Constantius II

The Walls of Constantinople collapse. November 6, 447.

Like Severus before him, Constantine began to punish the city for siding with his defeated rival, but soon he too realized the advantages of Byzantium‘s location. During 324–336 the city was thoroughly rebuilt and inaugurated on 11 May 330 under the name of “Second Rome“. The name that eventually prevailed in common usage however was Constantinople, the “City of Constantine” (Greek Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoupolis). The city of Constantine was protected by a new wall about 2.8 km (15 stadia) west of the Severan wall. Constantine’s fortification consisted of a single wall, reinforced with towers at regular distances, which began to be constructed in 324 and was completed under his son Constantius II (r. 337–361). Only the approximate course of the wal...

The Dome Collapses. May 7, 558.

On 23 February 532, only a few weeks after the destruction of the second basilica, Emperor Justinian I decided to build a third and entirely different basilica, larger and more majestic than its predecessors, built by Constantius II and Theodosius II. Justinian chose physicist Isidore of Miletus and mathematician Anthemius of Tralles as architects; Anthemius, however, died within the first year of the endeavor. The construction is described in the Byzantine historian Procopius’ On Buildings (Peri ktismatōn, Latin: De aedificiis). Columns and other marbles were brought from all over the empire, throughout the Mediterranean. Even though they were made specifically for Hagia Sophia, the columns show variations in size. More than ten thousand people were employed. This new church was con...

Counter-Rebellion – June 3, 350 AD

Constantinus Flavius Popilius Nepotianus was the grandson of Flavius Valerius Constantius (Chlorus) and Flavia Maximana Theodora. His parents were Virius Nepotianus and Eutropia, his mother being the half-sister of Constantine the Great. He and his two cousins, Julian II and Constantius Gallus, lived in semi-exile until Fausta was executed in 326. Nepotian served as consul in 336, but he must have kept a relatively low profile as not much is known about his life. Because of his very young age, he survived the purge in Summer 337 by the sons of Constantine the Great when they were eliminating many potential dynastic challengers. On June 3, 350 AD, Nepotian was hailed emperor in Rome by a mob. Magnentius had taken control Rome around 20 weeks earlier, usurping the throne from the legitimate ...

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