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

Document Type


Publication Date


Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2014 Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. This article first appeared in Dumbarton Oaks Papers 68 (2014), 7-27.

Please note that downloads of the article are for private/personal use only.