People - Ancient Rome
: Constans I
Constans I in Roman Biography
Portugal to the United States. Died in Paris in 1846.
Con'stana [Fr. Constant, k&N'st6.N'] I., (Fi.avius
Julius,) the third son of the emperor Constantine the
Great and Fausta, was born about 320 A.D. At the death
of his father, in 337, he inherited the sovereignty of Italy,
Africa, and Western Illyricum. His brother Constantine,
having invaded his dominions, was defeated and
killed in battle in 340, when the victor became master
of the whole Western Empire. He was indolent, weak,
and depraved. He favoured Athanasius, who had been
proscribed by the Arians. Magnentius having revolted
in Gaul, Constans fled towards Spain, but was overtaken
near the Pyrenees, and killed, in 350 A.D.
See Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;" Le
Beau, "Histoire du Bas- Empire."
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Constans in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
The youngest of the three sons of Constantine the Great and
Fausta. After his father's death he received (A.D. 337) as his
share of the Empire, Illyricum, Italy, and Africa. His
territory was invaded by his brother Constantine, who was
defeated and slain in the invasion (340 A.D.). Constans became
supreme over the whole Western Empire, but the weakness and
profligacy of his character made him despised and disliked so
that in 350 he was slain by the troops of the usurper
Constans in Wikipedia
Flavius Julius Constans (320–350), commonly known as Constans, was Roman Emperor from 337 to 350. Constans was the
third and youngest son of Constantine the Great and Fausta, his father's second wife.
On 25 December 333 Constantine elevated Constans to Caesar.
In 337 he succeeded his father, jointly with his older brothers Constantine II and Constantius II, receiving
Italy, Pannonia and Africa as his portion. Constantine II, who ruled over Gaul, Spain and Britain, attempted to
take advantage of his youth and inexperience by invading Italy in 340, but Constans defeated Constantine at
Aquileia, where the older brother died. The invasion was the effect of brotherly tensions between the two
emperors. Constantine II was, at first, Constans's guardian. As Constans grew older, Constantine II never
relinquished that position.
In 341-2, Constans led a successful campaign against the Franks and in the early months of 343 visited Britain.
The source for this visit, Julius Firmicus Maternus, does not give a reason for this but the quick movement and
the danger involved in crossing the channel in the dangerous winter months, suggests it was in response to a
military emergency of some kind, possibly to repel the Picts and Scots.
Regarding religion, Constans was tolerant of Judaism but promulgated an edict banning pagan sacrifices in 341. He
suppressed Donatism in Africa and supported Nicene orthodoxy against Arianism, which was championed by his brother
Constantius. Constans called the Council of Sardica, which unsuccessfully tried to settle the conflict.
In 350, the general Magnentius declared himself emperor with the support of the troops on the Rhine frontier - and
later the western provinces of the empire. Constans lacked any support beyond his immediate household, and was
forced to flee for his life. Magnentius' supporters cornered him in a fortification in Helena, southwestern Gaul,
where he was killed by Magnentius' assassins.