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Constantius II 337 AD

During the years 337 to 361, Constantius II became the emperor of Rome where he can be found on the Bible Timeline Poster. When his father died, he was made the new ruler of the empire, along with his two brothers Constans and Constantine II. By 340, there was a problem that arose between the brothers in the Roman Empire’s western provinces. As a result of this conflict, Constans became the new ruler when Constantine II died. However, he was eventually assassinated after being overthrown by Magnentius, in 350. Constantius was not pleased with having Magnentius as his new co-ruler, so he decided to defeat him at a fight that took place in Mons Seleucus and Mursa Major.

Constantius II was assigned to rule the east, and this was the original intention of his father when the empire was divided between three of his sons. It was also believed that the late Constantine the Great thought of Constantius II as capable of dealing with the threats received by the eastern provinces from the Persians. When the news about the death of Constantine the Great reached King Sapor II, he began his attacks on the Roman Empire. Fortunately, the king agreed to a truce with Constantius II in 350 AD because the former had to deal with several concerns in his own kingdom.

Military Campaigns

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Constantius_II_337_AD
‘A bust of the Roman Emperor Constantius II from Syria. ‘

Constantius had several campaigns that involved defeating the Germanic tribes. He was successful and also he was able to defeat the Alamanni, Quadi and Sarmatians. However, the war in the eastern provinces was not as successful.

By 351, Constantius was having difficulties in ruling the empire by himself. Thus, he decided to promote Constantius Gallus as Caesar, yet he was executed after reports against him were gathered that proved his corrupt and violent nature. In 355, Julian, who was Gallus’ half-brother, took his place as the new Caesar.

By the time Constantius became the sole emperor, he received some news from the eastern provinces about the violent behavior of Gallus, his cousin. There were complaints about him being a tyrant. This caused Constantius to send Gallus to a place in Mediolanum. Here, Gallus was tried to court before he was executed.

After dealing with Gallus, Constantius II was preoccupied about the Franks who were advancing over the border. In fact, Silvanus, the Frankish leader, made himself as the new emperor of Colonia Agrippina. Eventually, Silvanus was murdered, although it was not too long before the city was occupied by Germans. Hence, Constantius II appointed Julian as the new Caesar to restore peace and order in the troubled city.

In 357, Constantius II went to Rome before beginning his campaigns in the Danube to cease the Suevi, Quadi and Sarmatians. However, there was another conflict in the east broke off, which involved Sopr II, the king of Persia. Constantius II requested for Julian to send reinforcements, but the he did not obey him. Julian assumed that Constantius II was only jealous of his victories in the western provinces. Julian’s troops believed in him, and instead of following the orders of the emperor they showed loyalty to their leader by making him Augustus.

As a result, Constantius II decided to leave Mesopotamia and head off with his troops to stop the usurper without the help of Julian and his army. However, upon reaching Cilicia in 361, he suffered from sudden fever and died.

References:
http://www.roman-empire.net/collapse/constantius-II.html
http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/constantius_II/i.html
http://www.livius.org/cn-cs/constantius/constantius_ii.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantius_II#/media/File:Bust_of_Constantius_II_(Mary_Harrsch).jpg

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