People - Ancient Rome: Constantius I Chlorus
Born Flavius Valerius Constantius, he was Roman Emperor ruling from 293 to 306.
Constantius Chlorus in Harpers Dictionary
Chlorus, son of Eutropius, and father of Constantine the
Great, received at Paris the title of Caesar, which he
obtained by his victories in Britain and Germany. He became
the colleague of Galerius on the abdication of Diocletian;
and, after bearing the character of a humane and benevolent
prince, he died at York, and had his son for his successor,
Constantius I Chlorus in Roman Biography
Con-stan'tl-us (kon-stan'shg-iis) X, commonly called
Constantius -chlo'rus, [Fr. Constance Chloke,
koN'stoNs' kloR.j (Flavius Valerius,) a Roman emperor,
born about 250 A.D., was the son of Eutropius,
and father of Constantine the Great. In 292, Diocletian
and Maximian, in order to divide the labours of the
administration, chose Galerius and Constantius, each of
whom received the title of Caesar. Gaul, Spain, and
Britain were allotted to the latter, who was required to
repudiate Helena and marry Theodora, the daughter
of Maximian. He became emperor in 305, on the abdication
of Diocletian, and died at York in 306, leaving
the reputation of a just and humane ruler. His son
Constantine was his successor.
See Eutropius; Aurelius Victor, "Csesares."
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Constantius I Chlorus in Wikipedia
Flavius Valerius Constantius (c. 31 March 250 – 25 July 306), commonly known as Constantius I or
Constantius Chlorus, was Roman Emperor from 293 to 306. He was the father of Constantine the Great and
founder of the Constantinian dynasty.
The Historia Augusta says Constantius was the son of Eutropius, a noble from northern Dardania in modern
Serbia, and Claudia, a niece of the emperors Claudius II and Quintillus. Modern historians suspect this
maternal connection to be a genealogical fabrication created by his son Constantine I. His father, however,
might have been the brother of Eutropia, wife of Maximian.
Constantius was a member of the Protectores Augusti Nostri under emperor Aurelian and fought in the east
against the secessionist Palmyrene Empire. Shortly after he attained the rank of tribunus within the army, and
during the reign of Carus he was raised to the position of praeses, governor, of the province of Dalmatia.
In 293 the emperor Diocletian created the Tetrarchy, dividing the Roman Empire into Western and Eastern
portions. Each would be ruled by an Augustus, supported by a Caesar. Diocletian became Augustus of the Eastern
empire, with Galerius as his Caesar. Constantius was appointed Caesar to the Western Augustus, Maximian, and
married Theodora, Maximian's stepdaughter. They had six children. Constantius divorced his first wife (or
concubine), Helena, by whom he already had a son, Constantine. Helena was probably from Nicomedia in Asia
Minor. He was given command of Gaul, Britain and possibly Hispania.
In 293, Constantius defeated the forces of Carausius, who had declared himself emperor in Britain and northern
Gaul in 286, near Bononia. Carausius was killed by his rationalis Allectus, who took command of Britain until
296, when Constantius sent Asclepiodotus, a prefect of the Praetorian Guard, to invade the island. Allectus
was defeated and killed, and Roman rule in Britain restored.
Also in 296, Constantius fought a battle against the Alamanni at the city of Lingonae (Langres) in Gaul. He
was shut up in the city, but was relieved by his army after six hours, and defeated the enemy. He defeated
them again at Vindonissa (Windisch, Switzerland), thereby strengthening the defenses of the Rhine frontier.
Diocletian and Maximian stepped down as co-emperors in 305, possibly due to Diocletian's poor health, and the
Caesars, Constantius and Galerius, became co-emperors. Constantius ruled the western empire, Galerius the
eastern. Severus and Maximinus Daia were appointed Caesars. Constantine, who had hoped to be a Caesar, joined
his father's campaigns in Gaul and Britain. Constantius died in Britain, at Eboracum (York), in 306, and
Constantine was declared emperor by the army.
Christian legends -
As the father of Constantine, a number of Christian legends have grown up around Constantius. Eusebius's Life
of Constantine claims that Constantius was himself a Christian, although he pretended to be a pagan, and while
Caesar under Diocletian, took no part in the emperor's persecutions. His first wife, Helena, found the
British legends -
Constantius's activities in Britain were remembered in medieval British legend. According to Geoffrey of
Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain (1136), Constantius was sent to Britain by the Senate after
Asclepiodotus, here a British king, was overthrown by Coel of Colchester. Coel submitted to Constantius and
agreed to pay tribute to Rome, but died only eight days later. Constantius married Coel's daughter Helena and
became king of Britain. He and Helena had a son, Constantine, who succeeded to the throne of Britain when his
father died at York eleven years later. The identification of Helena as British had previously been made
by Henry of Huntingdon, but has no historical validity: Constantius had divorced Helena before he went to
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