Early Church Fathers
1 This sketch of the life of Constantine is intended to give the thread of events, and briefly to supplement, especially for the earlier part of his reign, the life by Eusebius, which is distinctly confined to his religious acts and life.
2 "Imperator Caear Augustus Consul Proconsul Pontifex Maximus, Magnus, Maximus, Pius, Felix, Fidelis, Mansuetus, Benificus, Clementissimus, Victor, Invictus, Triumphator, Salus Reip. Beticus, Alemanicus, Gothicus, Sarmarticus, Germanicus, Britannicus, Hunnicus, Gallicanus," is a portion of his title, as gathered from coins, inscriptions, and various documents.
3 Calendarium Rom. in Petavius Uranal. p. 113. The date varies by a year or two, according to way of reckoning, but 274 is the date usually given. (Cf. Burckhardt, Manso, Keim, De Broglie, Wordsworth, etc.) Eutropius and Hieronymus say he died in his sixty-sixth year, Theophanes says he was sixty-five years old, and Socrates and Sozomen say substantially the same, while Victor, Epit. has sixty-three, and Victor, Caes. sixty-two. Eusebius says he lived twice the length of his reign, i.e. 63 +.
Manso chose 274, because it agreed best with the representations of the two Victors as over against the: "later church historians." But the two Victors say, one that he lived sixty-two y0ears and reigned thirty-two, and the other that he lived sixty-three 0and reigned thirty; while Eutropius, secretary to Constantine, gives length of reign correctly, and so establishes a slight presumption in favor of his other statement. Moreover, it is supported by Hieronymus, whose testimony is not of the highest quality, to be sure, and is quite likely taken from Eutropius, and Theophanes, who puts the same fact in another form, and who certainly chose that figure for a reason. The statement of Eusebius is a very elastic generalization, and is the only support of Victor, Epit. Socrates, who, according to Wordsworth, says he was in his sixty-fifth year, uses the idiom "mounting upon" (epibaj) sixty-five years, which at the least must mean nearly sixty-five years old, and unless there, is some well-established usage to the contrary, seems to mean having lived already sixty-five years. In the interpretation of Sozomen (also given in translation "in his sixty-fifth year") he was "about" sixty-five years old. Now if he died in May, his following birthday would not have been as "about," and he must have been a little over sixty-five. This would make a strong consensus against Victor, against whom Eutropius alone would have a presumption of accuracy. On the whole it may be said that in the evidence, so far as cited by Manso, Wordsworth, Clinton, and the run of historians, there is no critical justification for the choice of the later date and the shorter life.
4 Anon. Vales. p. 471. Const. Porphyr. (De themat. 2. 9), Stephanus Byzant. art. Naissoj (ed. 1502, H. iii.), "Firmicus 1. 4." According to some it was Tarsus ("Julius Firmic. 1. 2"), or Drepanum (Niceph. Callist.), or in Britain (the English chroniclers, Voragine, and others, the mistake arising from one of the panegyrists (c. 4) speaking of his taking his origin thence), or Trèves (Voragine). Compare Vogt, who adds Rome ("Pert. de Natalibus"), or Roba ("Eutychius"), or Gaul ("Meursius"). Compare also monographs by Janus and by Schoepflin under Literature.
5 For characterization of Constantius compare V. C. 1. 13 sq.