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Constantius I




CONSTANTIUS I. (Flavius Valerius), surnamed Chlorus, from the alleged paleness of his countenance - the father of Constantine the Great - was son of Eutropius, a Dardanian nobleman, and of Claudia, niece of Claudius Gothicus, born in Upper Maesia, about A.D. 282. Little enough addicted to literary pursuits, but decidedly inclined for a military life, he entered early into the service of the pretorian guards, and attained to the rank of tribune in that corps. He distinguished himself under Aurelianus and Probus, against the Sarmatians and Germans. --In 282, he was appointed governor of Dalmatia, under Carus, who held him in such high esteem, as to have intended to appoint Constantius as his successor, instead of his own unworthy son Carinus. But the death of Carus, unhappily for the empire, prevented this design from being carried into execution. --In 292, he was adopted, and declared Caesar, by Maximian Hercules; Diocletian at the same time proclaiming Galerius Maximian as the first of the two. Both Caesars received their appointment at Nicomedia. --In the apportionment of the empire between the four princes, Constantius had assigned to him the government of Gaul, Spain, and Britian. This island had been taken possession of by Carausius, who soon rendered himself independent of Diocletian and Maximian. Allectus, having murdered, succeeded Carausius, in 293. But Constantius resolved that this usurpation should not much longer continue. After the re-establishment of tranquillity in Gaul, this energetic prince brought Britian into subjection, and re-united it to the empire. (See CARASIUS and ALLECTUS). --In 298, he returned to Gaul, which Alemanni had invaded, and into which they had advanced as far as Lingones, is Lugdunensis Prima, now Laugres. There, after a great battle, in which the Romans were on the point of being utterly defeated, Constantius restored the fortune of the day, and the barbarians were slaughter by tens of thousands. He was not less successful against the Helvetians, whom he is said not only to have driven out of Gaul, but following up, to have vanquished them in the heart of their country.
On the 1st of May, 305, Diocletian and Maximian Hercules having abdicated, Constantius Chlorus and Galerius Maximianus were recognised as Augusti, and reigned as co-emperors with Maximinus Daza and Fl. Severus. --Another partition of the empire was then made between the four princes. Constantius remained in his old dominions of Gaul and Britian, where he governed with the title of senior Augustus during the space of fifteen months, at the expiration of which (July 25, 306), he died at Eboracum, now York, aged 56. This event took place, just as he was returned from a successful expedition against the Picts in Caledonia, in which he was accompanied by his son Constantine. His remains were interred at York; and his memory continued long to be held in veneration by the Romans; who placed him by consecration in the rank of the gods.
This prince was worthy of being compared with the best sovereigns that ever held the imperial sceptre. It had been well for the Roman world had he been permitted to govern it alone. In person well made, of majestic demeanor, and great benignity of countenance; calmness of temper, mildness of disposition, modesty and temperance, are described to have been amongst his most distinguishing characteristics. Humane, benevolent, true to his word of promise, just and equitable in his dealings, he entertained for his subjects a tenderness of regard, which made him always studious to promote their happiness. Although he never openly professed Christianity, he exhibited not only tolerance, but a pious sympathy towards the persecuted members of that religion. Convinced of their fidelity, he afforded them an asylum in his own palace, entrusted them with important affairs, and confided the safety of his person to their guardianship.
Constantius was twice married. His first wife was Helena, whom he repudiated at the requirement of Maximian Hercules, whose daughter Theodora became his second wife. By the former he had Constantine; by the second he had six children.

MINTAGES OF CONSTANTIUS I

On coins of Constantius Chlorus, published by Banduri, with the inscription of NOB. C. or Nobilissimi Caesaris, his head is for the most part seen adorned with a crown of laurel, except two coins in which the radiated crown appears.

A similar crown of laurel is usually found on some coins of Constantinus Magnus, and likewise of his cons Crispus, Constantine, and Constantius, whilst as yet they were only Caesars.
The coins of the emperor are common in brass; rare in silver; but in gold most rare.  He is styled Caesar, and Princeps Juventutis, from A.D. 292, as far as 305.  And in the same year 305, and the following, 306, he is designated Augustus; when the numismatic titles run -- IMP. C. FL. VAL. CONSTANTIVS P. F. AVG. -- DIVVS CONSTANTIVS PIVS PRINCEPS. -- DIVVS CONSTANTIVS. ADFINIS. or COGN. (or COGNATus), perhaps of Maxentius. (see p. 5.)
The subjoined are amongst the rarest reverses:
SILVER MEDALLIONS. --GENIO POPVLI. ROMANI. (Mr. 40 fr.) --MONETA AVGG. (20 fr.)
GOLD. --COMES AVG.  Female with helmet and armed.  (Unpublished type brought ...


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