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Constantine II

Emperor A. D. 337 - 340

Constantine II was the eldest son of Constantine the Great and his second wife, Fausta. He inherited Gaul and most of Western Europe upon the death of his father in A. D. 337. Together with his two other brothers, Constantine II systematically murdered any of his relatives that he considered a threat to his throne. They left their young cousin Julian alive, however, and Julian ultimately did lead a revolt and become emperor.

Part of the arrangements made between the three brothers included Constantine II acting as regent for Constans, who was considered somewhat young to rule in his own right. In 340, Constantine II and Constans got into an argument over the administration of Italy. Constantine II gathered an army to go chastise his brother, but was soundly defeated in the battle which took place near the city of Aquileia, in the North of Italy close to the western slopes of the Julian Alps. Constantine II was killed in the battle after bitter fighting.

An entertaining and very readable description of these times and the people who lived during the last half of the Fourth Century was written by R. A. Lafferty. Titled The Fall of Rome, this little book goes into quite a bit of detail about some of the famous battles that took place near Aquileia and some late Roman heroes and villains.

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