Byzantine Emperor. He was baptized with the name Heraklios and took Constantine as his official name, but is known to history by his diminutive nickname, Constans. In 641 AD he was made co-emperor with Heraklonas, who had been accused of murdering Constans' father, the Emperor Constantine III. He became sole ruler soon afterwards when Heraklonas was deposed. He initially benefitted from his predecessor's unpopularity and also owed his position to the support he received from the army, although in reality he ruled under a regency of senators controlled by the Patriarch Paul II. His reign saw the Byzantine withdrawal from Egypt in 642 AD and the fall of Alexandria to the Muslim Caliphate in 645 AD. By 647 AD the Caliphate had advanced into Armenia and Cappadocia and taken Caearea Mazaca. In 651 the Arabs launched an offensive against Cilicia and Isauria and forced him into a truce in order to retain control of Western Armenia. The truce was broken in 645 AD and he was defeated in the Battle of the Masts in 655 AD with the loss of five hundred Byzantine ships. The threat to Constantinople only ceased when a civil war broke out in the Caliphate in 656 AD. As attacks from the East subsided, he began a campaign in the Balkans and briefly restored Byzantine power there. He was moderate in his religious views and resisted calls to persecute the Monothelitists. In 653 AD he ordered the arrest and exile of Pope Martin I for condemning his attempts to reach a compromise at the Lateran Council of 649 AD. Suspecting a coup, he ordered his younger brother, Theodosius, to take holy orders and had him murdered in 660 AD. He later left the Capital for Syracuse to escape popular unrest. After an unsuccessful campaign against the Lombards, he visited Rome in 663 AD, where he stripped the Pantheon and other buildings of ornaments and declared that the Pope had no authority over the Archbishop of Ravenna. He was murdered by his chamberlain in 668 AD following rumours that he intended to move the capital of the Empire to Syracuse and was succeeded by his son, Constantine IV.
Bio by: js