Byzantine Empire /
Flavius Iulius Constantius
(317-361) Roman Emperor 337-361. He is listed as the 2nd ruler of the Byzantine Empire.
Much of his rule was devoted to fighting internal schisms, as well as defending the empire against the Sassanid of Persia in the east. His period was one in which little room was given for administration of the empire.
Constantius was involved in the development of Christianity, taking side with the Arians. In this, he opposed St. Athanasius, the Bishop of Alexandria, whom he forced into exile twice, in 339 and 356. The 3 councils he convened came to have little impact.
He continued the campaign against other religions, regulating religious practice in public. He was particularly harsh on the Jews, forbidding any Jew to marry Christians; earlier at least Jewish women at least could marry Christians. Also, he prohibited owning of slaves for Jews only, which affected their ability to compete in trade and production.
317 August 7: Born in Tarsus in Cilicia, as son of Constantine 1 and Fausta.
324: Officially made deputy emperor under his father, but the importance of his position must be seen in relation to his age; he was 6 or 7 years at the time of appointment.
337 May 22: Constantine 1 dies, and Constantius inherits the eastern part of the empire, after having had several of his relatives killed. His two full brothers, Constantine 2 and Constans 1 came to rule each their part of the western empire.
338: Begins warfare against the Sassanid Persian king, Shapur 2, which would last for years.
340: Constantine 2 dies, making Constans the sole ruler in the west.
350: His brother, Constans 1, is murdered by a usurper.
351: Becomes emperor of the full Roman Empire, after having killed his brother's murderer. He appoints his cousin Gallus as deputy emperor in the east.
354: Has Gallus executed, after having accused him of despotism.
355: Makes Julian his deputy emperor.
357: After years of campaigning in Europe, Constantius returns to Asia Minor, waging war against the Sassanids.
361: Julian has himself appointed emperor.
November 3: Constantius 2 dies from illness in Mopuscrenae (near Tarsus, modern Turkey) on his way to fight Julian, thereby Julian's claim to the control of the Roman Empire would be uncontested.