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Fausta, Fla'via Maximia'na

the daughter of Maximianus IHerculius and Eutropia, was married in A. D. 307 to Constantine the Great, to whom she bore Constantinus, Constantius, and Constans. She acquired great influence with her husband in consequence of having saved his life by revealing the treacherous schemes of her father, who, driven to despair by his failure, soon after died at Tarsus. But although, on this occasion at least, she appeared in the light of a devoted wife, she at the same time played the part of a most cruel stepmother, for, in consequence of her jealous machinations, Constantine was induced to put his son Crispus to death. When, however, the truth was brought to light by Helena, who grieved deeply for her grandchild, Fausta was shut up in a bath heated far above the common temperature, and was thus suffocated, probably in A. D. 326. Zosimus seems inclined to throw the whole blame in both instances on Constantine, whom he accuses as the hypocritical perpetrator of a double murder, while others assign the promiscuous profligacy of the empress as the true origin of her destruction, but in reality the time, the causes, and the manner of her death are involved in great obscurity in consequence of the vague and contradictory representations of our historical authorities. (CONSTANTINUS, p. 835; CRISPUS, p. 892; Zosim. 2.10, 29; Julian, Orat. i; Auctor, de Mort. persec. 27; Eutrop. 10.2, 4; Victor. Epit. 40, 41; Philostorg. H. E. 2.4; Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs, vol. iv. art. lxii. p. 224, and Notes sur Constantin, xvii; Eckhel, vol. viii. p. 98.)


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326 AD (1)
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