antonine Wall.[5] However, Constantius died suddenly in Eboracum
Eboracum
(York) the following year. His death sparked the collapse of the tetrarchic system of government inaugurated by the Emperor Diocletian.

Contents

1 Life

1.1 Early career 1.2 Elevation as Caesar 1.3 Accession as Augustus
Augustus
and death

2 Family 3 Legend

3.1 Christian legends 3.2 British legends

4 Sources

4.1 Primary sources 4.2 Secondary sources

5 References 6 External links

Life[edit] Early career[edit] Born in Dardania, Constantius was the son of Eutropius, whom the Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
claimed to be a nobleman from northern Dardania, in the province of Moesia Superior, and Claudia, a niece of the emperors Claudius II
Claudius II
and Quintillus[6] Modern historians suspect this maternal connection to be a genealogical fabrication created by his son Constantine I,[7] and that his family were of humble origins.[2] Constantius was a member of the Protectores Augusti Nostri under the emperor Aurelian
Aurelian
and fought in the east against the secessionist Palmyrene Empire.[8] While the claim that he had been made a dux under the emperor Probus is probably a fabrication,[9][10] he certainly attained the rank of tribunus within the army, and during the reign of Carus
Carus
he was raised to the position of Praeses, or governor, of the province of Dalmatia.[11] It has been conjectured that he switched allegiances to support the claims of the future emperor Diocletian just before Diocletian
Diocletian
defeated Carinus, the son of Carus, at the Battle of the Margus in July 285.[12] In 286, Diocletian
Diocletian
elevated a military colleague, Maximian, to the throne as co-emperor of the western provinces,[13] while Diocletian took over the eastern provinces, beginning the process that would eventually see the division of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
into two halves, a Western and an Eastern portion. By 288, his period as governor now over, Constantius had been made Praetorian Prefect
Praetorian Prefect
in the west under Maximian.[14] Throughout 287 and into 288, Constantius, under the command of Maximian, was involved in a war against the Alamanni, carrying out attacks on the territory of the barbarian tribes across the Rhine
Rhine
and Danube
Danube
rivers.[13] To strengthen the ties between the emperor and his powerful military servant, in 289 Constantius divorced his wife (or concubine) Helena, and married the emperor Maximian’s daughter, Theodora.[15] Elevation as Caesar[edit]

On the reverse of this argenteus struck in Antioch
Antioch
under Constantius Chlorus, the tetrarchs are sacrificing to celebrate a victory against the Sarmatians.

By 293, Diocletian, conscious of the ambitions of his co-emperor for his new son-in-law, allowed Maximian
Maximian
to promote Constantius in a new power sharing arrangement known as the Tetrarchy.[16] Diocletian divided the administration of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
into two halves, a Western and an Eastern portion. Each would be ruled by an Augustus, supported by a Caesar. Both Caesars had the right of succession once the ruling Augustus
Augustus
died. At Milan
Milan
on March 1, 293, Constantius was formally appointed as Maximian’s Caesar.[17] He adopted the names Flavius Valerius[1] and was given command of Gaul, Britannia and possibly Hispania. Diocletian, the eastern Augustus, in order to keep the balance of power in the imperium[16] elevated Galerius
Galerius
as his Caesar, possibly on May 21, 293 at Philippopolis.[8] Constantius was the more senior of the two Caesars, and on official documents he always took precedence, being mentioned before Galerius.[1] Constantius’ capital was to be located at Augusta Treverorum. Constantius’ first task on becoming Caesar was to deal with the Roman usurper Carausius
Carausius
who had declared himself emperor in Britannia and northern Gaul
Gaul
in 286.[8] In late 293, Constantius defeated the forces of Carausius
Carausius
in Gaul, capturing Bononia.[18] This precipitated the assassination of Carausius
Carausius
by his rationalis (finance officer) Allectus, who assumed command of the British provinces until his death in 296. Constantius spent the next two years neutralising the threat of the Franks
Franks
who were the allies of Allectus,[19] as northern Gaul
Gaul
remained under the control of the British usurper until at least 295.[20] He also battled against the Alamanni, achieving some victories at the mouth of the Rhine
Rhine
in 295.[21] Administrative concerns meant he made at least one trip to Italy during this time as well.[19] Only when he felt ready (and only when Maximian
Maximian
finally came to relieve him at the Rhine
Rhine
frontier[22]) did he assemble two invasion fleets with the intent of crossing the English Channel. The first was entrusted to Asclepiodotus, Constantius’ long-serving Praetorian prefect, who sailed from the mouth of the Seine, while the other, under the command of Constantius himself, was launched from his base at Bononia.[23] The fleet under Asclepiodotus landed near the Isle of Wight, and his army encountered the forces of Allectus, resulting in the defeat and death of the usurper.[24] Constantius in the meantime occupied London,[25] saving the city from an attack by Frankish mercenaries who were now roaming the province without a paymaster. Constantius massacred all of them.[22] Constantius remained in Britannia for a few months, replaced most of Allectus’ officers, and the British provinces were probably at this time subdivided along the lines of Diocletian’s other administrative reforms of the Empire.[26] The result was the division of Upper Britannia into Maxima Caesariensis
Maxima Caesariensis
and Britannia Prima, while Flavia Caesariensis and Britannia Secunda
Britannia Secunda
were carved out of Lower Britannia. He also restored Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall
and its forts.[27] Later in 298, Constantius fought in the Battle of Lingones (Langres) against the Alamanni. He was shut up in the city, but was relieved by his army after six hours and defeated the enemy.[28] He defeated them again at Vindonissa (Windisch, Switzerland),[29] thereby strengthening the defenses of the Rhine
Rhine
frontier. In 300, he fought against the Franks
Franks
on the Rhine
Rhine
frontier,[30] and as part of his overall strategy to buttress the frontier, Constantius settled the Franks
Franks
in the deserted parts of Gaul
Gaul
to repopulate the devastated areas.[31] Nevertheless, over the next three years the Rhine
Rhine
frontier continued to occupy Constantius’ attention.[30] In 303, Constantius was confronted with the imperial edicts instituted by Diocletian
Diocletian
dealing with the persecution of Christians. The campaign was avidly pursued by Galerius, who noticed that Constantius was well-disposed towards the Christians, and who saw it as a method of advancing his career prospects with the aging Diocletian.[32] Of the four Tetrarchs, Constantius made the least effort to implement the decrees in the western provinces that were under his direct authority,[33] limiting himself to knocking down a handful of churches.[34] Accession as Augustus
Augustus
and death[edit]

Medal of Constantius I capturing Londinium
Londinium
(inscribed as LON) after defeating Allectus. Beaurains hoard.

Between 303 and 305, Galerius
Galerius
began maneuvering to ensure that he would be in a position to take power from Constantius after the passing of Diocletian.[35] In 304, Maximian
Maximian
met with Galerius, probably to discuss the succession issue and Constantius either was not invited or could not make it due to the situation on the Rhine.[30] Although prior to 303 there appeared to be tacit agreement between the Tetrarchs that Constantius’s son, Constantine and Maximian’s son Maxentius
Maxentius
were to be promoted to the rank of Caesar once Diocletian
Diocletian
and Maximian
Maximian
had resigned the purple,[36] by the end of 304 Galerius
Galerius
had convinced Diocletian
Diocletian
(who in turn convinced Maximian) to appoint Galerius’s nominees Severus and Maximinus Daia as Caesars.[30] Diocletian
Diocletian
and Maximian
Maximian
stepped down as co-emperors on May 1, 305, possibly due to Diocletian's poor health.[34] Before the assembled armies at Milan, Maximian
Maximian
removed his purple cloak and handed it to Severus, the new Caesar, and proclaimed Constantius as Augustus. The same scene played out at Nicomedia
Nicomedia
under the authority of Diocletian.[37] Constantius, notionally the senior emperor, ruled the western provinces, while Galerius
Galerius
took the eastern provinces. Constantine, disappointed in his hopes to become a Caesar, fled the court of Galerius
Galerius
after Constantius had asked Galerius
Galerius
to release his son as Constantius was ill.[38] Constantine joined his father's court at the coast of Gaul, just as he was preparing to campaign in Britain.[39] In 305 Constantius crossed over into Britain, travelled to the far north of the island and launched a military expedition against the Picts, claiming a victory against them and the title Britannicus Maximus II by 7 January 306.[40] After retiring to Eboracum
Eboracum
(York) for the winter, Constantius had planned to continue the campaign, but on 25 July 306, he died. As he was dying, Constantius recommended his son to the army as his successor;[41] consequently Constantine was declared emperor by the legions at York.[42] Family[edit] Constantius was either married to, or was in concubinage with, Helena, who was probably from Nicomedia
Nicomedia
in Asia Minor.[43] They had one son: Constantine. In 289 political developments forced him to divorce Helena. He married Theodora, Maximian's daughter. They had six children:[9]

Flavius Dalmatius Julius Constantius Hannibalianus Flavia Julia Constantia Anastasia Eutropia

Legend[edit] Christian legends[edit] As the father of Constantine, a number of Christian legends have grown up around Constantius. Eusebius's Life of Constantine claims that Constantius was himself a Christian, although he pretended to be a pagan, and while Caesar under Diocletian, took no part in the Emperor's persecutions.[44] It was claimed that his first wife, Helena, found the True Cross, although this was a later fourth-century invention immortalised by Ambrose of Milan. British legends[edit] Constantius's activities in Britain were remembered in medieval Welsh legend, which frequently confused his family with that of Magnus Maximus, who also was said to have wed a Saint Elen and sired a son named Constantine while in Britain. Henry of Huntingdon's History of the English identified Constantius's wife Helen as British[45] and Geoffrey of Monmouth repeated the claim in his 1136 History of the Kings of Britain. Geoffrey related that Constantius was sent to Britain by the Senate after Asclepiodotus (here a British king) was overthrown by Coel of Colchester. Coel submitted to Constantius and agreed to pay tribute to Rome, but died only eight days later. Constantius married his daughter Helena and became king of Britain. He and Helena had a son, Constantine, who succeeded to the throne of Britain when his father died at York
York
eleven years later.[46] These accounts have no historical validity: Constantius had divorced Helena before he went to Britain. Similarly, the History of the Britons traditionally ascribed to Nennius[47] mentions the inscribed tomb of "Constantius the Emperor" was still present in the 9th century in Segontium
Segontium
(near present-day Caernarfon, Wales).[48] Ford credited the monument to Constantine, the supposed son of Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
and Elen, who was said to have ruled over the area prior to the Irish invasions.[49] Sources[edit] Primary sources[edit]

Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus Joannes
Joannes
Zonaras, Compendium of History 1050581 extract: ‘Diocletian to the Death of Galerius’: 284-311 Zosimus, Historia Nova

Secondary sources[edit]

Southern, Pat. The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
from Severus to Constantine, Routledge, 2001 Potter, David Stone, The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
at Bay, AD 180-395, Routledge, 2004 Birley, Anthony (2005), The Roman Government in Britain, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-925237-4  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  DiMaio, Robert, "Constantius I Chlorus (305–306 A.D.)", De Imperatoribus Romanis (1996)

References[edit]

^ a b c d Southern, pg. 147 ^ a b Martindale, pg. 227 ^ "Marcus Flavius Valerius Constantius", "Valerius Constantius", "Gaius Valerius Constantius", and "Gaius Fabius Constantius" have been found on inscriptions, while Aurelius Victor (Caes 39:24) implied it may have been "Julius Constantius" ^ Tooke, William (1798). A new and general biographical dictionary. G. G. and J. Robinson. p. 69. Constantius, who from his pale complexion had acquired the denomination of Chlorus . ^ W.S. Hanson "Roman campaigns north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus: the evidence of the temporary camps" ^ Historia Augusta, Life of Claudius
Claudius
13 ^ Southern, pg. 172 ^ a b c Potter, pg. 288 ^ a b Martindale, pg. 228 ^ Historia Augusta, Life of Probus 22:3 ^ Odahl, Charles Matson. Constantine and the Christian Empire. New York: Routledge, 2004. p.16 ^ Potter, pg. 280 ^ a b Southern, pg. 142 ^ DiMaio, Constantine I
Constantine I
Chlorus; Canduci, pg. 119 ^ Potter, pg. 288; Canduci, pg. 119 ^ a b Southern, pg. 145 ^ Birley, pg. 382 ^ Birley, pg. 385 ^ a b Southern, pg. 149 ^ Birley, pg. 387 ^ Birley, pgs. 385-386 ^ a b Southern, pg. 150 ^ Birley, pg. 388 ^ Aurelius Victor, Liber de Caesaribus, 39 ^ Potter, pg. 292 ^ Birley, pg. 393 ^ Birley, pg. 405 ^ Eutropius, Breviarum 9.23 ^ UNRV History: Battle of the Third Century AD ^ a b c d Southern, pg. 152 ^ Birley, pg. 373 ^ Potter, pg. 338 ^ Potter, pg. 339; Southern, pg. 168 ^ a b DiMaio, Constantine I
Constantine I
Chlorus ^ Potter, pg. 344 ^ Potter, pg. 340 ^ Potter, pg. 342 ^ Southern, pg. 169; Canduci, pg. 119 ^ Southern, pg. 170; Eutropius, Breviarum 10.1; Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus 39; Zosimus, Historia Nova 2 ^ Birley, pg. 406 ^ Potter, pg. 346 ^ Eutropius, Breviarum 10.1–2; Canduci, pg. 126 ^ Eutropius, Breviarum 9.22; Zosimus, Historia Nova 2; Exerpta Valesiana 1.2 ^ Eusebius, Vita Constantini 1.13–18 ^ Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum 1.37 ^ Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae
5.6 ^ Nennius (attrib.). Theodor Mommsen
Theodor Mommsen
(ed.). Historia Brittonum. Composed after AD 830. (in Latin) Hosted at Latin Wikisource. ^ Newman, John Henry & al. Lives of the English Saints: St. German, Bishop of Auxerre, Ch. X: "Britain in 429, A. D.", p. 92. James Toovey (London), 1844. ^ Ford, David Nash. "The 28 Cities of Britain" at Britannia. 2000.

External links[edit] Media related to Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
at Wikimedia Commons

Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
on History of York
York
website

Constantius Chlorus Constantinian dynasty Born: 31 March 250  Died: 25 July 306

Regnal titles

Preceded by Maximian
Maximian
(with Diocletian
Diocletian
in the east) Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
Co-emperor with Galerius
Galerius
in the east 305 (Caesar from 293)–306 Succeeded by Flavius Valerius Severus
Flavius Valerius Severus
(with Galerius
Galerius
in the east)

Political offices

Preceded by Diocletian, Maximian Consul of the Roman Empire 294 with Galerius Succeeded by Nummius Tuscus, Gaius Annius Anullinus

Preceded by Nummius Tuscus, Gaius Annius Anullinus Consul of the Roman Empire 296 with Diocletian Succeeded by Maximian, Galerius

Preceded by Diocletian, Maximian Consul of the Roman Empire 300 with Galerius Succeeded by Titus
Titus
Flavius Postumius Titianus, Virius Nepotianus

Preceded by Titus
Titus
Flavius Postumius Titianus, Virius Nepotianus Consul of the Roman Empire 302 with Galerius Succeeded by Diocletian, Maximian

Preceded by Diocletian, Maximian Consul of the Roman Empire 305–306 with Galerius Succeeded by Maximian, Constantine I, Flavius Valerius Severus, Maximinus Daia, Galerius

Legendary titles

Preceded by Coel King of Britain 305–306 Succeeded by Constantine I

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
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

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

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
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
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
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
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
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: 37720

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