Julius Constantius

Julius Constantius

Julius Constantius (died September 337) was a politician of the Roman Empire and a member of the Constantinian dynasty, being a son of emperor Constantius Chlorus and his second wife Flavia Maximiana Theodora, a younger half-brother of emperor Constantine I and the father of emperor Julian.


Julius Constantius was born after 289, the son of Constantius Chlorus and his wife Theodora,[1] adoptive daughter of emperor Maximian.[2] He had two brothers, Dalmatius and Hannibalianus,[3] and three sisters, Constantia, Anastasia and Eutropia. Emperor Constantine I was his half-brother, as he was the son of Constantius and Helena. Despite this illustrious kinship Julius Constantius was never himself emperor or co-emperor; Constantine, however, gave him the title of Patricius.[4]

Julius Constantius was married twice. With his first wife, Galla, sister of the later consuls Vulcacius Rufinus and Neratius Cerealis,[5] he had two sons and a daughter. His eldest son, whose name is not recorded, was murdered in 337 together with his father.[6] His second son Constantius Gallus,[7] was appointed Caesar by his cousin Constantius II. His daughter was the first wife of Constantius II.[8] It has been proposed that Galla and Julius had another daughter, born between 324 and 331 and married to Justus, mother of Justina, whose daughter, wife of emperor Theodosius I, was called Galla.[9]

After the death of his first wife, Julius Constantius married a Greek woman[10][11] Basilina, the daughter of the governor of Egypt Julius Julianus.[12] Basilina gave him another son, the future emperor Julian the Apostate,[13] but died before her husband, in 332/333.[14] Nothing is known about other marriages of Julius Constantius, but since the sources about him are rather poor, other marriages are of course not excluded. Allegedly at the instigation of his stepmother Helena, Julius Constantius did not live initially at the court of his half brother, but together with Dalmatius and Hannibalianus in Tolosa,[15] in Etruria, the birthplace of his son Gallus,[5] and in Corinth.[16] Finally, he was called in Constantinople,[17] and was able to build a good relationship with Constantine.[18]

Constantine favoured his half brother appointing him patricius and Consul for the year 335, together with Gaius Caeionius Rufius Albinus.[4]

However, in 337, after the death of Constantine, several male members of the Constantinian dynasty were killed, among them Constantius (whose property was confiscated)[19] and his eldest son;[20] his two younger sons however survived, because in 337 they were still children, and later were elevated to the rank of co-emperor and the emperor.


  1. ^ Zonaras, 12.33.
  2. ^ Eutropius 9, 22
  3. ^ Artemii Passio, 7.
  4. ^ a b Athanasius of Alexandria, Two writings against the Arians, 76.
  5. ^ a b Ammianus Marcellinus 14, 11, 27
  6. ^ Julian, Letter to the Athenians 270D.
  7. ^ Libanius, Orations, 18, 10
  8. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Life of Constantine 4, 49
  9. ^ Noel Emmanuel Lenski, The Cambridge companion to the Age of Constantine, Volume 13, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0521521572, p. 97.
  10. ^ Bradbury, Jim (2004). The Routledge companion to medieval warfare. Routledge. p. 54. ISBN 0415221269. "JULIAN THE APOSTATE, FLAVIUS CLAUDIUS JULIANUS, ROMAN EMPEROR (332–63) Emperor from 361, son of Julius Constantius and a Greek mother Basilina, grandson of Constantius Chlorus, the only pagan Roman Emperor after 313." 
  11. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1989). Byzantium: the early centuries. Knopf. p. 83. ISBN 0394537785. "Julius Constantius…Constantine had invited him, with his second wife and his young family, to take up residence in his new capital; and it was in Constantinople that his third son Julian was born, in May or June of the year 332. The baby's mother, Basilina, a Greek from Asia Minor, died a few weeks later…" 
  12. ^ Julian, Letters 60.
  13. ^ Libanius, Orations, 18, 9.
  14. ^ Julian, The Beard-Hater 352
  15. ^ Ausonius, Commemoratio professorum Burdigalensium 17, 11.
  16. ^ Julian, Letters 20.
  17. ^ Libanius, Orations 1, 434.
  18. ^ Libanius, Orations 1, 524.
  19. ^ Julian, Letter to the Athenians 273B.
  20. ^ Zosimus 2, 40, 2; Libanius, Orations 18, 31.
Political offices
Preceded by
Amnius Anicius Paulinus,
Flavius Optatus
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Gaius Caeionius Rufius Albinus
Succeeded by
Virius Nepotianus,
Tettius Facundus

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