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Constantius II

The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium

Timothy E. Gregory

Constantius II 

(Κωνστάντιος), caesar (from 8 Nov. 324) and augustus (from 9 Sept. 337); born 7 Aug. 317, died Mopsoukrene, Cilicia, 3 Nov. 361.

The son of Constantine I and Fausta, he was married three times, to the daughter of Julius Constantius (name unknown), to Eusebia, and to Faustina. Perhaps responsible for the murder of his rivals after Constantine I's death, Constantius was originally assigned Oriens, Pontica, Asiana, and Thrace. He became ruler of the entire empire after the overthrow of Constans I and the defeat of Magnentius in 353. Constantius fought the Persians throughout his reign and waged successful campaigns against the Germans in Gaul and the Sarmatians on the middle Danube. He named Gallus as caesar in 351 and Julian in 355 after the usurpation of Silvanus. Constantius was influenced by moderate Arianism and resisted the urging of his brothers who wanted to recall Athanasios of Alexandria. Constantius tried to restore unity to the church by councils held in Ariminium and Seleukeia in 359–60, but the supporters of the Homoousion remained intransigent. Constantius is remembered as a persecutor of the Orthodox. His reign was important in the development of Constantinople, whose senators were granted equality with those of Rome in 357. He was responsible for the construction of the original church of Hagia Sophia; the Chronicon Paschale records his lavish donations at the dedication of the basilica in 360. Constantius died in Cilicia in 361 on his way to the West to deal with the usurpation of Julian. His best-known portrait is on a largitio dish now in Leningrad (Iskusstvo Vizantii, vol. 1, no.34).


R. Klein, Constantius II. und die christliche Kirche (Darmstadt 1977).Find this resource:

    C. Vogler, Constance II et l'administration impériale (Strasburg 1979).Find this resource:

      M. Michaels-Mudd, The Arian Policy of Constantius II and its Impact on Church-State Relations in the Fourth-Century Roman Empire, BS/EB 6 (1979) 95–111.Find this resource:

        Timothy E. Gregory