Constans II

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Constans II

(Constans Pogonatus), 630–68, Byzantine emperor (641–68), son and successor of Constantine III and grandson of HeracliusHeraclius
, c.575–641, Byzantine emperor (610–41). The son of a governor of Africa, he succeeded the tyrant Phocas, whom he deposed and had executed. In the early years of his reign Avars and Bulgars threatened, attacking even Constantinople, and the Persians
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. Early in his reign Armenia and Asia Minor were invaded by the Muslims, who challenged Byzantine supremacy at sea, took Cyprus, and threatened Sicily and Constantinople. An able and vigorous ruler, he sought to end the religious controversy centering about MonotheletismMonotheletism
or Monothelitism
[Gr.,=one will], 7th-century opinion condemned as heretical by the Third Council of Constantinople in 680 (see Constantinople, Third Council of).
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 by issuing a decree (648) forbidding its discussion. This involved him in conflict with Pope Martin IMartin I, Saint,
d. 655?, pope (649–55?), an Italian, b. Todi; successor of Theodore I. On his accession he summoned a great council at the Lateran, as St. Maximus had urged, to deal with Monotheletism, discussion of which had been forbidden by Byzantine Emperor Constans
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, whom he finally had arrested and banished. Constans campaigned (658) in the Balkans against the Slavs, and in 662 he moved to Italy, with the purpose of establishing his capital at Rome, but fought with little result against the Lombards and finally settled (663) at Syracuse. From there he directed a successful resistance to the Muslims. Constans extended the administrative reorganization of the empire begun by Heraclius. Assassinated, he was succeeded by his son, Constantine IVConstantine IV,
c.652–685, Byzantine emperor (668–85), son and successor of Constans II. He defended Constantinople against the annual naval attacks of the Muslims, who finally withdrew in 678; Greek fire was a conspicuous weapon in the defense.
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.