Licinius II

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Licinius II depicted in armour holding a spear and an orb surmounted by a victory. The inscription "LICINIUS IUNior NOBilissimus CAESar" translates as 'Licinius Junior Most Noble Caesar'

Licinius II or Licinius the Younger (/lɪˈsɪniəs/, Classical Latin pronunciation lɪˈkɪ.ni.ʊs; full name, Valerius Licinianus Licinius; c. 315 – c. 326) was the son of the Roman emperor Licinius.


On the first of March 317, he was raised to the rank of Caesar at the age of 20 months, nominally serving as such in the eastern empire until 324, while his father was Augustus. His mother was Licinius' wife Flavia Julia Constantia, who was the half-sister of Constantine I. After his defeat by Constantine at the Battle of Chrysopolis (18 September 324), Licinius the elder was initially spared and placed in captivity at Thessalonica. However, within a year Constantine seems to have regretted his leniency and the former Emperor was hanged. Immediately after his father's defeat and capitulation the younger Licinius was stripped of his title of Caesar.[1]

The younger Licinius, who was Constantine's nephew, also fell victim to the emperor's suspicions and was killed, in Pola, probably in the context of the execution of Crispus in 326.[2]

Other reports relate that Licinius the Younger was forced into slavery in the imperial textile factories in Africa, where a "son of Licinianus" is noted in an imperial rescript dated 336. However, the rescript makes it clear that the "son of Licinianus" referred to was not Licinius II, as the text contains a directive that the textile worker be reduced to the slave status of his birth. No son of Constantine's sister would have been referred to in this manner, therefore, this "son of Licinianus" must have been the illegitimate son of the emperor by a woman of servile status.[3]


  1. ^ Grant, M. (1985) The Roman Emperors: a Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Imperial Rome, 31BC-AD476, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London
  2. ^ Grant, Michael (1993). The Emperor Constantine. London. pp. 47–48. ISBN 0-7538-0528-6.
  3. ^ Pohlsander, Hans A.P. (1996). The Emperor Constantine. New York/London: Routledge. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-415-13178-2.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dietmar Kienast: Römische Kaisertabelle. Grundzüge einer römischen Kaiserchronologie. Wiss. Buchgesellschaft, 3. Auflage, Darmstadt 2004 (unveränderter Nachdruck der 2., durchgesehenen und erw. Auflage 1996), S. 296, ISBN 3-534-18240-5. (in German)
Political offices
Preceded by
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Constantine I
Succeeded by
Constantine I,
Constantine II
Preceded by
Constantine I,
Constantine II
Consul of the Roman Empire
with Licinius,
Constantine II
Succeeded by
Petronius Probianus,
Amnius Anicius Julianus