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On this page: Constantinus Ii – Constantinus Iii – Constantinus Iv


the showy pomp and the vain ceremonies of an Asiatic court. His life is an example of a great historical lesson : the West may conquer the East, but the conqueror will die on his trophies by the poison of sensuality.

As Constantine the Great was a successful political reformer, and the protector of a new religion, he has received as much undeserved re­proaches as praise ; the Christian writers generally deified him, and the Pagan historians have cast infamy on his memory. To judge him fairly was reserved for the historians of later times.

(Euseb. Vita Constantini; Eutrop. lib, x. ; Sextus Rufus, Brev. 26; Aurel. Vict. Epit. 40, 41, de Caes. 40, &c.; Zosim. lib. ii., Zosimus is a violent antagonist of Constantine ; Zonar. lib. xiii. ; Lactant. de Mart, Persecut. 24—52 ; Oros. lib. vii.; A mm. Marc. lib. xiv., &c., Excerpta, p. 710, &c., ed. Valesius. The accounts of, and the opinions on, Constantine given by Eumenius, Nazarius, &c., in the Panegyrics (especially vi.— xi.), and by the emperor Julian, in his Caesars as well as in his Orations, are of great importance, but full of partiality : Julian treats Constantine very badly, and the Panegyrics are what their name indicates. Among the ecclesiastical writers, Eusebius, Lactantius, Socrates, Sozomen, Theo-phanes, &c., are the principal; but it has already been observed that their statements must be pe­rused with great precaution. The Life of Constan­tine by Praxagoras, which was known to the Byzantines, is lost. Besides these sources, there is scarcely a writer of the time of Constantine and the following centuries, who does not give some account of Constantine; and even in the works of the later Byzantines, such as Constantine Porphy-rogenitus and Cedrenus, we find valuable additions to the history of that great emperor. The most com­plete list of sources, with critical observations, is con­tained in Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs. See also Manso, Leben Constantins des Grossen.} [W. P.]


CONSTANTINUS II. FLA'VIUS CLAU'-DIUS, surnamed the Younger, Roman emperor, a. d. 337—340, the second son of Constantine the Great, and the first whom he had by his second wife, Fausta, was born at Arelatum, now Aries, in Gaul, on the 7th of August, a. d. 312. As early as a. d. 316, he was created Caesar, together with his elder brother, Crispus, and the younger Lici-nius, and he held the consulship several times. In commemoration of the fifth anniversary of his Caesarship, in 321, the orator Nazarius delivered a panegyric (Panegyr. Veter. ix.), which, however, is of little importance. In 335 he was entrusted with the administration of Gaul, Britain, and Spain. After the death of his father, 337, he receiv­ed in the division of the empire between the three sons of the Great Constantine and his nephews, Dalmatius and Hannibalianus, the same provinces which he had governed under his father, and a part of Africa. Being the eldest surviving son of



Constantine, he received some exterior marks of respect from the other emperors, but he had no authority over them. Dissatisfied with his share of the spoil, he exacted from his younger brother Constans the rest of Africa and the co-administra­ tion of Italy. Constans refused to give up those provinces. Constantine declared war against him, and invaded Italy by sea and by land, and at Aquileia met with the army of Constans, who approached from Dacia. Having rashly pursued the enemy when they gave way in a mock flight, Constantine was suddenly surrounded by them and fell under their swords. (a. d. 340.) His body was thrown into the river Alsa, but was afterwards found and buried with royal honours. He was twice married, but the names of his wives are not known ; they probably both died before him, and he left no issue. An unknown author pronounced a monody on his death, which is contained in Ha- vercamp's edition of Eutropius. (Zosim. lib. ii. ; Zonar. lib. xiii. ; Euseb. Vita Const, iv. 40-—49 ; Prosper, Citron. Acyndino et Proculo Coss; more authorities are given in the lives of his brothers, Constantius and Constans.) [W. P.]


CONSTANTINUS III., FLA'VIUS HE- RA'CLIUS,called NOVUS CONSTANTI'NUS, emperor of the East,A. d. 641, the son of the emperor Heraclius by his first wife, Eudoxia, was bom in May, 612, and succeeded his father on the llth of March (February), 641, together with his younger half-brother Heracleonas, the succession being thus established by the testament of their father. Con­ stantine died as early as the 22nd of June (25th of May) a. d. 641, after a reign of 103 days, either from ill-health, or probably from poison adminis­ tered to him by his step-mother Martina. His successor was his brother Heracleonas. [hera­ cleonas; constans II.] Constantine distin­ guished himself personally in a war against the Persians. Advised by his rapacious treasurer, Philagrius, he sacrilegiously ordered the grave of his father to be robbed of a golden crown of seventy pounds' weight, which stuck so fast to the head of the dead emperor, that the corpse was mutilated in removing the crown from it. (Theophan. pp. 251, 275, &c., ed. Paris; Cedren. p. 430, &c., ed. Paris; Zonar. vol. ii. pp. 71, 87, &c«, ed. Paris; Glycas, p. 276, ed. Paris.) [W. P.]

CONSTANTINUS IV., FLA'VIUS, sur­named POGONA'TUS or BARBA'TUS, em­peror of the East, a. d. 668—685, the eldest son of Constans II., succeeded his father in 668. Constans having lost his life by assassination at Syracuse, his murderers, who seemed to have had great power, and who were assisted by the Greek army stationed in Sicily, chose as emperor one Mizizus, Mecentius, or Mezzetius, an Armenian. Constantine fitted out an expedition against the usurper, quelled the rebellion in 669, and put Mizizus to death. After a short stay at Syracuse, Constantine sailed back to Constantinople, carry­ing with him the body of his father; but no sooner

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