Flavius Julius Constans ., I (c.323 - 350) MP

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Nicknames: "Constans I", "Magnus Maximiam", "Magnus Maximianus", "Magnus Maximus"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Atles (Itália)
Death: Died in Aquilea (Itália)
Occupation: Roman Emperor, Empereur de Rome
Managed by: stanley w. duke, jr.
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About Flavius Julius Constans ., I

Constans, Roman emperor

Flavius Julius Constans or as he was simply known, Constans, was a Roman emperor who enjoyed quite a lengthy reign from the year 337 AD to the year 350 AD. He was born sometime in the year 320 AD (the exact date of his birth is unknown to this day) as the third and youngest son of the then Roman emperor Constantine I and his wife Fausta. Fausta was the second wife of Constantine I.

From the year 337 AD, Constans actually shared the rule over the entire Roman Empire equally with his two brothers, Constantius II and Constantine II. The relationship between the brothers was not all that amicable although it started that way. Constans and Constantine II in particular were given to violent confrontations.

Constantine II sought to take advantage of his younger brother's youth and relative inexperience in handling matters of the state, a treatment that eventually led to open warfare. Constantine II set forth to invade Italy in the year 340 AD but his younger surprised him with an astounding command over his armed forces. Their conflict led them to a battle in Aquileia where against all expectations, the younger brother along with his armed forces prevailed over the elder brother and Constantine II subsequently died from wounds that he received during the said battle.

The years from 341 AD to 342 AD found Constans engaged in yet another military campaign this time against the Franks. According to numerous reports from that period, this campaign was hugely successful and contributed further to his reputation as a formidable military leader.

While it was mentioned in the works of the writer Julius Firmicus Maternus that Constans visited Britain in the very early part of the year 343 AD, the writer did not go into detail about the Roman emperor's reasons for doing so. This visit to Britain has been recorded in various historical accounts as the last known visit of a Roman emperor to the country.

While the reason's for this journey has remained a mystery until this present time, some theories have been put forth regarding the reasons behind this journey. Some claim that it was a trip born out of the necessity of quashing a rebellion of some kind. Still other reports have suggested that it was in direct retaliation against the military advances of the Picts and the Scots.

In any case, it was known that he traversed the treacherous English Channel at a time when such a trip was particularly hazardous; during the bitter cold winter months. That he chose to undertake such a journey at a particularly dangerous time-along with the blinding speed in which he undertook the operation-suggests that it was a matter of extreme urgency, which bolstered that the theory that the journey was taken in response to a particularly pressing military emergency.

The year 350 AD brought a further conflict to Constans' immediate attention. The general Magnentius proclaimed himself the new rightful emperor and in a battle between the two factions, Constans was cornered and killed. He died in the year 350 AD.

Original Authors: Doods Pangburn

Edit Update Authors: None

Updated On: 12/05/2007

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Reference: http://fabpedigree.com/s040/f565402.htm -------------------- Flavius Julius Constans (320-350) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 337 until his death. Constans was the third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, Constantine's second wife.On 25 December 333 Constantine elevated Constans to Caesar.

In 337 he succeeded his father, jointly with his older brothers Constantine II and Constantius II, receiving Italy, Pannonia and Africa as his portion. Constantine II, who ruled over Gaul, Spain and Britain, attempted to take advantage of his youth and inexperience by invading Italy in 340, but Constans defeated Constantine at Aquileia, where the older brother died. The invasion was the effect of brotherly tensions between the two emperors. Constantine II was, at first, Constans's guardian. As Constans grew older, Constantine II never relinquished that position.

In 341-2, Constans led a successful campaign against the Franks and in the early months of 343 visited Britain. The source for this visit, Julius Firmicus Maternus, does not give a reason for this 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 of some kind, possibly to repel the Picts and Scots.

Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism but promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341. He suppressed Donatism in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother Constantius. Constans called the Council of Sardica, which unsuccessfully tried to settle the conflict.

In 350, the general Magnentius declared himself emperor with the support of the troops on the Rhine frontier, and later the entire Western portion of the Roman Empire. Constans lacked any support beyond his immediate household, and was forced to flee for his life. Magnentius' supporters cornered him in a fortification in Helena, southwestern Gaul, where he was killed by Magnentius's assassins