Athanaric or Atanaric was king of several branches of the Thervingian Goths for at least two decades in the 4th century. Throughout his reign, Athanaric was faced with invasions by the Roman Empire, the Huns and a civil war with Christian rebels, he is considered the first king of the Visigoths, who settled in Iberia, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom. Athanaric made his first appearance in recorded history in 369, when he engaged in battle with the Roman Emperor Valens and negotiated a favorable peace for his people. During his reign, many Thervings had converted to Arian Christianity, which Athanaric vehemently opposed, fearing that Christianity would destroy Gothic culture. According to the report of Sozomenos, more than 300 Christians were killed in Athanaric's persecution during the 370s. Fritigern, Athanaric's rival, was an Arian and had the favor of Valens, who shared his religious beliefs. In the early 370s, Athanaric successively fought Fritigern in a civil war. Along with his generals Muderic and Lagarimanus, Athanaric was defeated by the invading Huns.
Temporarily fleeing to Caucaland in the Carpathians, Athanaric was warmly received by Theodosius in Constantinople in 381, where he signed a treaty of friendship with the Roman Empire. Socrates Scholasticus and Zosimus refer to conflicts between Fritigern and Athanaric. Ammianus Marcellinus and Philostorgius do not record such conflicts. According to Socrates and Athanaric were rival leaders of the Goths; as this rivalry grew into warfare, Athanaric gained the advantage, Fritigern asked for Roman aid. The Emperor Valens and the Thracian field army intervened and Fritigern defeated Athanaric, Fritigern converted to Christianity, following the same teachings as Valens followed. Sozomen follows Socrates' account. According to Zosimus, Athanaric was the king of the Goths. Sometime after their victory at Adrianople, after the accession of Theodosius, Fritigern and Saphrax moved north of the Danube and defeated Athanaric, before returning south of the Danube. In 376, Valens permitted Fritigern's people to cross the Danube River and settle on Roman soil to avoid the Huns, who had conquered the Greuthungs and were now pressing the Thervings living in Dacia.
Athanaric's people were left to their fate, but many of them found their own way across the river, as well. In 381, Athanaric unexpectedly came to Constantinople. According to Jordanes, he negotiated a peace with the new emperor, Theodosius I, that made some Thervings foederati, or official allies of Rome allowed to settle on Roman soil as a state within a state. Orosius and Zosimus affirm this, but another source, Ammianus Marcellinus tells us an different story. According to him, Athanaric was banished by his fellow tribesmen and forced to seek asylum on the Roman territory. Cf. Themistius, who describes Athanaric as a supplicant and a refugee. Athanaric was by no authority to negotiate with. A few weeks Athanaric died. A peace and a treaty with those Tervingi, who still fought the Romans in Thrace, was concluded in 382 and it lasted until Theodosius' death in 395. Athanaric's Wall
Speyer Cathedral the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in Latin: Domus sanctae Mariae Spirae in Speyer, Germany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speyer and is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg. The cathedral, dedicated to St. Mary, patron saint of Speyer and St. Stephen is known as the Kaiserdom zu Speyer. Pope Pius XI raised Speyer Cathedral to the rank of a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church in 1925. Begun in 1030 under Konrad II, with the east end and high vault of 1090–1103, the imposing triple-aisled vaulted basilica of red sandstone is the "culmination of a design, influential in the subsequent development of Romanesque architecture during the 11th and 12th centuries"; as the burial site for Salian and Habsburg emperors and kings the cathedral is regarded as a symbol of imperial power. With the Abbey of Cluny in ruins, it remains the largest Romanesque church, it is considered to be "a turning point in European architecture", one of the most important architectural monuments of its time and one of the finest Romanesque monuments.
In 1981, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites as "a major monument of Romanesque art in the German Empire". In 1025, Conrad II ordered the construction of the Christian Western world's largest church in Speyer, supposed to be his last resting place. Construction began 1030 on the site of a former basilica which stood on an elevated plateau right by the Rhine but safe from high water. Along with Santiago de Compostela, Cluny Abbey, Durham Cathedral, it was the most ambitious project of the time; the red sandstone for the building came from the mountains of the Palatine Forest and is thought to have been shipped down the channelled Speyerbach, a stream running from the mountains into the Rhine at Speyer. Neither Conrad II, nor his son Henry III, were to see the cathedral completed. Conrad II was buried in the cathedral while it was still under construction; the graves were placed in the central aisle in front of the altar. Nearly completed, the cathedral was consecrated in 1061.
This phase of construction, called Speyer I, consists of a Westwerk, a nave with two aisles and an adjoining transept. The choir was flanked by two towers; the original apse rectangular on the outside. The nave was covered with a flat wooden ceiling but the aisles were vaulted, making the cathedral the second largest vaulted building north of the Alps, it is considered to be the most stunning outcome of early Salian architecture and the "culmination of a design, influential in the subsequent development of Romanesque architecture during the 11th and 12th centuries". Around 1090, Conrad's grandson, Emperor Henry IV, conducted an ambitious reconstruction in order to enlarge the cathedral, he had the eastern sections demolished and the foundations enforced to a depth of up to eight metres. Only the lower floors and the crypt of Speyer I remained intact; the nave was elevated by five metres and the flat wooden ceiling replaced with a groin vault of square bays, one of the outstanding achievements of Romanesque architecture.
Each vault extends over two bays of the elevation. Every second pier was enlarged by adding a broad pilaster or dosseret, which formed a system of interior buttressing. Engaged shafts had appeared around 1030 in buildings along the Loire from where the technique spread to Normandy and the Rhineland; the only other contemporary example of such a bay system is in the church of San Vincente, Spain. The "double-bay system" of Speyer functioning as a support for the stone vaults was copied in many monuments along the Rhine; the addition of groin vaults made the incorporation of clerestory windows possible without weakening the structure. "The result is an interior of monumental power, albeit stark and prismatic when compared with contemporary French buildings, but one which conveys an impression of Roman gravitas, an impression singularly appropriate for a ruler with the political pretensions of Henry IV."In the course of these modifications the cathedral was equipped with an external dwarf gallery, an arcaded gallery recessed into the thickness of the walls, and, a natural development of the blind arcade.
Such blind arcades were used extensively as decorations, lining internal and external walls of many Romanesque churches. At the east end of Speyer Cathedral the dwarf gallery and the blind arcades were composed into "one of the most memorable pieces of Romanesque design"; the dwarf gallery encircles the top of the apse, underlining its rounded form, runs all around the structure below the roofline. This feature soon became a fundamental element in Romanesque churches. "The cathedral re-emerged in a more sculptural style typical of the prime of the Romanesque period." "The transept, the square of the choir, the apse, the central tower and the flanking towers were combined in a manner and size surpassing anything done before. All surfaces and edges rise without stages; the major elements within the combination remain independent.... Speyer became a model for many other church buildings but was unsurpassed in its magnificence."The expanded cathedral, Speyer II, was completed in 1106, the year of Henry's IV death.
With a length of 444 Roman feet and a width of 111 Roman feet it was one of the largest buildings of
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy, entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Old Catholic and Independent Catholic churches and in the Assyrian Church of the East, bishops claim apostolic succession, a direct historical lineage dating back to the original Twelve Apostles. Within these churches, bishops are seen as those who possess the full priesthood and can ordain clergy – including another bishop; some Protestant churches including the Lutheran and Methodist churches have bishops serving similar functions as well, though not always understood to be within apostolic succession in the same way. One, ordained deacon and bishop is understood to hold the fullness of the priesthood, given responsibility by Christ to govern and sanctify the Body of Christ, members of the Faithful. Priests and lay ministers cooperate and assist their bishops in shepherding a flock.
The term epískopos, meaning "overseer" in Greek, the early language of the Christian Church, was not from the earliest times distinguished from the term presbýteros, but the term was clearly used in the sense of the order or office of bishop, distinct from that of presbyter in the writings attributed to Ignatius of Antioch.. The earliest organization of the Church in Jerusalem was, according to most scholars, similar to that of Jewish synagogues, but it had a council or college of ordained presbyters. In Acts 11:30 and Acts 15:22, we see a collegiate system of government in Jerusalem chaired by James the Just, according to tradition the first bishop of the city. In Acts 14:23, the Apostle Paul ordains presbyters in churches in Anatolia; the word presbyter was not yet distinguished from overseer, as in Acts 20:17, Titus 1:5–7 and 1 Peter 5:1. The earliest writings of the Apostolic Fathers, the Didache and the First Epistle of Clement, for example, show the church used two terms for local church offices—presbyters and deacon.
In Timothy and Titus in the New Testament a more defined episcopate can be seen. We are told that Paul had left Timothy in Titus in Crete to oversee the local church. Paul commands Titus to exercise general oversight. Early sources are unclear but various groups of Christian communities may have had the bishop surrounded by a group or college functioning as leaders of the local churches; the head or "monarchic" bishop came to rule more and all local churches would follow the example of the other churches and structure themselves after the model of the others with the one bishop in clearer charge, though the role of the body of presbyters remained important. As Christendom grew, bishops no longer directly served individual congregations. Instead, the Metropolitan bishop appointed priests to minister each congregation, acting as the bishop's delegate. Around the end of the 1st century, the church's organization became clearer in historical documents. In the works of the Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius of Antioch in particular, the role of the episkopos, or bishop, became more important or, rather was important and being defined.
While Ignatius of Antioch offers the earliest clear description of monarchial bishops he is an advocate of monepiscopal structure rather than describing an accepted reality. To the bishops and house churches to which he writes, he offers strategies on how to pressure house churches who don't recognize the bishop into compliance. Other contemporary Christian writers do not describe monarchial bishops, either continuing to equate them with the presbyters or speaking of episkopoi in a city. "Blessed be God, who has granted unto you, who are yourselves so excellent, to obtain such an excellent bishop." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 1:1 "and that, being subject to the bishop and the presbytery, ye may in all respects be sanctified." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 2:1 "For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as to the bishop as the strings are to the harp." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:1 "Do ye, beloved, be careful to be subject to the bishop, the presbyters and the deacons."
— Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 5:1 "Plainly therefore we ought to regard the bishop as the Lord Himself" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6:1. "your godly bishop" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 2:1. "the bishop presiding after the likeness of God and the presbyters after the likeness of the council of the Apostles, with the deacons who are most dear to me, having been entrusted with the diaconate of Jesus Christ" — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 6:1. "Therefore as the Lord did nothing without the Father, either by Himself or by the Apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and the presbyters." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 7:1. "Be obedient to the bishop and to one another, as Jesus Christ was to the Father, as the Apostles were to Christ and to the Father, that there may be union both of flesh and of spirit." — Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians 13:2. "In like manner let all men respe
Bulgaria the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and North Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, the Black Sea to the east; the capital and largest city is Sofia. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country. One of the earliest societies in the lands of modern-day Bulgaria was the Neolithic Karanovo culture, which dates back to 6,500 BC. In the 6th to 3rd century BC the region was a battleground for Thracians, Persians and ancient Macedonians; the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire lost some of these territories to an invading Bulgar horde in the late 7th century. The Bulgars founded the First Bulgarian Empire in AD 681, which dominated most of the Balkans and influenced Slavic cultures by developing the Cyrillic script; this state lasted until the early 11th century, when Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered and dismantled it. A successful Bulgarian revolt in 1185 established a Second Bulgarian Empire, which reached its apex under Ivan Asen II.
After numerous exhausting wars and feudal strife, the Second Bulgarian Empire disintegrated in 1396 and its territories fell under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 resulted in the formation of the current Third Bulgarian State. Many ethnic Bulgarian populations were left outside its borders, which led to several conflicts with its neighbours and an alliance with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 Bulgaria became part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc; the ruling Communist Party gave up its monopoly on power after the revolutions of 1989 and allowed multi-party elections. Bulgaria transitioned into a democracy and a market-based economy. Since adopting a democratic constitution in 1991, the sovereign state has been a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political and economic centralisation; the population of seven million lives in Sofia and the capital cities of the 27 provinces, the country has suffered significant demographic decline since the late 1980s.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and relies on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; the name Bulgaria is derived from a tribe of Turkic origin that founded the country. Their name is not understood and difficult to trace back earlier than the 4th century AD, but it is derived from the Proto-Turkic word bulģha and its derivative bulgak; the meaning may be further extended to "rebel", "incite" or "produce a state of disorder", i.e. the "disturbers". Ethnic groups in Inner Asia with phonologically similar names were described in similar terms: during the 4th century, the Buluoji, a component of the "Five Barbarian" groups in Ancient China, were portrayed as both a "mixed race" and "troublemakers". Neanderthal remains dating to around 150,000 years ago, or the Middle Paleolithic, are some of the earliest traces of human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria.
The Karanovo culture arose circa 6,500 BC and was one of several Neolithic societies in the region that thrived on agriculture. The Copper Age Varna culture is credited with inventing gold metallurgy; the associated Varna Necropolis treasure contains the oldest golden jewellery in the world with an approximate age of over 6,000 years. The treasure has been valuable for understanding social hierarchy and stratification in the earliest European societies; the Thracians, one of the three primary ancestral groups of modern Bulgarians, appeared on the Balkan Peninsula some time before the 12th century BC. The Thracians excelled in metallurgy and gave the Greeks the Orphean and Dionysian cults, but remained tribal and stateless; the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered most of present-day Bulgaria in the 6th century BC and retained control over the region until 479 BC. The invasion became a catalyst for Thracian unity, the bulk of their tribes united under king Teres to form the Odrysian kingdom in the 470s BC.
It was weakened and vassalized by Philip II of Macedon in 341 BC, attacked by Celts in the 3rd century, became a province of the Roman Empire in AD 45. By the end of the 1st century AD, Roman governance was established over the entire Balkan Peninsula and Christianity began spreading in the region around the 4th century; the Gothic Bible—the first Germanic language book—was created by Gothic bishop Ulfilas in what is today northern Bulgaria around 381. The region came under Byzantine control after the fall of Rome in 476; the Byzantines were engaged in prolonged warfare against Persia and could not defend their Balkan territories from barbarian incursions. This enabled the Slavs to enter the Balkan Peninsula as marauders through an area between the Danube River and the Balkan Mountains known as Moesia; the interior of the peninsula became a country of the South Slavs, who lived under a democracy. The Slavs assimilated the Hellenized and Gothicized Thracians in the rural areas. Not l
The Arian controversy was a series of Christian theological disputes that arose between Arius and Athanasius of Alexandria, two Christian theologians from Alexandria, Egypt. The most important of these controversies concerned the substantial relationship between God the Father and God the Son; the deep divisions created by the disputes were an ironic consequence of Emperor Constantine's efforts to unite Christianity and establish a single, imperially approved version of the faith during his reign. These disagreements divided the Church into two opposing theological factions for over 55 years, from the time before the First Council of Nicaea in 325 until after the First Council of Constantinople in 381. There was no formal resolution or formal schism, though the Trinitarian faction gained the upper hand in the imperial Church. Arianism continued to be preached inside and outside the Empire for some time but it was killed off; the modern Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as most other modern Christian sects have followed the Trinitarian formulation, though each has its own specific theology on the matter.
The early history of the controversy must be pieced together from about 35 documents found in various sources. The Trinitarian historian Socrates of Constantinople reports that Arius first became controversial under the bishop Alexander of Alexandria, when Arius formulated the following syllogism: "If the Father begat the Son, he, begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not, it therefore follows, that he had his substance from nothing". Bishop Alexander of Alexandria was criticised for his slow reaction against Arius. Like his predecessor Dionysius, he has been charged with vacillation; the question that Arius raised had been left unsettled two generations previously. Therefore, Alexander allowed the controversy to continue until he felt that it had become dangerous to the peace of the Church, he called a council of bishops and sought their advice. Once they decided against Arius, Alexander delayed no longer, he excommunicated him as well as his supporters.
Arianism would not be contained within the Alexandrian diocese. By the time Bishop Alexander acted against his recalcitrant presbyter, Arius's doctrine had spread far beyond his own see; the Church was now a powerful force in the Roman world, with Constantine I having legalized it in 313 through the Edict of Milan. The emperor had taken a personal interest in several ecumenical issues, including the Donatist controversy in 316, he wanted to bring an end to the Arian dispute. To this end, the emperor sent bishop Hosius of Corduba to investigate and, if possible, resolve the controversy. Hosius was armed with an open letter from the Emperor: "Wherefore let each one of you, showing consideration for the other, listen to the impartial exhortation of your fellow-servant." As the debate continued to rage despite Hosius' efforts, Constantine in AD 325 took an unprecedented step: he called an ecumenical council composed of church prelates from all parts of the empire to resolve this issue at Hosius' recommendation.
All secular dioceses of the empire sent one or more representatives to the council, save for Roman Britain. Pope Sylvester I, himself too aged to attend, sent two priests as his delegates. Arius himself attended the council, but his bishop, did not, but instead, he sent his young deacon, Athanasius in place of him. Athanasius would become the champion of the Trinitarian viewpoint adopted by the council and spend most of his life battling Arianism. There were Eusebius of Caesarea and Eusebius of Nicomedia. Before the main conclave convened, Hosius met with Alexander and his supporters at Nicomedia; the council would be presided over by the emperor himself, who participated in and led some of its discussions. Those who upheld the notion that Christ was co-eternal and con-substantial with the Father were led by the young archdeacon Athanasius; those who instead insisted that God the Son came after God the Father in time and substance, were led by Arius the presbyter. For about two months, the two sides argued and debated, with each appealing to Scripture to justify their respective positions.
Arius maintained. And he argued. Thus, said Arius, only the Son was directly begotten of God, he was capable of His own free will, said Arius, thus "were He in the truest sense a son, He must have come after the Father, therefore the time was when He was not, hence He was a finite being."According to some accounts in the hagiography of Saint Nicholas, debate at the council became so heated that at one point, he slapped Arius in the face. The majority of the bishops at the council agreed upon a creed, known thereafter as the Nicene Creed formulated at the first council of Nicaea, it included the word homoousios, meaning "consubstantial", or "one in essence", incompatible with Arius' beliefs. On June 19, 325, council and emperor issued a circular to the churches in and around Alexandria: Arius and two of his unyielding partisans were deposed and exiled to Illyricum, while three other supporters—Theognis of Nicaea, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Maris of Chalcedon—affixed their signatures
Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinavian variants are known as futhark or fuþark. Runology is the study of the runic alphabets, runic inscriptions and their history. Runology forms a specialised branch of Germanic linguistics; the earliest runic inscriptions date from around 150 AD. The characters were replaced by the Latin alphabet as the cultures that had used runes underwent Christianisation, by 700 AD in central Europe and 1100 AD in northern Europe. However, the use of runes persisted for specialized purposes in northern Europe; until the early 20th century, runes were used in rural Sweden for decorative purposes in Dalarna and on Runic calendars. The three best-known runic alphabets are the Elder Futhark, the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, the Younger Futhark; the Younger Futhark is divided further into the long-branch runes.
The Younger Futhark developed further into the Medieval runes, the Dalecarlian runes. The runic alphabet is a derivation of the Old Italic scripts of antiquity, with the addition of some innovations. Which variant of the Old Italic family in particular gave rise to the runes is uncertain. Suggestions include Raetic, Etruscan, or Old Latin as candidates. At the time, all of these scripts had the same angular letter shapes suited for epigraphy, which would become characteristic of the runes; the process of transmission of the script is unknown. The oldest inscriptions are found in northern Germany. A "West Germanic hypothesis" suggests transmission via Elbe Germanic groups, while a "Gothic hypothesis" presumes transmission via East Germanic expansion; the runes were in use among the Germanic peoples from the 1st or 2nd century AD. This period corresponds to the late Common Germanic stage linguistically, with a continuum of dialects not yet separated into the three branches of centuries: North Germanic, West Germanic, East Germanic.
No distinction is made in surviving runic inscriptions between long and short vowels, although such a distinction was present phonologically in the spoken languages of the time. There are no signs for labiovelars in the Elder Futhark The term runes is used to distinguish these symbols from Latin and Greek letters, it is attested on a 6th-century Alamannic runestaff as runa and as runo on the 4th-century Einang stone. The name comes from the Germanic root run-, meaning "secret" or "whisper". In Old Irish Gaelic, the word rún means "mystery", "secret", "intention" or "affectionate love." In Welsh and Old English, the word rhin and rūn means "mystery", "secret", "secret writing", or sometimes in the extreme sense of the word, "miracle". Ogham is a Celtic script carved in the Norse manner; the root run- can be found in the Baltic languages, meaning "speech". In Lithuanian, runoti means both "to cut" and "to speak". According to another theory, the Germanic root comes from the Indo-European root *reuə- "dig".
The Finnish term for rune, means "scratched letter". The Finnish word runo means "poem" and comes from the same source as the English word "rune"; the runes developed centuries after the Old Italic alphabets from which they are historically derived. The debate on the development of the runic script concerns the question regarding which of the Italic alphabets should be taken as their point of origin and which, if any, signs should be considered original innovations added to the letters found in the Italic scripts; the historical context of the script's origin is the cultural contact between Germanic people, who served as mercenaries in the Roman army, the Italian peninsula during the Roman imperial period. The formation of the Elder Futhark was complete by the early 5th century, with the Kylver Stone being the first evidence of the futhark ordering as well as of the p rune; the Raetic alphabet of Bolzano is advanced as a candidate for the origin of the runes, with only five Elder Futhark runes having no counterpart in the Bolzano alphabet.
Scandinavian scholars tend to favor derivation from the Latin alphabet itself over Raetic candidates. A "North Etruscan" thesis is supported by the inscription on the Negau helmet dating to the 2nd century BC; this features a Germanic name, Harigast. Giuliano and Larissa Bonfante suggest that runes derived from some North Italic alphabet Venetic: but since Romans conquered Veneto after 200 BC, the Latin alphabet became prominent and Venetic culture diminished in importance, Germanic people could have adopted the Venetic alphabet within 3rd century BC or earlier; the angular shapes of the runes are shared with most contemporary alphabets of the period that were used for carving in wood or stone. There are no horizontal strokes: when
Constantius II was Roman Emperor from 337 to 361. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Sasanian Empire and Germanic peoples, while internally the Roman Empire went through repeated civil wars and usurpations, culminating in Constantius' overthrow as emperor by his cousin Julian, his religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts. The second son of Constantine I and Fausta, Constantius was made Caesar by his father in 324, he led the Roman army in war against the Sasanian Empire in 336. A year Constantine I died, Constantius became Augustus with his brothers Constantine II and Constans, he promptly oversaw the massacre of eight of his relatives. The brothers divided the empire with Constantius receiving the eastern provinces. In 340, his brothers Constantine and Constans clashed over the western provinces of the empire; the resulting conflict Constans as ruler of the west. The war against the Sasanians continued, with Constantius losing a major battle at Singara in 344. In 350, Constans was assassinated in 350 by the usurper Magnentius.
Unwilling to accept Magnentius as co-ruler, Constantius waged a civil war against the usurper, defeating him at the battles of Mursa Major in 351 and Mons Seleucus in 353. Magnentius committed suicide after the latter battle, leaving Constantius as sole ruler of the empire. In 351, Constantius elevated his cousin Constantius Gallus to the subordinate rank of Caesar to rule in the east, but had him executed three years after receiving scathing reports of his violent and corrupt nature. Shortly thereafter, in 355, Constantius promoted his last surviving cousin, Gallus' younger half-brother Julian, to the rank of Caesar; as emperor, Constantius promoted Arian Christianity, persecuted pagans by banning sacrifices and closing pagan temples and issued laws discriminating against Jews. His military campaigns against Germanic tribes were successful: he defeated the Alamanni in 354 and campaigned across the Danube against the Quadi and Sarmatians in 357; the war against the Sasanians, in a lull since 350, erupted with renewed intensity in 359 and Constantius traveled to the east in 360 to restore stability after the loss of several border fortresses to the Sasanians.
However, Julian claimed the rank of Augustus in 360, leading to war between the two after Constantius' attempts to convince Julian to back down failed. No battle was fought, as Constantius became ill and died of fever on 3 November 361 in Mopsuestia, naming Julian as his rightful successor before his death. Constantius was born in 317 at Pannonia, he was the third son of Constantine the Great, second by his second wife Fausta, the daughter of Maximian. Constantius was made Caesar by his father on 13 November 324. In 336, religious unrest in Armenia and tense relations between Constantine and king Shapur II caused war to break out between Rome and Sassanid Persia. Though he made initial preparations for the war, Constantine fell ill and sent Constantius east to take command of the eastern frontier. Before Constantius arrived, the Persian general Narses, the king's brother, overran Mesopotamia and captured Amida. Constantius promptly attacked Narses, after suffering minor setbacks defeated and killed Narses at the Battle of Narasara.
Constantius captured Amida and initiated a major refortification of the city, enhancing the city's circuit walls and constructing large towers. He built a new stronghold in the hinterland nearby, naming it Antinopolis. In early 337, Constantius hurried to Constantinople after receiving news that his father was near death. After Constantine died, Constantius buried him with lavish ceremony in the Church of the Holy Apostles. Soon after his father's death Constantius ordered a massacre of his relatives descended from the second marriage of his paternal grandfather Constantius Chlorus, though the details are unclear. Eutropius, writing between 350 and 370, states that Constantius sanctioned “the act, rather than commanding it”; the massacre killed two of Constantius' uncles and six of his cousins, including Hannibalianus and Dalmatius, rulers of Pontus and Moesia respectively. The massacre left Constantius, his older brother Constantine II, his younger brother Constans, three cousins Gallus and Nepotianus as the only surviving male relatives of Constantine the Great.
Soon after, Constantius met his brothers in Pannonia at Sirmium to formalize the partition of the empire. Constantius received the eastern provinces, including Constantinople, Asia Minor, Syria and Cyrenaica. Constantius hurried east to Antioch to resume the war with Persia. While Constantius was away from the eastern frontier in early 337, King Shapur II assembled a large army, which included war elephants, launched an attack on Roman territory, laying waste to Mesopotamia and putting the city of Nisibis under siege. Despite initial success, Shapur lifted his siege after his army missed an opportunity to exploit a collapsed wall; when Constantius learned of Shapur's withdrawal from Roman territory, he prepared his army for a counter-attack. Constantius defended the eastern border against invasions by the aggressive Sassanid Empire under Shapur; these conflicts were limited to Sassanid sieges of the major fortresses of Roman Mesopotamia, including Nisibis and Amida. Although Shapur seems to have been vict