The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Constans I – Constans Ii

828

CONSTANT

10. C. considius, son of No. 9, fell into Cae­sar's power, when he obtained possession of Adru-metura after the battle of Thapsus, b. c. 47, and was pardoned by Caesar. (Hirt. B. Afr. 89.) It is supposed that he may be the same as the C. Considius Paetus, whose name occurs on coins ; but this is mere conjecture. (Eckhel, v. p. 177.)

CONSTANS I., FLA'VIUS JU'LIUS, the youngest of the three sons of Constantine the Great and Fausta, was at an early age appointed by his father governor of Western Illyricum, Italy, and Africa, countries which he subsequently received as his portion upon the division of the empire in A. d. 337. After having successfully resisted the treachery and violence of his brother Constantine, who was slain in invading his territory, a. d. 340, Constans became master of the whole West, and being naturally indolent, weak, and profligate, abandoned himself for some years without restraint to the indulgence of the most depraved passions. While hunting in Gaul, he suddenly received in­telligence that Magnentius [magnentius] had rebelled, that the soldiers had mutinied, and that emissaries had been despatched to put him to death. Flying with all speed, he succeeded in reaching the Pyrenees, but was overtaken near the town of Helena (formerly Illiberis) by the cavalry of the usurper, and was slain, a. d. 350, in the thirtieth year of his age and the thirteenth of his reign. (Aurel. Vict. de Caes. xli., Epit. xli.; Eutrop. x. 5;

Zosimus, ii. 42 \ Zonaras, xiii. 6.) [W. R,]

COIN OF CONSTANS I.

CONSTANS II., FLA'VIUS HERA'CLIUS, emperor of the East, A. d. 641-668, the elder son of the emperor Constantine III. and the empress Gregoria, was born on the 7th of November, a. d. 630, and his original name was Heraclius. After the death of his father, who reigned but a few months, in A. d. 641, the throne was seized by Heracleonas, the younger brother of Constantine III. ; but as Heracleonas was a tool in the hands of his ambitious mother, Martina, he incurred the hatred of the people, and a rebellion broke out, which was headed by Valentinus Caesar. Valen­tine at first compelled Heracleonas to admit his nephew Heraclius as co-regent, and on this occasion Heraclius adopted the name of Constantine, which he afterwards changed into that of Constans. Not satisfied with this result, Valentine proclaimed Constans sole emperor: Heracleonas and Martina were made prisoners, and, after being mutilated, were sent into exile. Thus Constans II. succeeded in the month of August, A. d. 641, and on account of his youth was obliged to be satisfied with only the name of emperor, and to abandon his authority to Valentine, who is probably identical with one Valentinian, who rebelled in a. d. 644, but was killed in a skirmish in the streets of Constanti­nople.

The reign of Constans II. is remarkable for the great losses which the empire sustained by the at­tacks of the Arabs and Longobards or Lombards.

CONSTANS.

Egypt, and at last its capital, Alexandria, had been conquered by 'Amru, the general of the khalif 'Omar, towards the close of the reign of the emperor Heraclius, the grandfather of Constans. (a. d. 610 —641.) Anxious to regain possession of Alexan­dria, Constans fitted out an expedition against Egypt, and we are informed by the Chinese an­nalists, that he sent ambassadors to the emperor of China, Taisum, to excite him to a war against the Arabs, by whom the Chinese possessions in Turkistan were then infested. (Comp. DeGuignes, Histoire c/enerale des Huns, i. pp. 55, 56.) This emperor reigned from a. d. 627 till 650, and as the Christian religion was preached in China during his reign by Syrian monks, from which we may conclude that an intercourse existed between China and the Greek empire, the fact related by the Chinese annalists seems worthy of belief, especially as the danger from the Arabs was common to both the empires. When Manuel, the commander of the imperial forces, appeared with a powerful fleet off Alexandria, the inhabitants took up arms against the Arabic governor 'Othman, and with their assistance Manuel succeeded in taking the town. (a. d. 646.) But he maintained himself there only a short time. 'Amru approached with a strong army; he took the town by assault, and Manuel fled to Constantinople with the remnants of his forces. A considerable portion of Alexandria was destroyed, and the Greeks never got possession of it again. Encouraged by this success, the khalif 'Omar ordered his lieutenant 'Abdu-1-lah to invade the Greek possessions in northern Africa. 'Abdu-1-lah met with great success ; he conquered and killed in battle Gregorius, the imperial governor of Africa, and the Greeks ceded to him Tripolitana, and promised to pay an annual tribute for the re­maining part of the imperial dominions in Africa: This treaty was concluded without the consent of Constans, and although it was dictated by neces­sity, the emperor blamed and punished his officers severely, and shewed so much resentment against his subjects in Africa, that he took revenge upon them seventeen years afterwards, as is mentioned below. '

While 'Abdu-1-lah was gaining these advantages in Africa, Mu'awiyah, who subsequently became khalif, drove the Greeks out of Syria, and, after conquering that country, sailed with a fleet of 1700 small craft to Cyprus, conquered the whole island, and imposed upon the inhabitants an annual tri­bute of 7200 pieces of gold. The island, however, was taken from the Arabs two years after the con­quest, by the imperial general Cacorizus. The Arabs made also considerable progress in Cilicia and Isauria, which were ravaged by Bizr, one of their best generals. While the finest provinces of the East thus became a prey to the khalifs, the emperor was giving all his attention towards the protection of monothelism, to which sect he was addicted, and the persecution of the orthodox catholic faith. Unable to finish the religious con­test by reasonable means, Constans issued an edict by which he prohibited all discussions on religious subjects, hoping thus to establish monothelism by oppressive measures. This edict, which is known by the name of " Typus," created as much dis­content as laughter: it was rejected by the pope and generally by all the churches in Italy, and contributed much to ruin the emperor in public opinion. His subjects manifested publicly their

Pages
About | First

827

828

829
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.