Constantius II was forced by circumstances to make innovations in the policy that his father Constantine had followed in exiling bishops. While ancient tradition has made the father into a sagacious saint and the son into a fanatical demon, recent scholarship has tended to stress continuity between the two regimes.1 This article will attempt to gather together all instances in which Constantius II exiled bishops and focus on a sympathetic reading of his strategy.2 Though the sources for this period are muddled and require extensive sorting, a panoramic view of exile incidents reveals a pattern in which Constantius moved past his father’s precedents to mold a new, intelligent policy that would influence emperors for generations. Once accounts of Constantius’s banishment of a variety of non- and semi-Nicene bishops are unearthed and contextualized, Constantius appears more as a capable administrator attacking practical imperial concerns than as a fanatic refereeing abstruse theological disputes.3
Copyright © 2014 Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. This article first appeared in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 68 (2014), 7-27.
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Stevenson, Walt. "Exiling Bishops: The Policy of Canstantius II." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 68 (2014): 7-27.