Emperor Arcadius marries Aelia Eudoxia

27 Apr 2020  Mon

Today on 27th April in the year 395, Emperor Arcadius marries Aelia Eudoxia, daughter of the Frankish general Flavius Bauto. She becomes one of the more powerful Roman empresses of Late Antiquity.

On 17 January 395, Theodosius I died of oedema in Milan. Arcadius succeeded him in the Eastern Roman Empire. He was effectively placed under the control of Rufinus, Praetorian prefect of the East. Rufinus reportedly intended to marry his daughter to Arcadius and establish his own relation to the Theodosian dynasty.

The wedding of Eudoxia to Arcadius was orchestrated by Eutropius, one of the eunuch officials serving in the Great Palace of Constantinople. The marriage took place on 27 April 395, without the knowledge or consent of Rufinus. For Eutropius it was an attempt to increase his own influence over the emperor and hopefully ensure the loyalty of the new empress to himself.

On 9 January 400, Eudoxia was officially given the title of an Augusta. She was then able to wear the purple paludamentum representing the imperial rank and was depicted in Roman coinage. The above shown gold solidus was issued from Constantinople mint. The obverse of a coin depicts the rosette-diademed and draped bust right; the hand of God reaching down from above, crowning her. On the other hand, the reverse of a coin engraved Victory seated right on cuirass with the shield behind, inscribing Chi-Rho on shield set on a column, CONOB in exergue.

Image Source: Heritage Auctions

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