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CONSTANTINE II

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 991 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONSTANTINE II. (317—340), son of Constantine the Great, Roman emperor (337—340), was born at Arelate (Arles) in February 317. On the 1st of March in the same year he was created Caesar, and was consul in 320, 321, 324 and 329. The fifth anniversary of his Caesarship was celebrated by the panegyrist Nazarius (q.v.). He gained the credit of the victories of his generals over the Alamanni (331, for which he received the title Alamannicus), and over the Goths (332). From 335 he administered the Gallic portion of the empire as Caesar till his father's death (22nd of May 337). On the 9th of September in the same year he assumed the title of Augustus, together with his brothers Constans and Constantius, and in 338 a meeting was held at Viminiacum, on the borders of Pannonia, to arrange the distribution of the empire. In accordance with the arrangements made by his father, Constantine received Britain, Spain and the Gauls; Pontus, Asia, the East, and Egypt fell to Constantius; Africa, Pannonia and the Italies to the youngest brother Constans, whose dominions were further increased by the addition of Macedonia, Dalmatia and Thrace, originally intended for Delmatius, a nephew of Constantine I. and one of the victims of the general massacre of that emperor's kinsmen. By virtue of his seniority, Constantine claimed a kind of control over his brothers. Constans, an ambitious youth encouraged by intriguing advisers, declined to submit; and Constantine, jealous of his prerogatives and dissatisfied with his share in the empire, demanded from Constans the cession of Africa and equal authority in Italy. After protracted but unavailing negotiations, Constantine in 340 invaded Italy. He had advanced as far as Aquileia, when he fell into an ambuscade and lost his life. His body was thrown into the little river Alsa, but subsequently recovered and buried with royal honours. See Zosimus ii. xii. ; Aurelius Victor, Epit. 41; Eusebius, Vita Constantin, iv.; O. Seeck in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopadie, iv. pt. i (1900); Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 18.
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