The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Constantius – Constantius Gallus – Consus



Honorius with the consulship (a. d. 414), and was also created comes and patricms. In A. d. 414 he marched against Ataulphus, who supported the claims of the rival emperor Attains, but was de­feated and compelled to give him up to his vic­tor in 416. [attalus.] The reward of Con-stantius was the hand of Placidia, the sister of Honorius, who, after being a captive of the West-Gothic kings, Ataulphus (to whom she was mar­ried), Sigericus, and Wallia, since 410, was given up in 417 by Wallia, who became an ally of the Romans. Constantius afterwards in­duced him to cede the conquests which he had made in Spain to Honorius, and Wallia received in compensation Aquitania II. and probably also Novempopulania, or Aquitania III. From this time Toulouse became the capital of the West-Gothic kings. In 421 (8th of February), Ho­norius conferred upon Constantius the dignity of Augustus and the authority of a co-emperor of the West. Theodosius II., emperor of the East, having refused to recognize him as Augustus, Con­stantius prepared to make war against him; but, before actual hostilities had broken out, he died at Ravenna, on the llth of September, 421, after a short reign of not quite seven months. After his accession he was more severe than he used to be, but it seems that he does not deserve reproaches for it, since he shewed that severity in restoring domestic peace to Italy and Rome, where ambitious men of all nations caused disturbances of the worst description. His children by Placidia were Flavius Placidius Valentinianus, afterwards Valentinian III., emperor, and Justa Grata Honoria, afterwards betrothed to Attila. Only gold coins of Constan­tius have been found ; they are very rare. (Zosim. lib. v. ult. and lib. vi., the chief authority; Sozom. ix. 13—16; Oros. vii. 42, 43; Philostorg. xii. 4, 12; Theoph, pp. 66—72, ed. Pans; Prosper, C/iron. Theodosio Aug. IV. Cons, &c.) [W. P.]


CONSTANTIUS GALLUS. [constan­tius.]

CONSTANTIUS, a native of Gaul, was pri­vate secretary to Attila and his brother Bleda, to whom he was recommended by Aetius. Constan­tius was a very rapacious man. Having been sent to the court of Theodosius II. to negotiate a lasting peace, he promised to promote the in­terest of the emperor if he would give him a rich woman in marriage. Theodosius offered him the hand of a daughter of Saturninus, Comes Domesti-corum, who was very rich, but who had been carried off by Zeno, Praefectus Orienti. Con­stantius having complained about it to Attila, this king threatened to invade Greece if the emperor did not produce the woman, and as Theodosius was unable to do so, Attila availed himself of the circumstance as a pretext for making war upon the emperor. During this war (a. d. 441) he laid siege to Sirmium. The bishop of Sirmium sent a considerable quantity of gold and silver vessels


belonging to his church to Constantius, requesting that he would keep them as his ransom in case the town should be taken and he fall into the hands of the victors. But Constantius kept those vessels for himself, and pledged them to a banker of the name of Sylvanus. When after the capture of Sirmium and the captivity of the bishop, Attila was in­formed of the robbery, he requested Theodosius to give up Sylvanus and his property, and Theodosius having refused to comply with the demand, Attila prolonged the war on that ground. Constantius was afterwards charged with high treason, and crucified by order of his master. (Prisons, in Ex­cerpt, de Legal, pp. 54, 57, 69, ed. Paris.) [W. P.] CONSTA'NTIUS, a presbyter of Lyons, who nourished towards the close of the fifth century, has been characterised b}r a French writer as at once the Maecenas and the Aristarchus of the lite­rary men of that period, fostering them by his munificence and training them to excellence by his counsel. We find four letters addressed to him by his friend Sidonius Apollinaris, from the first of which we learn, that this collection of epistles was made at his suggestion and submitted to his criticism and correction.

Constantius, at the request of Patiens, bishop of Lyons, drew up a biography of Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, who died in a. d. 448. This work, entitled Vita, S. Germani Episcopi Autissiodorensis, appears from the second dedication to have been completed about a. d. 488, and is contained in the compilations of Surius and of the Bollandists under the Saints of July. It was rendered into verse b}r Ericus, a Benedictine monk of Auxerre, who lived about a. d. 989, and translated into French by Arnauld d'Andilly.

Some persons have ascribed to Constantius the " Vita S. Justi Lugdunensis Episcopi," who died in a. d. 390, but there is no evidence that he was the author. This performance also will be found in Surius under September 2nd, and has been translated into French by Le Maitre de Sacy in his " Vies des Peres du Desert." [W. R.]

CONSUS, an ancient Roman divinity, whose name is derived by some from conso, i. e. consulo (Plut. Rom. 14; Tertull. de Sped. 5), while others regard it as a contraction of conditus. (Pseudo-Ascon. in do. Verr. ii. 10.) All we know about the nature of this divinity is limited to what may be inferred from the etymology of the name, and from the rites and ceremonies which were observed at his festival, the Consualia. {Diet, of Ant. s. v.) With regard to the former, some call him the god of secret deliberations, and others the hidden or mysterious god, that is, a god of the lower regions. The story about the introduction of his worship throws no light upon the question, since both ex­planations are equally in accordance with it. When after the building of Rome the Romans had no women, it is said, and when their suit to obtain them from the neighbouring tribes was rejected, Romulus spread a report, that he had found the altar of an unknown god buried under the earth. The god was called Census, and Romulus vowed sacrifices and a festival to him, if he succeeded in the plan he devised to obtain wives for his Ro­mans. (Plut. 1. c.; Dionys. ii. 30, &c.) Livy (i. 9) calls the god Neptunus Equestris. Hartung (Die Relig. d. Rom. ii. p. 87) has pointed out reasons sufficient to shew, that Consus must be re­garded as an infernal divinity; this notion is


About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of