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Constantine the Great

Head of Constantine I the Great. Musei Capitolini, Rome (Italy). Photo Marco Prins.
Constantine the Great
(Musei Capitolini, Roma)
Constantine I the Great: emperor of the Roman world (306-337).

27 February 272: Gaius Flavius Valerius Constantinus 
25 July 306: Flavius Valerius Constantinus Caesar Herculius 
Summer 307: Imperator Constantinus Augustus 
22 May 337: natural death

Successor of: Constantius I Chlorus


  1. father: Constantius I Chlorus
  2. mother: Helen
  3. first wife: Minervina
    1. son: Crispus
  4. second wife: Fausta (daughter of Maximianus)
    1. sons: Constantinus II, Constantius II, Constans
    2. daughters: Constantina, Helena

The road to power:

  • 306 Present during his father's campaign against the Picts; when Constantius dies, the soldiers of the Sixth legion Victrix proclaim Constantine emperor; he is recognized as caesar by the eastern emperors Galerius an Maximinus Daia; at the same time, Maxentius usurps power in Italy, but is not recognized
  • 307 Constantine crosses the North Sea and attacks the Franks (accepts the title Germanicus Maximus?); return to Britain (?); visits Trier, where he is recognized by Maximianus too, who has returned from retirement; Constantine marries Fausta, daughter of Maximianus; both men recognize each other as consul, but this is later ignored
  • 308 War against the Bructeri (accepts the title Germanicus Maximus II?); Constantine recognized by the emperors who have gathered in Carnuntum; Maximianus resigns and stays in Constantine's territories; Licinius appointed as emperor; Maxentius loses Africa to Lucius Domitius Alexander
  • 309 Consul (with Licinius)
  • 309/310: Vision
  • 310 War against the Franks; Maximianus provokes a new rebellion, is captured, and commits suicide; Maxentius recovers Africa
  • 311 Galerius puts an end to the persecution of Christian and dies soon after; Maximinus Daia occupies Asia Minor; growing tensions with Licinius, who allies himself to Constantine; Licinius and Constantine's sister Constantia engaged
  • 312 Consul II (with Licinius II); Constantine crosses the Alps, attacks and defeats the usurper Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge
  • 313 Consul III (with Licinius III); meeting of Licinius and Constantine (Edict of Milan); Licinius defeats his rival Maximinus Daia on the Campus Serenus near Adrianopel; Constantine in Britain
  • 314 Brief conflict with Licinius
  • 315 Consul IV (with Licinius IV); Constantine defeats the Sarmatians and Visigoths; visit to Rome; Arch of Constantine
  • 316 Constantine decides against the Donatists; birth of Constantinus II
  • 317 Constantine and Licinius declare their sons Crispus, Constantinus II, and Licinius Junior caesares; birth of Constantius II
  • 318 Crispus consul (with Licinius V)
  • 319 Consul V (with Licinius Junior)
  • 320 Consul VI (with Constantinus II); birth of Constans (or 323)
  • 321 Crispus consul II (with Constantinus II consul II); Constantine grants tolerance to the Donatists
  • 321, 7 March: Law to proclaim Sunday, "the venerable day of the Sun", as a day of rest
  • 322 Defeats the Sarmatians
  • 323 War against the Visigoths; accepts the title Sarmaticus Maximus III
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Constantine and the Sun god.
Constantine and the Sun god.

Sole ruler

  • 324 Crispus consul III (with Constantinus II consul III); war with Licinius; Crispus commands the navy and defeats Licinius' admiral Amandus; Licinius himself is defeated near Adrianopel and (18 September 324) Chrysopolis, resigns, and is exiled to Thessalonica; Constantius II made caesar; foundation of Constantinople
  • 325 Execution of Licinius
  • 325, 20 May - 19 June: First Ecumenical Council, at Nicea
  • 326 Consul VII (with Constantius II)
  • 326, February: fall and death of Crispus; execution of Fausta
  • Visit to Rome; vicennalia; the empress-mother Helen to Jerusalem
  • 326, 18 November: Dedication of St. Peter's basilica
  • 327 Second gathering of the Council of Nicea
  • 327 Helena in Jerusalem
  • 328 War against the Visigoths; accepts the title Gothicus Maximus II; Constantinus II directs a war against the Alamans
  • 329 Consul VIII (with Constantinus II consul IV); death of Helena; war against the Visigoths; accepts the title Germanicus Maximus IV
  • 330 Constantinople made imperial residence
  • 332 Constantinus II defeats the Visigoths
  • 333 Revolt of Colocaerus on Cyprus
  • 334 Sarmatians expelled from the empire; Delmatius suppresses the revolt of Colocaerus
  • 335 Tricennalia; Delmatius proclaimed caesar; Hannibalianus made king of the Pontic nations
  • 336 Accepts the title Dacicus Maximus
  • 337 Easter celebrated in Constantinople; Delmatius assassinated; Persian embassy; baptism; death

Coin of Constantine the Great


Bust of Constantine from Nish. Copy, Limesmuseum Aalen (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Bust of Constantine from Nish (copy Limesmuseum Aalen, Germany)

Contemporary events:

  • 313 Council of Rome condemns Donatism
  • 314 Council of Arles
  • 320 Death of Lactantius
  • 325 Council of Nicea condemns Arianism
  • 328 Athanasius bishop of Alexandria
  • 332 Death of Gregory the Illuminator
  • 335 Athanasius bannished to Trier
  • 335, 31 December Death of pope Sylvester
  • 336 Death of Arius
Succeeded by: Constantinus II, Constantius II, Constans

This brief article has been written to offer background information
to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be
improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.

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