Mausoleum of Constantina   Rome


Also named Constantia and Constantiana in sources, Constantina was the daughter of Constantine and Fausta. In 335, the emperor gave Constantina's hand in marriage to his nephew Hannibalianus and made her an Augusta; although he named his nephew Rex Regum et Ponticarum Gentium in 337 probably to replace the King of Persia if his planned campaign against that nation was successful, Hannibalianus was put to death in late summer 337 in the purges of the imperial family that occurred after the death of Constantine. At this point, Constantina disappears from the historical record for more than a decade.

In 350, when Magnentius revolted against her brother Constantius II , she convinced Vetranio to rise up against him. In fact, at this point in time, Magnentius offered to marry his daughter to the Emperor Constantius and to marry Constantina in turn in order to secure peace with him. The offer was rebuffed. In 351, in order that he could deal with the revolts of Magnentius and Vetranio, the emperor named his cousin Gallus a Caesar and gave him Constantina as his wife; both were dispatched to the eastern frontier in Syria to keep the Persian menace in check. In any case, Constantina subsequently bore Gallus a daughter whose name is unknown.

Constantina's and her husband's performance in Antioch was far from stellar and led to an open breach between the emperor and his Caesar; Constantina is said to have been very mean spirited and to have urged her husband to be ruthless in his dealing with his subjects. When Constantius finally summoned Gallus to return to his presence with a ruse in 354, the Caesar dispatched his wife to meet with her brother in order that she might win over the Emperor to their side. Constantina, however, died en route to her brother's side at Caeni Gallicani in Bithynia the same year. Her remains were subsequently laid to rest near the Via Nomentana in Rome.
Michael DiMaio, Jr.

note on excavations at Santa Costanza
MA Lousiana State University, PhD Pennsylvania State University
For the past twelve years I have been investigating the church of Santa Costanza in Rome, Italy. Through a 1984 NEH summer grant I first erected scaffolding in the church to study the mosaics in the apses. In order to date these mosaics I began to research the building history and found conflicting opinions as to its original function and dating. While doing archival research in the Vatican Library I discovered evidence that a previous structure may have existed on the present site of Santa Costanza and then petitioned the Italian government to allow to excavate the church. During three excavations in 1989, and 1994 that were funded by UF, Dumbarton Oaks/ for Harvard University and the Kress Foundation, I discovered many Early Christian tombs with coins and jewelry and a three-lobed triconch building beneath the church of Santa Costanza that calls into question the traditional mid-fourth century date of the church. Among other techniques, I have employed metal analysis to help date the coins and jewelry in the tombs and also carbon 14 dating to determine the date of the mortar for the buildings. Thus far, I have published five articles and presented seven papers at professional conferences on the results of my work at Santa Costanza. A final article is being prepared on the function and dating of Santa Costanza for submission to the Art Bulletin

contributing sperm for egg fertilization
This contribution was going to be a short piece written as a male "donation" to The Architect: Reconstructing Her Practice. I was going to feature Constantina, the daughter of Constantine (the Great) as the first architect of sacred Christian sites. I don't know if I can do this now because I may have gotten my facts messed up with regard to Constantina being instrumental in building S. Agnes (outside the Walls). I read somewhere that it was her project, and because of that I've surmised this whole scenario where it was she, and not her Emperor father, who was behind the initial Christian building within Rome.
I was set to tell the Constantina story and the St. Agnes (martyrdom) story, and I was going to play up the whole reversal (inversion) motif. I particularly liked entertaining the notion that Constantina constructed her own practice. It was all going to make a tremendous story, but right now I don't even know where I read about Constantina's connection with the St. Agnes Church.
I may still have something here, but I doubt it will be as big a flash as I originally thought.
I was even going to dedicate the text to Francesca Hughes (editor of The Architect) and all the woman (architect) authors within The Architect, and in so doing clear up the seemingly universal Immaculate Conception misunderstanding once and for all.




Quondam © 2014.04.12