A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

the youngest of the three sons of Constantine the Great and Fausta, was at an early age appointed by his father governor of Western Illyricum, Italy, and Africa, countries which he subsequently received as his portion upon the division of the empire in A. D. 337. After having successfully resisted the treachery and violence of his brother Constantine, who was slain in invading his territory, A. D. 340, Constans became master of the whole West, and being naturally indolent, weak, and profligate, abandoned himself for some years without restraint to the indulgence of the most depraved passions. While hunting in Gaul, he suddenly received intelligence that Magnentius [MAGNENTIUS] had rebelled, that the soldiers had mutinied, and that emissaries had been despatched to put him to death. Flying with all speed, he succeeded in reaching the Pyrenees, but was overtaken near the town of Helena (formerly Illiberis) by the cavalry of the usurper, and was slain, A. D. 350, in the thirtieth year of his age and the thirteenth of his reign. (Aurel. Vict. de Caes. xli., Epit. xli.; Eutrop. 10.5; Zosimus, 2.42; Zonaras, 13.6.)