Byzantine Empire /
Constantine the Bearded
(630-668) Byzantine emperor 641-668.
His reign saw many dramatic territorial losses to the advancing Arab Muslims, who had also plagued the reign of Heraclius. For Constans , much of the southern and eastern provinces were lost.
Constans proved to be an unwise politician on the home ground. Towards the end of his reign he became so unpopular that he eventually decided to resettle to Syracuse (Sicily). Him killing his brother, did not help his popularity much. In the 660's he visited his Italian provinces, removing many artefacts from the most famous buildings, causing much anger.
He attempted to avoid the never ending and destructive discussions over the nature (see Monophysitism) and will (see Monothelitism) of Christ, by prohibiting discussions over these sensitive matters. This did not help much, causing only discontent.
630 November 7: Born in Constantinople as son of future Emperor Constantine 3.
641 September: Heraclonas is forced to accept Constans 2 as co-ruler, following accusations of him having poisoned Constantine 3 earlier the same year. Attempts to break this agreement leads to Herclonas being forced to resign from the throne, altogethermaking Constans the sole ruler.
Constans, who had become emperor at the age of 11, had to rely upon the army under the leadership of General Valentinus, and a regency of senators led by Patriarch Paul 2 of Constantinople until reaching mature age.
642: All of Egypt passes to the control of Arab Muslims.
644: General Valentinus unsuccessfully attempts a coup to make himself emperor.
645-646: Brief Byzantine control over Alexandria.
647: The Arab Muslims invade Armenia and Cappadocia.
648: Issues an edict prohibiting further discussions over the theory of Monothelitism.
Arab Muslim invasion into Phrygia.
651: Constans is forced to agree on a truce with the Muslim governor of Syria, Mu'awiyya.
652: Has a son, Constantine 4, who would become the next emperor.
653: Orders Pope Martin 1 of Rome arrested and exiled.
655: Naval battle of Pheonix (modern Finike, Turkey), where is almost captured.
656 June: Caliph Uthman is murdered bringing forth a civil war in the Muslim territories. This makes the Muslims stop their advances into Byzantine territory, including a planned attack on Constantinople.
Makes his son, Constantine, co-emperor.
658: Wins an important victory against the Slavs in the Balkans.
659: Signs a peace treaty with Mu'awiyya and Syria.
660: Orders his brother, Theodosius, and the natural heir, murdered.
663: Leaves Constantinople, to settle in Syracuse (Sicily).
668 September 15: Is murdered at Syracuse. He would be succeeded by his son, Constantine 4.