The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Constantius Iii

«48

CONST ANTI US.

empire was ruled by one man. The administra­tion, of the government and the public and private life of Constantius, approached more and more those of an Asiatic monarch : eunuchs reigned at the court, and secret murders, dictated by jealousy or suspicion, were committed by order of the em­peror, whenever justice disdained or was too weak to assist him in his plans. One of the victims of his malice was his cousin, Gallus Caesar. Guilty of negligence, disobedience, and cruelty in his ad­ministration of the East, he deserved punishment; and his guilt became still greater when he put to death the imperial commissioners, Domitian, prae-fectus praetorio Orientis, and Montius, quaestor palatii, who were sent to his residence, Antioch, to inquire into his conduct, but conducted them­selves with the most imprudent haughtines, threat­ening and defying Gallus, when they ought to have ensnared him with gentle persuasions and intrigues, according to their instructions. They were torn to pieces by the mob excited by Gallus, who after such an atrocious act seemed to have had but one means of saving himself from the em­peror's resentment,—rebellion. But deceived by new promises from the artful Constantius, he went to meet him at Milan. At Petovio in Parmonia he was arrested, and sent to Pola in Istria, where he was beheaded in a prison. (a. d. 354.) Julian, the brother of Gallus was likewise arrested; but, after having spent about a year in prison and exile, was pardoned at the intervention of his protectress, the empress Eusebia, and in November, 355, was created Caesar and appointed to the command-in-chief in Gaul, which was suffering from the con­sequences of the rebellion of Sylvami.s, who had assumed the purple, but was ensnared by Ursicinus, by whom he was murdered in the church of St. Severm at Cologne in September, 355.

In 357, Constantius visited Rome, where he celebrated an undeserved triumph. Imitating the example of Augustus, he ordered the great obelisk which stood before the temple of the Sun at Helio-polis to be carried to Rome, where it was erected in the Circus Maximus. (Having been thrown down, it was placed by order of pope Sixtus V. before the portal of the church of St. John Lateran, and is known as the Lateran obelisk.) From Rome Constantius went to Illyricum, where his generals made a successful campaign against the Quadi and Sarmatians, and thence returned in 359 to Asia to meet the armies of Sapor, who had once more invaded Mesopotamia, and taken Amida, now Diyarbekr, and the minor fortresses of Singara and Bezabde. Before Sapor appeared in the field, Gaul was invaded by the Alemanni and the Franks, but their power was broken in a three years'" cam­paign by Julian, who made Chnodomarius, the king of the Alemanni prisoner [chnodomarius] ; and not only by his martial deeds, but also by his excellent administration, which won him the hearts of the inhabitants, he excited the jealousy of Con­stantius. Accordingly, orders arrived in Gaul that the legions employed there should inarch to the defence of the East. The pretext for this command was, that Gaul being tranquil, no great army was required there, but the real motive was the fear that Julian might abuse his popularity, and assume the purple. Instead of preventing that event, the imprudent order caused it. The troops refused, to march ; and Julian having ne­vertheless brought them into motion, they sud-

CONSTANTIUS.

denly proclaimed him emperor. (a. d. 3GO.) It. is related in the life of Julian how he acted under these circumstances; his protestations of innocence were misconstrued ; his ambassadors, Avho met with Constantius at Caesareia, were dismissed with anger, and war was declared. Constantius, with the greater part of his army, marched to the West, and the empire was on the eve of being shaken by a dreadful civil war, when the sudden death of Constantius at Mopsocrene, near Tarsus in Cilicia (3rd of November, a. d. 361), prevented that calamity, and made Julian the sole master of the empire. [julianus.] By his third wife, Maxima Faustina, Constantius left one daughter, who was afterwards married to the emperor Gra-tian. (Amm. Marc. lib. xiv.—xxi. ; Zosimus, lib. ii. iii. ; Agathias, lib. iv. ; Euseb. Vita Constantin. lib. iv. ; Eutrop. lib. x. 5, &c.; Julian. Oral. i. ii. ; Liban. Orat. iii.-x.; Zonar. lib. xiii.; the authori­ties referred to under Constantinus II. and Con-stans I.; Tilleraont,7/zsiozr<3 des Empereurs.') [ W.P.]

COIN OP CONSTANTIUS II.

CONSTANTIUS III., emperor of the West, A. d. 421, was born in Illyria in the latter part of the 4th century of our aera. He became early. known by his military deeds, and was beloved at the court of the emperor Honorius, as well as among the people and the soldiers, for his talents and amiable yet energetic character, which were enhanced by extraordinary manly beauty. When the tyrant Constantine, after his return from Italy, was besieged in Aries by his rebellious and successful general, Gerontius, Constantius was despatched by Honorius to reduce Gaul and Spain to obedience ; but the emperor refrained from sending troops ovex to Britain, since this country was then in a hope­less state of revolt against everything Roman. It is related under Constantine the tyrant [p. 831] how Constantius, whose first lieutenant was Ulphilas, a Goth, compelled Gerontius to raise the siege and to fly to the Pyrenees, where he perished. Con­stantius then continued the siege ; but, although closely confined, his adversary found means to send one Edobicus or Edovinchus into Germany, for the purpose of calling the nations beyond the Rhine to his assistance. Edobicus soon returned at the head of a body of Frankish and Alemannic auxili­aries ; but, instead of surprising Constantius, the latter surprised him, having suddenly left his camp, and marched to attack the barbarians, whom he and Ulphilas met with beyond the Rhone and de­feated entirely. Edovicus was murdered by a friend in whose house he had taken refuge, and the murderer presented the head of Edovicus to the victor, expecting a recompense. With the virtue of an ancient Roman, Constantius refused to accept the hideous present, and ordered the murderer to be turned out of his camp straight­way. Constantius hastened back to Aries, re­sumed the interrupted siege, and forced Constan­tine to surrender, whose fate is related in his life.

Constantius was rewarded for his victory by

Pages
About | First

847

848

849
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.