emperor of the West, A. D. 421, was born in Illyria in the latter part of the 4th century of our aera.
He became early known by his military deeds, and was beloved at the court of the emperor Honorius, as well as among the people and the soldiers, for his talents and amiable yet energetic character. which were enhanced by extraordinary manly beauty. When the tyrant Constantine, after his return fiom Italy, was besieged in Arles by his rebellious and successful general, Gerontius, Constanitius was despatched by Honorius to reduce Gaul and Spain to obedience; but the emperor refrained from sending troops over to Britain, since this country was then in a hopeless state of revolt against everything Roman.
It is related under Constantine the tyrant [p. 831] how Constantius, whose first lieutenant was Ulphilas, a Goth, compelled Gerontius to raise the siege and to fly to the Pyrenees, where he perished. Constantius then continued the siege; but, although closely confined, his adversary found means to send one Edobicus or Edovinchus into Germany, for the purpose of calling the nations beyond the Rhine to his assistance. Edobicus soon returned at the head of a body of Frankish and Alemannic auxiliaries; but, instead of surprising Constantius, the latter surprised him, having suddenly left his camp. and marched to attack the barbarians, whom he and Ulphilas met with beyond the Rhône and defeated entirely. Edovicus was murdered by a friend in whose house he had taken refuge, and the murderer presented the head of Edovicus to the victor, expecting a recompense.
With the virtue of an ancient Roman, Constantius refused to accept the hideous present, and ordered the murderer to be turned out of his camp straightway. Constantius hastened back to Aries, resumed the interrupted siege, and forced Constantine to surrender, whose fate is related in his life.
Constantius w;as re w;uded for his victory by Honorius with the consulship (A. D. 414), and was also created comes and patricius. In A. D. 414 he marched against Ataulphus, who supported the claims of the rival emperor Attalus, but was defeated and compelled to give him up to his victor in 416. [ATTALUS.
] The reward of Constantius was the hand of Placidia, the sister of Honorius, who, after being a captive of the West-Gothic kings, Ataulphus (to whom she was married), Sigericus, and Wallia, since 410, was given up in 417 by Wallia, who became an ally of the Romans. Constantius afterwards induced him to cede the conquests which he had made in Spain to Honorius, and Wallia received in compensation Aquitania II. and probably also Novenmpopulania, or Aquitania III. From this time Toulouse became the capital of the West-Gothic kings. In 421 (8th of February), Honorius conferred upon Constantius the dignity of Augustus and the authority of a co-emperor of the West. Theodosius II., emperor of the East, having refused to recognize him as Augustus, Constantius prepared to make war against him; but, before actual hostilities had broken out, he died at Ravenna, on the 11th of September, 421, after a short reign of not quite seven months.
After his accession he was more severe than he used to be, but it seems that he does not deserve reproaches for it, since he shewed that severity in restoring domestic peace to Italy and Rome, where ambitious men of all nations caused disturbances of the worst description. His children by Placidia were Flavius Placidius Valentinianus, afterwards Valentinian III., emperor, and Justa Grata Honoria, afterwards betrothed to Attila. Only gold coins of Constanitius have been found; they are very rare. (Zosim. lib. v. ult. and lib. vi., the chief authority; Sozom. 9.13-16; Oros. 7.42
; Philostorg. 12.4, 12; Theoph. pp. 66-72, ed. Paris; Prosper, Chon.
Theodosio Aug. IV. Cons. &c.)