Constantine II (emperor)
Constantine II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 340. Son of Constantine the Great and co-emperor alongside his brothers, his attempt to exert his perceived rights of primogeniture led to his death in a failed invasion of Italy in 340; the eldest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, Constantine II was born in Arles in February 316 and raised as a Christian. On 1 March 317, he was made Caesar. In 323, at the age of seven, he took part in his father's campaign against the Sarmatians. At age ten, he became commander of Gaul, following the death of his half-brother Crispus. An inscription dating to 330 records the title of Alamannicus, so it is probable that his generals won a victory over the Alamanni, his military career continued when Constantine I made him field commander during the 332 campaign against the Goths. Following the death of his father in 337, Constantine II became emperor jointly with his brothers Constantius II and Constans, with the Empire divided between them and their cousins, the Caesars Dalmatius and Hannibalianus.
This arrangement survived Constantine I’s death, as his sons arranged the slaughter of most of the rest of the family by the army. As a result, the three brothers gathered together in Pannonia and there, on 9 September 337, divided the Roman world among themselves. Constantine, proclaimed Augustus by the troops received Gaul and Hispania, he was soon involved in the struggle between factions rupturing the unity of the Christian Church. The Western portion of the Empire, under the influence of the Popes in Rome, favored Catholicism over Arianism, through their intercession they convinced Constantine to free Athanasius, allowing him to return to Alexandria; this action aggravated Constantius II, a committed supporter of Arianism. Constantine was the guardian of his younger brother Constans, whose portion of the empire was Italia and Illyricum. Constantine soon complained that he had not received the amount of territory, his due as the eldest son. Annoyed that Constans had received Thrace and Macedonia after the death of Dalmatius, Constantine demanded that Constans hand over the African provinces, to which he agreed in order to maintain a fragile peace.
Soon, they began quarreling over which parts of the African provinces belonged to Carthage, thus Constantine, which belonged to Italy, therefore Constans. Further complications arose when Constans came of age and Constantine, who had grown accustomed to dominating his younger brother, would not relinquish the guardianship. In 340 Constantine marched into Italy at the head of his troops. Constans, at that time in Dacia 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. Constantine was killed in an ambush outside Aquileia. Constans took control of his deceased brother's realm. Itineraries of the Roman emperors, 337–361 Zosimus, Historia Nova, Book 2 Historia Nova Aurelius Victor, Epitome de Caesaribus Eutropius, Breviarium ab urbe condita DiMaio and Robert Frakes, "Constantine II", D. I. R. Jones, AH. M. Martindale, J. R; the Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, Vol. I: AD260-395, Cambridge University Press, 1971 Gibbon, Edward.
Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire Media related to Constantine II at Wikimedia Commons
Publia Fulvia Plautilla, Fulvia Plautilla or Plautilla was the wife of the Roman emperor Caracalla, her paternal second cousin. After her father was condemned for treason, she was exiled and killed on Caracalla's orders, she was related to Julius Caesar's first wife Cornelia. Plautilla was raised in Rome, she belonged to the gens Fulvia of ancient Rome. The Fulvius family was of plebeian origin, came from Tusculum and had been active in politics since the Roman Republic, her mother was named Hortensia. She had a brother, Gaius Fulvius Plautius Hortensianus. Severus and Plautianus arranged for Plautilla and Caracalla to be married in a lavish ceremony in April 202; the forced marriage proved to be unhappy. According to Cassius Dio, Plautilla had a profligate character. According to numismatic evidence, Plautilla bore Caracalla a daughter whose name is unknown in 204. In the same year, her father-in-law ordered the erection of the Arch of Septimius Severus, honoring himself and his family, including his wife, Empress Julia Domna, Caracalla and her brother-in-law Publius Septimius Geta.
On January 22, 205 Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was executed for treachery and his family properties were confiscated. Plautilla and her daughter were exiled by Caracalla to Sicily and to Lipari, they were treated harshly and were strangled on Caracalla's orders after the death of Septimius Severus on February 4, 211. Coins bearing her image that have survived are from the reign of her father-in-law, they are inscribed Plautillae Augustae. A marble bust of Fulvia Plautilla is in the Louvre; the Solinjanka or Salonitanka, meaning "woman from the city of Solin", one of the most important Roman portraits found in Croatia, is believed to depict Plautilla at a young age. Found in Salona, it is now kept in the Archaeological museum in Zagreb. Http://www.treasurerealm.com/coinpapers/romanemperors/plautilla.html http://vessels-of-time.com/women_of_rome.htm http://www.roman-emperors.org/caracala.htm#Note_pfp http://www.forumancientcoins.com/historia/coins/r4/r1461.htm http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/Europe/Italy/Lazio/Roma/Rome/_Texts/PLATOP*/Arcus_Argentariorum.html http://www.trajancoins.com/plautilla.htm http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/2739.html Marble portrait of Plautilla kept in Archaeological museum in Zagreb
Constantina, known as Saint Constance, was the eldest daughter of Roman emperor Constantine the Great and his second wife Fausta, daughter of Emperor Maximian. Constantina received the title of Augusta by her father, is venerated as a saint, having developed a medieval legend wildly at variance with what is known of her actual character. In English she is known as Saint Constance. In 335, Constantina married her cousin Hannibalianus, son of Flavius Dalmatius, whom Constantine had created "King of Kings and Ruler of the Pontic Tribes". After Emperor Constantine the Great died, great purges of the imperial family occurred and her husband was executed in 337. For the second time, Constantius II gave Constantina to Hannibalianus' cousin, her own half cousin Gallus. Gallus was created a Caesar of the East and his name changed to Constantius Gallus to further his legitimacy around 349/350, which presumably was the time of their marriage. Gallus was twenty-five or twenty-six at the time, whereas Constantina was his senior.
Her second marriage produced a daughter Anastasia, whose full fate are unknown. Constantina and Constantius Gallus were sent from Rome to Syria at Antioch to govern that portion of the Eastern Roman Empire, she would not return to Rome until her death. In 354 AD, when Constantius called for Gallus, the caesar sent Constantina to her brother, with the purpose to mitigate his position in Constantius' consideration. While on her way to meet with Constantius II, she died at Caeni Gallicani in Bithynia; the cause of her death was a sudden high fever of unknown cause. Her body was sent back to Rome and entombed near Via Nomentana in a mausoleum her father, Emperor Constantine I, had started building for her; this mausoleum would become known as the church of Santa Costanza, when Constantina was venerated as saint. Her magnificent porphyry sarcophagus is on exhibit in the Vatican Museums. Upon marrying Hannibalianus her father made her Augusta but it was an honorary title. After her husband was executed in 337 AD, Constantina disappeared from the imperial record until 350 AD.
This is when Magnentius revolted against her brother Constantius II which caused great political upheaval. This prompted her to become directly involved in the political revolt, she exercised her political power by asking Vetranio to challenge Magnentius, thereby hoping to protect her own political interests and preserve her power. Not only did Constantina exercise political power on her own, she was inherently, as a female member of the imperial Roman family, a political tool; as a widow, she could be offered in marriage to secure political alliance. This happened twice. In 350 AD, in order to attempt a peaceful compromise by arraigning marriage, Magnentius offered to marry Constantina and have Constantius II marry his daughter, but Constantius II refused this offer. Shortly after, in 351 AD, Constantius II used Constantina for a different political purpose and gave her in marriage to Constantius Gallus, made Caesar in the Eastern Roman Empire and they moved to Antioch; the Passio Artemii alleges that the marriage was meant to ensure Gallus' loyalty but it may have had at least as much to do with Constantina who, besides having known power as Constantine's daughter and Hannibalianus' wife, had prompted the opposition of Vetranio to Magnentius, whose hand had been sought from Constantius by ambassadors of Magnentius himself.
The marriage, besides benefiting Constantius, extricated her from a dangerous situation in the Roman Empire and placed her in a position from which she might control the younger and inexperienced Caesar. On the other hand, it is possible that Constantius saw the marriage as a way to remove his intrusive — treasonous — sister from the volatile west. If the mention in the Passio Artemii of letters from Constantina to her brother preserves a genuine tradition, it is possible Constantina initiated the proposal that she marry Gallus. Gallus ruled over the East from Antioch, his purpose was to keep under control the Sassanid menace. Gallus, alienated the support of his subjects with his arbitrary and merciless rule. Constantina supported her husband, it is in Antioch that Constantina appeared to become politically active in the way typical of imperial Roman women. According to Ammianus Marcellinus, she was sinister and cruel, who operated hidden from the public view but was still powerfully controlling.
He suggests that she called for the murder of several people, "Gallus...had just enough strength to reply that most of them had been massacred at the insistence of his wife Constantina". While this can not be proven, it does give her character the perception of being violent. When, after receiving the complaints of the Anthiocheans, Constantius II summoned both Gallus and Constantina, but according to Ammianus Constantina tried to go to him first alone in the hope that their familiar ties would help ease tensions, "she set out in the hope that as he was her brother she would be able to soften him". In her last attempt at using her political power, Constantina went to try to meet with her brother the Emperor to try to pacify him in his conflict with her husband Constantius Gallus. Edward Gibbon likened Constantina to one of the infernal furies tormented with an insatiate thirst of human blood; the historian said that she encouraged the violent nature of Gallus rather than persuading him to show reason and compassion.
Gibbon stated that her vanity was accentuated while the gentle qualities of a woman were absent in her makeup. She would have accepted a pearl necklace in return for consenting to the execution of a worthy nobleman. According to Ammianus Marcellinus, Constantina appeared
Flavius Hannibalianus was a member of the Constantinian dynasty, which ruled over the Roman Empire in the 4th century. Hannibalianus was the son of Flavius Dalmatius, thus nephew of Constantine I. Hannibalianus and his brother Dalmatius were educated at Tolosa by rhetor Exuperius. In 320s, Constantine called his sons to Constantinople. Hannibalianus married Constantine's elder daughter, Constantina, in 335, was made nobilissimus. In occasion of the campaign of Constantine against the Sassanids, Hannibalianus was made Rex Regum et Ponticarum Gentium, "King of the Kings and of the Pontic People", it was Constantine's intention to put Hannibalianus on the Pontic throne, after the defeat of the Persians. The Persian campaign did not take place, because Constantine died in May 337. Hannibalianus died. Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum XXXI Epitome de Caesaribus Zosimus, Historia Nova DiMaio, Michael, "Hannibalianus Rex Regum", in DIR
The Severan dynasty was a Roman imperial dynasty, which ruled the Roman Empire between 193 and 235. The dynasty was founded by the general Septimius Severus, who rose to power as the victor of the Civil War of 193–197. Although Septimius Severus restored peace following the upheaval of the late 2nd century, the dynasty was disturbed by unstable family relationships, as well as constant political turmoil foreshadowing the imminent Crisis of the Third Century, it was one of the last lineages of the Principate founded by Augustus. For dynastic relationships: see Severan dynasty family tree Lucius Septimius Severus was born to a family of Phoenicia equestrian rank in Leptis Magna, the Roman province of Africa proconsularis, in modern-day Libya, he rose through military service to consular rank under the Antonines. He married Syrian noblewoman Julia Domna and had two children with her and Geta, he was subsequently proclaimed emperor in 193 by his legionaries in Noricum during the political unrest that followed the death of Commodus, he secured sole rule over the empire in 197 after defeating his last rival, Clodius Albinus, at the Battle of Lugdunum.
Severus fought a successful war against the Parthians and campaigned with success against barbarian incursions in Roman Britain, rebuilding Hadrian's Wall. In Rome, his relations with the Senate were poor, but he was popular with the commoners, as with his soldiers, whose salary he raised. Starting in 197, his Praetorian prefect Gaius Fulvius Plautianus was a negative influence, he would be executed in 205. One of Plautianus's successors was the jurist Aemilius Papinianus. Severus continued official persecution of Christians and Jews, as they were the only two groups who would not assimilate their beliefs to the official syncretistic creed. Severus died, he was succeeded by his sons Caracalla and Geta, who reigned under the influence of their mother, Julia Domna. The eldest son of Severus, he was born Lucius Septimius Bassianus in Gaul. "Caracalla" was a nickname referring to the Gallic hooded tunic he habitually wore when he slept. Upon his father's death, Caracalla was proclaimed co-emperor with his brother Geta.
Conflict between the two culminated in the assassination of the latter less than a year after their father's death. Reigning alone, Caracalla was noted for lavish bribes to the legionaries and unprecedented cruelty, authorizing numerous assassinations of perceived enemies and rivals, he campaigned with indifferent success against the Alamanni. The Baths of Caracalla in Rome are the most enduring monument of his rule, he was assassinated while en route to a campaign against the Parthians by a Praetorian Guard. Younger son of Severus, Geta was made co-emperor with his older brother Caracalla upon his father's death. Unlike the much more successful joint reign of Marcus Aurelius and his brother Lucius Verus in the previous century, relations were hostile between the two Severan brothers from the start. Geta was assassinated in his mother's apartments by order of Caracalla, who thereafter ruled as sole Augustus. Marcus Opelius Macrinus was born in 164 at Caesarea Mauretaniae. Although coming from a humble background, not dynastically related to the Severan dynasty.
On account of the cruelty and treachery of the emperor, Macrinus became involved in a conspiracy to kill him, ordered the Praetorian Guard to do so. On April 8, 217, Caracalla was assassinated travelling to Carrhae. Three days Macrinus was declared Augustus, his most significant early decision was to make peace with the Parthians, but many thought that the terms were degrading to the Romans. However, his downfall was his refusal to award the pay and privileges promised to the eastern troops by Caracalla, he kept those forces wintered in Syria, where they became attracted to the young Elagabalus. After months of mild rebellion by the bulk of the army in Syria, Macrinus took his loyal troops to meet the army of Elagabalus near Antioch. Despite a good fight by the Praetorian Guard, his soldiers were defeated. Macrinus managed to escape to Chalcedon but his authority was lost: he was betrayed and executed after a short reign of just 14 months. Marcus Opelius Diadumenianus was the son of Macrinus, born in 208.
He was given the title Caesar in 217. After his father's defeat outside Antioch, he tried to escape east to Parthia, but was captured and killed before he could achieve this. Elagabalus was born Varius Avitus Bassianus in 204, became known as Marcus Aurelius Antonius; the name "Elagabalus" followed the Latin nomenclature for the Syrian sun god Elagabal, of whom he had become a priest at an early age. Elagabal was represented by a dark rock called a baetyl. Elagabalus's grandmother, Julia Maesa, Julia Domna's sister and sister-in-law of Emperor Septimius Severus, arranged for the restoration of the Severan dynasty, persuaded soldiers from The Gallic Third Legion who were stationed near Emesa, using her enormous wealth, as well as the claim that Caracalla had slept with her daughter and that the boy was his bastard to swear fealty to Elagabalus, he was invited alongside his mother and daughters to the military camp, clad in imperial purple, crowned as emperor by the soldiers. His reign in Rome has long been known for being outrageous, although the historical sources are few, in many cases not to be trusted.
He is said to have smothered guests at a banquet by flooding the room with rose petals, married his male lover, married a vestal virgin. Dio suggests he
Maxentius was Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. He was the son-in-law of Emperor Galerius; the latter part of his reign was preoccupied with civil war, allying with Maximinus II against Licinius and Constantine. The latter defeated him at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, where Maxentius, with his army in flight, purportedly perished by drowning in the Tiber river. Maxentius' exact date of birth is unknown, he was the son of his wife Eutropia. As his father became emperor in 285, he was regarded as crown prince who would follow his father on the throne, he seems not to have served, however, in any important military or administrative position during the reign of Diocletian and his father. The exact date of his marriage to Valeria Maximilla, daughter of Galerius, is unknown, he had Valerius Romulus and an unknown one. In 305, Diocletian and Maximian abdicated, the former caesares Constantius and Galerius became Augusti. Although two sons of emperors were available and Maxentius, they were passed over for the new tetrarchy, Severus and Maximinus Daia were appointed Caesars.
Lactantius' Epitome states that Galerius hated Maxentius and used his influence with Diocletian to see that Maxentius was ignored in the succession. Maxentius retired to an estate some miles from Rome; when Constantius died in 306, his son Constantine was crowned emperor on July 25 and subsequently accepted by Galerius into the tetrarchy as Caesar. This set the precedent for Maxentius' accession in the same year; when rumours reached the capital that the emperors tried to subject the Roman population to the capitation tax, like every other city of the empire, wanted to dissolve the remains of the Praetorian Guard which were still stationed at Rome, riots broke out. A group of officers of the city's garrisons turned to Maxentius to accept the imperial purple judging that the official recognition, granted to Constantine would not be withheld from Maxentius, son of an emperor as well. Maxentius accepted the honour, promised donations to the city's troops, was publicly acclaimed emperor on October 28, 306.
The usurpation went without bloodshed. The conspirators turned to Maximian as well, who had retired to a palace in Lucania, but he declined to resume power for the time being. Maxentius managed to be recognized as emperor in central and southern Italy, the islands of Corsica and Sardinia and Sicily, the African provinces. Northern Italy remained under the control of the western Augustus Severus, who resided in Mediolanum. Maxentius refrained from using the titles Augustus or Caesar at first and styled himself princeps invictus, in the hope of obtaining recognition of his reign by the senior emperor Galerius. However, the latter refused to do so. Apart from his alleged antipathy towards Maxentius, Galerius wanted to deter others from following the examples of Constantine and Maxentius and declaring themselves emperors. Constantine controlled his father's army and territories, Galerius could pretend that his accession was part of the regular succession in the tetrarchy, but neither was the case with Maxentius: he would be the fifth emperor, he had only few troops at his command.
Galerius reckoned that it would be not too difficult to quell the usurpation, early in 307, the Augustus Severus marched on Rome with a large army. The majority of this army consisted of soldiers who had fought under Maxentius' father Maximian for years, as Severus reached Rome, the majority of his army went over to Maxentius, rightful heir of their former commander, who dealt out a large amount of money; when Maximian himself left his retreat and returned to Rome to assume the imperial office once again and support his son, Severus with the rest of his army retreated to Ravenna. Shortly after, he surrendered to Maximian. After the defeat of Severus, Maxentius took possession of northern Italy up to the Alps and the Istrian peninsula to the east, assumed the title of Augustus, which had become vacant with the surrender of Severus; the joint rule of Maxentius and Maximian in Rome was tested further when Galerius himself marched to Italy in the summer of 307 with an larger army. While negotiating with the invader, Maxentius could repeat what he did to Severus: by the promise of large sums of money, the authority of Maximian, many soldiers of Galerius defected to him.
Galerius was forced plundering Italy on his way. Some time during the invasion, Severus was put to death by Maxentius at Tres Tabernae near Rome. After the failed campaign of Galerius, Maxentius' reign over Italy and Africa was established. Beginning in 307 he tried to arrange friendly contacts with Constantine, in the summer of that year, Maximian travelled to Gaul, where Constantine married his daughter Fausta and was in turn appointed Augustus by the senior emperor. However, Constantine tried to avoid breaking with Galerius, did not support Maxentius during the invasion. In 308 April, Maximian tried to depose his son in an assembly of soldiers in Rome. In the conference of C
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great known as Constantine I, was a Roman Emperor who ruled between 306 and 337 AD. Born in Naissus, in Dacia Ripensis, town now known as Niš, he was the son of Flavius Valerius Constantius, a Roman Army officer, his mother was Empress Helena. His father became Caesar, the deputy emperor in the west, in 293 AD. Constantine was sent east, where he rose through the ranks to become a military tribune under Emperors Diocletian and Galerius. In 305, Constantius was raised to the rank of Augustus, senior western emperor, Constantine was recalled west to campaign under his father in Britannia. Constantine was acclaimed as emperor by the army at Eboracum after his father's death in 306 AD, he emerged victorious in a series of civil wars against Emperors Maxentius and Licinius to become sole ruler of both west and east by 324 AD. As emperor, Constantine enacted administrative, financial and military reforms to strengthen the empire, he restructured the government, separating military authorities.
To combat inflation he introduced the solidus, a new gold coin that became the standard for Byzantine and European currencies for more than a thousand years. The Roman army was reorganised to consist of mobile field units and garrison soldiers capable of countering internal threats and barbarian invasions. Constantine pursued successful campaigns against the tribes on the Roman frontiers—the Franks, the Alamanni, the Goths, the Sarmatians—even resettling territories abandoned by his predecessors during the Crisis of the Third Century. Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Although he lived much of his life as a pagan, as a catechumen, he joined the Christian faith on his deathbed, being baptised by Eusebius of Nicomedia, he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire. He called the First Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the statement of Christian belief known as the Nicene Creed.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on his orders at the purported site of Jesus' tomb in Jerusalem and became the holiest place in Christendom. The Papal claim to temporal power in the High Middle Ages was based on the forged Donation of Constantine, he has been referred to as the "First Christian Emperor", he did promote the Christian Church. Some modern scholars, debate his beliefs and his comprehension of the Christian faith itself; the age of Constantine marked a distinct epoch in the history of the Roman Empire. He renamed the city Constantinople after himself, it became the capital of the Empire for more than a thousand years, with the eastern Roman Empire now being referred to as the Byzantine Empire by historians. His more immediate political legacy was that he replaced Diocletian's tetrarchy with the principle of dynastic succession by leaving the empire to his sons, his reputation for centuries after his reign. The medieval church upheld him as a paragon of virtue, while secular rulers invoked him as a prototype, a point of reference, the symbol of imperial legitimacy and identity.
Beginning with the Renaissance, there were more critical appraisals of his reign, due to the rediscovery of anti-Constantinian sources. Trends in modern and recent scholarship have attempted to balance the extremes of previous scholarship. Constantine was a ruler of major importance, he has always been a controversial figure; the fluctuations in his reputation reflect the nature of the ancient sources for his reign. These are abundant and detailed, but they have been influenced by the official propaganda of the period and are one-sided; the nearest replacement is Eusebius's Vita Constantini—a mixture of eulogy and hagiography written between 335 AD and circa 339 AD—that extols Constantine's moral and religious virtues. The Vita creates a contentiously positive image of Constantine, modern historians have challenged its reliability; the fullest secular life of Constantine is the anonymous Origo Constantini, a work of uncertain date, which focuses on military and political events to the neglect of cultural and religious matters.
Lactantius' De Mortibus Persecutorum, a political Christian pamphlet on the reigns of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, provides valuable but tendentious detail on Constantine's predecessors and early life. The ecclesiastical histories of Socrates and Theodoret describe the ecclesiastic disputes of Constantine's reign. Written during the reign of Theodosius II, a century after Constantine's reign, these ecclesiastic historians obscure the events and theologies of the Constantinian period through misdirection, misrepresentation, deliberate obscurity; the contemporary writings of the orthodox Christian Athanasius and the ecclesiastical history of the Arian Philostorgius survive, though their biases are no less firm. The epitomes of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius and the anonymous author of the Epitome de Caesaribus offer compressed secular political and military histories of the period. Although not Christian, the epitomes paint a favourable image of Constantine but omit reference to Constantine's religious policies.
The Panegyrici Latini, a collection of panegyrics