Licinia Eudosia


August 19, 2022

Licinia Eudossia (in Latin: Licinia Eudoxia; Constantinople, 422 - Constantinople, about 493) was an august of the Western Roman Empire, daughter of the Eastern Emperor Theodosius II and wife of the Western Emperor Valentinian III. It was she who called the king of the Vandals Genseric to Rome, thus causing it to be sacked in 455.


She the only daughter of the Eastern Emperor Theodosius II and Elia Eudocia, she married the Western Emperor Valentinian III in Constantinople on 29 October 437 to strengthen the bond between the two parts of the empire. On 6 August 439 she was awarded the title of august, and in the same year, or the one immediately following, she gave birth to her first daughter Eudocia of her in Ravenna. She then also had a second daughter, Placidia, two or three years later. After the assassination in Rome of Valentinian III, on March 16, 455, he chose as his candidate for the Majorian throne, a general to whom Valentinian had thought of giving Eudocia as his wife five years earlier, but in the end Petronius Maximus was chosen. Maximus, probable instigator of Valentinian's assassination, had been proclaimed emperor by the Senate without being recognized by the Eastern Emperor Marcian and needed to consecrate his power, so he forced a reluctant Eudoxia to marry him, while Eudocia was betrothed to the son of the new emperor, Palladio. After this he probably asked for help from the king of the Vandals, Genseric, whose son Unerico had previously been promised Eudocia, who in turn moved against Rome: Petronius Maximus was lynched while trying to escape from the city and Rome was sacked for fifteen days. Licinia Eudossia and her daughters, Eudocia and Placidia, were brought to Carthage by Genseric, where later Eudocia married Unerico as originally planned. Only in 462 was she able to return to Constantinople, where the second daughter Placidia married Anicio Olibrio, briefly emperor of the West in 472. she Licinia Eudossia she remained at the court of Constantinople, where she died around 493.

Religious interests

Eudoxia built several religious buildings, both in Rome and in Constantinople. In 442 she received as a gift from her mother her chains which, according to the patriarch of Jerusalem Juvenal, were used to imprison Saint Peter; Eudoxia then founded the basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome to contain this relic together with the chains that, according to tradition, had been used in the Mamertine prison to imprison the same saint. In Constantinople she built (440s / early 450s) the church of Santa Eufemia, embellished by her daughter Placidia and later restored by her niece Anicia Giuliana. She was on good terms with Daniel the Stylite, who had foreseen his release from captivity in Africa, so much so that she offered him accommodation once he returned to Constantinople, but he refused.



Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, John Robert Martindale and John Morris, Licinia Eudoxia 2, in The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 410-412, ISBN 0-521-20159-4. Ralph W. Mathisen, Julius Valerius Maiorianus (18 February / 28 December 457 - 2/7 August 461), in De Imperatoribus Romanis.

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