A Pagan Convert Becomes Empress of the Romans ~ Theodosius II marries Aelia Eudocia, June 7, AD 421

gloriaromanorum.blogspot.com | 6/7/2019 | Florentius
n.king (Posted by) Level 3
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, Bulgaria.

On June 7, AD 421, the 20 year-old Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II married a beautiful young Greek girl. Though born into a pagan family and given the name Athenais, the young bride had converted to Christianity shortly before her nuptials and took the name Aelia Eudocia. She would go on to become a devout Christian and a controversial figure in the Eastern Roman court dominated by another powerful woman, the empress Pulcheria.

Biography - Eudocia - Century - Ecclesiastical - History

Here is the brief biography of Eudocia provided in the 6th century Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus, written about a century after her death:

Theodosius II espoused Eudocia, who had previously participated in the saving baptism—an Athenian by birth, and distinguished by poetic skill and beauty of person—through the offices of his sister, the princess Pulcheria. By her he had a daughter, Eudoxia, whom when she had reached a marriageable age, the emperor Valentinian afterwards espoused, for which purpose he made a voyage from the elder Rome to the city of Constantine.

Eudocia - Pilgrimage - Jerusalem - Stop - Antioch

Eudocia later went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and made a stop in Antioch on her way. There, she delivered a celebrated speech to the people in which she said, paraphrasing Homer: “It is from your blood I proudly trace my line,” in reference to the Greek colonists who had founded Antioch centuries before. Evagrius continues:

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Occasion - Sons - Antiochenes - Statue - Brass

On this occasion, the sons of the Antiochenes honored her with a skillfully executed statue in brass, which has been preserved even to our times. At her suggestion, Theodosius considerably enlarges the bounds of the city, by extending the circuit of the wall as far as the gate which leads to the suburb of Daphne: of which those who are disposed, may assure themselves by visible proof; for the whole wall may still be...
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