Army of Constantine III 407 to 411 AD

Constantine was acclaimed Emperor in spring 407 at York. After crossing to Gaul later in 407 (with the bulk of the Roman field army of Britannia) his authority was swiftly accepted in Gaul and Spain and the Rhine frontier was rapidly secured.

Era: Triumph of Cavalry   Army of Constantine III 407 to 411 AD CR: H: 4 L: 4   BP: 2 Init: 5
Number Type   Description Key FV PROT Weapon Cost
1 HC Equites Catafractarii Juniores K 4[0]0 +2 Lance 11
1 HC(d!) Honoriani Seniors K 4[0]0 +1 Various 10
1 FT British Legio Comitatenses K 6[1]1 +1 Spears/Bows* 10
22 FT British Pseudocomitatenses K 5[1]1 +1 Spears/Bows* 8
1 LHI Auxilia Palatina K 4[1]2 +1 Javelins 7
1 SI Auxilia   2[1]1 +2 Bows 2
1 SI Auxilia   3[1]2 +2 Javelins 2
O   Gallic and British Troops          
3 HC(d!) Equites Palatina K 4[0]0 +1 Various 10
5 FT British and Gallic Pseudocomitatenses K 5[1]1 +1 Spears/Bows* 8
2 LC Gallic K 2[0]0 +1 Javelins 7
2 LI Gallic Limitanae   3[1]2 +1 Javelins 5
1 LI Gallic Auxilia   3[1]1 +1 Bows 6
1 SI Auxilia   2[1]1 +2 Bows 2
1 SI Auxilia   3[1]2 +2 Javelins 2
O   Barbarian Allies/Foederati**          
1 HC(d!) Nobles K 5[1]0 +1 Lances 11
2 HC(d!) Warriors K 4[0]0 +1 Spears/Javelins 10
4 WB Warriors K 5[1]2 +1 Various 8
2 SI     2[1]1 +2 Bows 2
1 SI     3[1]2 +2 Javelins  


Core: 1 GR

Bonus: (Max: 3 ) 3 GR, 1 SH, 1 RG, 1 W


Core: 256 Bonus: 171

* Any may be fielded as FT AND SI Bow at the given cost. However, no more than 5 SI Bow may be fielded in total in the Army.

**These may be substituted with: FT K 5[1]1 +1 Spear/Bow* 8pts

***At Arles In 411 the relieving force was comprised mostly of Franks. It is therefore likely that the Rhine frontier was secured with the assistance of barbarian tribes local to the river (Burgundi, Franks and Alamanni ) some, in the case of the Franks, who had resisted the incursion across the Rhine in 405 or 406/7 (note that none of the other tribes joined the barbarian incursion in any appreciable numbers) and Constantine certainly had enough gold coin to pay them. The relief army was headed by the Frank Edobech and Gerontius, it raised the siege of Valence and compelled Sarus to retire back to Italy and was a force born out of the Rhine defences; it is likely to have had a substantial barbarian contingent.

Light troops from the Barbarian Allies/Foederati package only count against the requirement for purchasing all light troops in order to acquire an extra light division if any troops from that package are purchased.

In 408 Honorius sent a force under Sarus from Italy but, despite initial successes in the Rhone valley, Sarus was soon forced to withdraw by Constantine's magister militum Gerontius. Constantine then went on to occupy all of Gaul up to the Alps. He also appointed Constans (his son) as Caesar in 408 and sent him into Spain to quell a revolt headed by relatives of Honurious. This revolt was duly suppressed and the magister militum Gerontius was left in charge in Spain when Constans returned to Gaul.

In 409 Britain revolted against Constantine's rule and Constantine’s confidence waned. He wrote to Honorius in late summer 409, asking forgiveness for having seized power and promising help against the Visigoth Alaric in Italy; Honorius recognized him, sent him an imperial robe and possibly granted him the consulate.

Then in late 409 the Vandals, Alans and Suevi, crossed into Spain from Gaul. Gerontius restored control over the situation but then revolted against Constantine and acclaimed Maximus as emperor; control of Britain and Spain was thus lost.

In summer 410 Constantine was faced by the troops from Spain who had invaded Gaul under Gerontius and was besieged at Arles. By now, Gerontius had promoted Maximus (either his son or one of his staff) to the rank of Augustus.

Following Alaric's death, Honorius’ general Constantius entered Gaul in 411 and after defeating Gerontius besieged Constantine in Arles; Gerontius’ troops having gone over to him. When Constantius ambushed and defeated a relieving force under Edobech, Constantine lost hope; he relinquished the purple, took refuge in a church and was ordained before surrendering to Constantius.

Constantine was then sent to Italy, but was murdered before he reached Honorius. His head was sent to Ravenna where it was exhibited from September 18, 411.

Sources: Notitia, Zosimus ’A New History’, Drinkwater ‘The Usurpers Constantine III and Jovinus’, Blockley ‘Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire: Olympiodorus’ ‘Notes for a History’ , Kulikowski ‘Barbarians in Gaul, Usurpers in Britain’ (Britannia Vol 31), Elton ‘Western Roman Emperors of the First Quarter of the Fifth Century: Constantine III (407-411 A.D.)’ De Imperatoribus Romanis site

List Author: OCahan