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Constantius I (Aurelius Valerius Constantius) (d. 306).

"Chlorus" (the Pale). Roman emperor.

Born in Dardania (southern Yugoslavia), probably of peasant stock; entered the army, rising to the rank of tribune; as governor of Dalmatia, he was made Caesar by Dicoletian's co-Augustus Maximian (March 1, 293); adopted by Maximian, he also married Maximian's daughter Helena; assigned the government of Gaul, he set about the task of subduing the usurper M. Aurelius Carausius in Britain (293-294); captured Carausius' mainland base at Gesoriacum (Boulogne) (autumn 293), and carefully prepared for the invasion of Britain (293-296); invaded Britain, landing his forces near modern Southampton, defeated the poorly led army of Carausius' successor Alectus, and captured London (April-June 296); won a notable victory over the Alamanni in Gaul (298), but was lax in enforcing Diocletian's edicts against Christians, and confined himself to destroying churches (303); became senior Augustus when Maximian and Diocletian abdicated (May 1, 305); died at Eboracum (York) (summer 306), succeeded by his eldest son Constantine.

A capable soldier and an energetic and effective administrator, he is perhaps best known as the father of Constantine I the Great; his conquest of Britain was a masterpiece; his nickname probably refers to a pale complexion. <BL>

Jones, A. H. M., J. R. Martindale, and J. Morris, Prosopography of
     the Later Roman Empire. Cambridge, 1971.
Williams, Stephen, Diocletian, New York, 1985.


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Author:Stertz, Stephen A.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:Constantine XI Paleologos (1404-1453).
Next Article:Constantius II (Flavius Julius Constantius) (317-361).

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