Constantius Chlorus

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Flavius Valerius Constantius[2][3] (c. 31 March 250 – 25 July 306), commonly known as Constantius I or Constantius Chlorus[4], was Roman Emperor from 293 to 306. He was the father of Constantine the Great and founder of the Constantinian dynasty. His death sparked the collapse of the tetrachic system of government inaugurated by the Emperor Diocletian.



Early Career

Born in Illyricum,[2] the Historia Augusta claimed Constantius was the son of Eutropius, a noble from northern Dardania, in the province of Moesia Superior, and Claudia, a niece of the emperors Claudius II and Quintillus.[5] Modern historians suspect this maternal connection to be a genealogical fabrication created by his son Constantine I,[6] and that his family were of humble origins.[2] His father, however, might have been the brother of Eutropia, wife of Maximian.

Constantius was a member of the Protectores Augusti Nostri under the emperor Aurelian and fought in the east against the secessionist Palmyrene Empire.[7] While the claim that he had been made a dux under the emperor Probus is probably a fabrication,[8][9] he certainly attained the rank of tribunus within the army, and during the reign of Carus he was raised to the position of Praeses, or governor, of the province of Dalmatia.[10] It has been conjectured that he switched allegiances to support the claims of the future emperor Diocletian just before Diocletian defeated Carinus, the son of Carus, at the Battle of the Margus in July 285.[11]

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