/kon"steuhn teen'/ or, for 1, 3, /-tuyn'/; for 2, 3, also Fr. /kawonn staonn teen"/, n.
1. died A.D. 715, pope 708-715.
2. a city in NE Algeria. 1,682,000.
3. a male given name.

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ancient Cirta

City (pop., 1998: 807,371), northeastern Algeria.

A natural fortress, it is situated on a rocky height some 800 ft (250 m) above the Rhumel River valley. By the 3rd century BC it was one of Numidia's most important towns, and it reached its apex of prosperity under Micipsa in the 2nd century BC. Ruined in subsequent wars, it was restored in AD 313 and renamed for its patron, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Overrun by the Arabs in the 7th century, it was ruled by a series of Arab and Berber dynasties and, intermittently, by the Ottoman Empire until it was captured by the French in 1837. Occupied in 1942 by U.S. troops, it was an important Allied staging area in World War II (1939–45). The city retains its medieval walls, and there are Roman ruins nearby. It is an agricultural market for the surrounding area.
(as used in expressions)
Cavafy Constantine
Costa Gavras Constantine
Constantine Caramanlis
Marino Daniel Constantine Jr.
Constantine Falkland Cary Smythe
John Constantine Unitas
Constantine the Great

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also called (after 1981)  Qacentina , Arabic  Blad el-Hawa , Phoenician  Cirta 
 city, northeast Algeria. A natural fortress, the city occupies a rocky, diamond-shaped plateau that is surrounded, except at the southwest, by a precipitous gorge through the eastern side of which flows the Rhumel River. The plateau is 2,130 feet (650 m) above sea level and from 500 to 1,000 feet (150 to 300 m) above the riverbed in the gorge. The cliffs of the gorge, at its narrowest, are 15 feet (4.5 m) apart and at its greatest width are about 1,200 feet (365 m) apart. The gorge is crossed at the northeast angle of the city by the el-Kantara Bridge, a modern 420-foot (130-metre) structure built on the site of earlier bridges. North and south of the city are, respectively, a suspension bridge and a viaduct.

      Caves in the walls of the Rhumel Gorge give evidence of prehistoric settlement. By the 3rd century BC, as Cirta, or Kirtha (from the Phoenician word for “city”), the ancient Constantine was one of the most important towns of Numidia and the residence of the kings of the Massyli. Under Micipsa (2nd century BC) it reached the height of its prosperity and was able to furnish an army of 10,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry. Cirta received a Roman settlement during Julius Caesar's reign and later served as head of a confederation of four Roman colonies on the North African coast. In the war of the Roman emperor Maxentius against Alexander, the Numidian usurper, the city was razed, and on its restoration in AD 313, it was renamed for its patron, Constantine the Great. It remained uncaptured during the Vandal invasion of Africa but fell to the Arabs (7th century).

      During the 12th century it stayed prosperous despite periodic looting, and its commerce was extensive enough to attract merchants from Pisa, Genoa, and Venice. Although it was frequently taken and then lost by the Turks, it became the seat of a bey who was subordinate to the dey of Algiers. Salah Bey, who ruled Constantine from 1770 to 1792, greatly embellished the city and was responsible for the construction of most of its existing Muslim buildings. Since his death in 1792, the women of the locality wear a black haik (a tentlike garment) in mourning, instead of the white haik regularly worn in the rest of Algeria. In 1826 Constantine asserted its independence of the dey of Algiers. In 1836 the French made an unsuccessful attempt to storm the city and suffered heavy losses, but the following year they were able to take it with another assault. In World War II, during the 1942–43 Allied campaign in North Africa, Constantine and the nearby city of Sétif were important command bases.

      Constantine is walled, the existing walled medieval fortifications having been largely constructed of Roman masonry material. The rue Didouche Moutad, which follows the downward slope of the plateau (northeast–southwest), divides the city into two parts. To the west are the Casbah (the old citadel) with sections dating from Roman times, the Souk el-Ghezel mosque (converted for a time into the Notre-Dame des Sept-Douleurs Cathedral by the French), the Moorish-style palace of Ahmad Bey (1830–35; now in military use), and administrative and commercial buildings. The straight streets and wide squares of the western sector reflect French influence. The east and southeast sector provides a striking contrast, with its tortuous lanes and Islāmic architecture, including the 18th-century mosques of Salah Bey and Sīdī Lakhdar. In this sector each trade has its special quarter, with entire streets devoted to one craft. The University of Constantine was founded in 1969; other institutions include the Museum of Cirta and the Municipal Library.

      Suburbs have developed to the southwest of the city on the “isthmus” leading to the surrounding countryside. Newer developments are to the east across the Rhumel Gorge. The city also has an international airport.

      Apart from a factory making tractors and diesel engines, industry is chiefly confined to leather goods and woolen fabrics. A considerable trade in agricultural products, especially in grain, is carried out with the Hauts (high) Plateaux and the arid south. Pop. (1998) 462,187.

▪ Roman emperor
Latin in full  Flavius Claudius Constantinus  
died September 411, Arelate, Viennensis [now Arles, France]

      usurping Roman emperor who was recognized as coruler by the Western emperor Honorius in 409.

      Proclaimed emperor by his army in Britain in 407, Constantine crossed to the European continent with a force of British troops; by the end of the year he controlled eastern Gaul. An army dispatched by Honorius laid siege to him in Valentia (modern Valence, France) but soon withdrew. Constantine then established himself at Arelate. Joined by Roman legions from Spain, he appointed his son Constans as caesar (junior emperor) and sent him to suppress a revolt led by relatives of Honorius. After the fall (408) of Honorius's general Stilicho (Stilicho, Flavius), the effective ruler of the Western empire, Constantine threatened to invade Italy. Honorius was forced to recognize him as joint emperor in 409. In 411 Constantine entered Italy, but he was driven back to Arelate and besieged by Honorius's generals. He surrendered and was executed.


born , Syria
died April 9, 715, Rome

      pope from 708 to 715.

      Constantine upheld Roman supremacy against the insubordination of Felix, archbishop of Ravenna. He received as a pilgrim King Cenred of Mercia, who became a monk at Rome (709). Constantine strongly objected to the canons, several of which opposed Roman customs, established by the largely eastern Trullan (or Quinisext) Council assembled under the Byzantine emperor Justinian II in 691. He was flatteringly received by Justinian, who summoned him to Constantinople in 710, probably to obtain his ratification of the Trullan Council.

      After the emperor's murder (711), Constantine condemned Justinian's usurper and successor, Philippicus Bardanes, for being a Monothelite (i.e., follower of the heresy maintaining that Christ had only one will). But Constantine was saved from further trouble when the Byzantine emperor Anastasius II deposed Philippicus and restored orthodoxy in 713.

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Universalium. 2010.

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