Yazdegerd I was the twelfth king of the Sasanian Empire, ruling from 399 to 420. He was the son of Shapur III, he succeeded to the Sasanian throne on the assassination of his brother Bahram IV in 399 and ruled for twenty-one years till his death in 420. Yazdegerd I's reign was uneventful; the shah is described as being of a peaceful disposition. There were cordial relations between Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire as well as between Persia and the Western Roman Empire. Early during his reign, Yazdegerd was entrusted the care of the Roman prince Theodosius by his father Arcadius on the latter's death in 408, Yazdegerd faithfully defended the life and possessions of the Roman prince. Yazdegerd promoted Christianity in the early years of his reign and opposed it, he is known in Sasanian sources as "the Sinner". However, this was propaganda made by the Zoroastrian aristocrats and priests due to his persecution of them due to their opposition towards him, his tolerance towards his non-Zoroastrian subjects, such as the Christians and the Jews.
Yazdegerd used the title of "Ramshahr", which fitted to him, due to his peace with the Romans and tolerance towards his subjects. The title of "Ramshahr" was used by the legendary Kayanid kings, thus starts the Sasanian interest in Kayanid history, where they would adopt the title of "Kay" and use the slogan "xwarrah". However, due to the Christians' use of his tolerance to attack the Zoroastrians, the appointment of the intolerant vizier Mihr Narseh, resulted in persecutions of the Christians, the struggle to convert Armenia to Zoroastrianism. Since the death of the powerful Sasanian shah Shapur II, the aristocrats and priests had expanded their influence and authority at the cost of the Sasanian government, nominating and murdering shahs, which included Yazdegerd, murdered in 21 January 420, they sought to stop the sons of Yazdegerd from the ascending the throne—Shapur IV, the eldest son of Yazdegerd and governor of Armenia rushed to the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon, ascended the throne.
He was, shortly murdered by the nobles and priests, who elected a son of Bahram IV, Khosrow, as shah. Another son of Yazdegerd, Bahram V hurried to the Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon with an Lakhmid army, won the favour of the nobles and priests, according to a long-existing popular legend, after withstanding a trial against two lions; the name of Yazdegerd is a combination of the Old Iranian yazad yazata- "divine being" and -karta "made", thus stands for "God-made", comparable to Iranian Bagkart and Greek Theoktistos. The name of Yazdegerd is known in other languages as. Yazdegerd was the son of Shapur III. Yazdegerd had three sons whom were named: Shapur IV, Bahram V; when Yazdegerd's brother Bahram IV was assassinated in 399, he succeeded him. The Persian soldiers who had murdered Bahram IV did not hurt him on account of his excellent character and fine disposition; the general tenor of his rule was quite peaceful. The Ostrogoth invasion of 386, the revolt of Maximus in 387, the Antioch revolt of 387, the invasion of Gaul in 388, the massacres at Thessalonika and the rebellion of Arbogastes and Eugenius in 393 had weakened the Roman Empire.
Between 386 and 398, Gildo the Moor ruled an independent kingdom in Africa, in 395 the Goths took to arms under their leader Alaric. But Yazdegerd on his accession to the throne desisted from assuming any aggressive posture towards the Eastern Roman Emperor Arcadius or the Western Roman Emperor Honorius. Yazdegerd's extreme tranquility and his reluctance to invade the Roman Empire earned him the epithet "Ramashtras," "the most quiet," or "the most firm," he justified his assumption of it by a complete abstinence from all military expeditions. On the ninth year of his reign, it is believed, Yazdegerd was entrusted the care of Prince Theodosius by his father Arcadius, the Eastern Roman Emperor, it was strange that Arcadius chose neither his younger-brother Honorius nor any of his distinguished subjects for the purpose and instead entrusted his son to the charge of the Persian monarch. He accompanied the appointment by a solemn appeal to the magnanimity of Isdigerd, whom he exhorted at some length to defend with all his force, guide with his best wisdom, the young king and his kingdom.
One writer goes to the extent of claiming that Arcadius gifted Yazdegerd a thousand pounds of pure gold in return for his favour. When Arcadius died, the testament was opened, information of its contents was sent to Isdigerd, who at once accepted the charge assigned to him, addressed a letter to the Senate of Constantinople, in which he declared his determination to punish any attempt against his ward with the extremest severity. Flattered, he performed his newfound role with utmost sincerity providing him the best possible education and assistance. A eunuch named Antiochus was sent to Constantinople to look after the young Emperor, he was, for many years, the prince's intimate companion. He was supposed to have been killed or expelled from the kingdom by Pulcheria, elder sister of Theodosius; however after Antiochus' end, Yazdegerd continued his aid to the young monarch. Procopius has praised the "display of virtue" by Yazdegerd in his treatment of Theodosius. However, these narratives were written a century and a half after the death of Arcadius, have been rejected by modern scholars due
The Sasanian Empire known as the Sassanian, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire, was the last kingdom of the Persian Empire before the rise of Islam. Named after the House of Sasan, it ruled from 224 to 651 AD; the Sasanian Empire succeeded the Parthian Empire and was recognised as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighbouring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire for a period of more than 400 years. The Sasanian Empire was founded by Ardashir I, after the fall of the Parthian Empire and the defeat of the last Arsacid king, Artabanus V. At its greatest extent, the Sasanian Empire encompassed all of today's Iran, Eastern Arabia, the Levant, the Caucasus, large parts of Turkey, much of Central Asia and Pakistan. According to a legend, the vexilloid of the Sasanian Empire was the Derafsh Kaviani; the Sasanian Empire during Late Antiquity is considered to have been one of Iran's most important, influential historical periods and constituted the last great Iranian empire before the Muslim conquest and the adoption of Islam.
In many ways, the Sasanian period witnessed the peak of ancient Iranian civilisation. The Sasanians' cultural influence extended far beyond the empire's territorial borders, reaching as far as Western Europe, Africa and India, it played a prominent role in the formation of both Asian medieval art. Much of what became known as Islamic culture in art, architecture and other subject matter was transferred from the Sasanians throughout the Muslim world. Conflicting accounts shroud the details of the fall of the Parthian Empire and subsequent rise of the Sassanian Empire in mystery; the Sassanian Empire was established in Estakhr by Ardashir I. Papak was the ruler of a region called Khir. However, by the year 200 he had managed to overthrow Gochihr and appoint himself the new ruler of the Bazrangids, his mother, was the daughter of the provincial governor of Pars. Papak and his eldest son Shapur managed to expand their power over all of Pars; the subsequent events are due to the elusive nature of the sources.
It is certain, that following the death of Papak, who at the time was the governor of Darabgerd, became involved in a power struggle of his own with his elder brother Shapur. Sources reveal that Shapur, leaving for a meeting with his brother, was killed when the roof of a building collapsed on him. By the year 208, over the protests of his other brothers who were put to death, Ardashir declared himself ruler of Pars. Once Ardashir was appointed shah, he moved his capital further to the south of Pars and founded Ardashir-Khwarrah; the city, well protected by high mountains and defensible due to the narrow passes that approached it, became the centre of Ardashir's efforts to gain more power. It was surrounded by a high, circular wall copied from that of Darabgird. Ardashir's palace was on the north side of the city. After establishing his rule over Pars, Ardashir extended his territory, demanding fealty from the local princes of Fars, gaining control over the neighbouring provinces of Kerman, Isfahan and Mesene.
This expansion came to the attention of Artabanus V, the Parthian king, who ordered the governor of Khuzestan to wage war against Ardashir in 224, but Ardashir was victorious in the ensuing battles. In a second attempt to destroy Ardashir, Artabanus himself met Ardashir in battle at Hormozgan, where the former met his death. Following the death of the Parthian ruler, Ardashir went on to invade the western provinces of the now defunct Parthian Empire. At that time the Arsacid dynasty was divided between supporters of Artabanus V and Vologases VI, which allowed Ardashir to consolidate his authority in the south with little or no interference from the Parthians. Ardashir was aided by the geography of the province of Fars, separated from the rest of Iran. Crowned in 224 at Ctesiphon as the sole ruler of Persia, Ardashir took the title shahanshah, or "King of Kings", bringing the 400-year-old Parthian Empire to an end, beginning four centuries of Sassanid rule. In the next few years, local rebellions occurred throughout the empire.
Nonetheless, Ardashir I further expanded his new empire to the east and northwest, conquering the provinces of Sistan, Khorasan, Margiana and Chorasmia. He added Bahrain and Mosul to Sassanid's possessions. Sassanid inscriptions claim the submission of the Kings of Kushan and Mekran to Ardashir, although based on numismatic evidence it is more that these submitted to Ardashir's son, the future Shapur I. In the west, assaults against Hatra and Adiabene met with less success. In 230, Ardashir raided deep into Roman territory, a Roman counter-offensive two years ended inconclusively, although the Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, celebrated a triumph in Rome. Ardashir I's son Shapur I continued the expansion of the empire, conquering Bactria and the western portion of the Kushan Empire, while leading several campaigns against Rome. Invading Roman Mesopotamia, Shapur I captured Carrhae and Nisibis, but in 243 the Roman general Timesitheus defeated the Persians at Rhesaina and regained the lost territories.
The emperor Gordian III's subsequent advance down the Euphrates was defea
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period. The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history; when a given Roman is described as becoming "emperor" in English, it reflects his taking of the title Augustus or Caesar. Another title used was imperator a military honorific. Early Emperors used the title princeps. Emperors amassed republican titles, notably princeps senatus and pontifex maximus; the legitimacy of an emperor's rule depended on his control of the army and recognition by the Senate. The first emperors reigned alone; the Romans considered the office of emperor to be distinct from that of a king. The first emperor, resolutely refused recognition as a monarch. Although Augustus could claim that his power was authentically republican, his successor, could not convincingly make the same claim. Nonetheless, for the first three hundred years of Roman emperors, from Augustus until Diocletian, efforts were made to portray the emperors as leaders of a republic.
From Diocletian, whose tetrarchic reforms divided the position into one emperor in the West and one in the East, until the end of the Empire, emperors ruled in an monarchic style and did not preserve the nominal principle of a republic, but the contrast with "kings" was maintained: although the imperial succession was hereditary, it was only hereditary if there was a suitable candidate acceptable to the army and the bureaucracy, so the principle of automatic inheritance was not adopted. Elements of the republican institutional framework were preserved after the end of the Western Empire; the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the late 5th century after multiple invasions of imperial territory by Germanic barbarian tribes. Romulus Augustulus is considered to be the last emperor of the West after his forced abdication in 476, although Julius Nepos maintained a claim recognized by the Eastern Empire to the title until his death in 480. Following Nepos' death, the Eastern Emperor Zeno abolished the division of the position and proclaimed himself as the sole Emperor of a reunited Roman Empire.
The Eastern imperial lineage continued to rule from Constantinople. Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Roman emperor in Constantinople, dying in the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453; the "Byzantine" emperors from Heraclius in 629 and onwards adopted the title of basileus, which had meant king in Greek but became a title reserved for the Roman emperor and the ruler of the Sasanian Empire. Other kings were referred to as rēgas. In addition to their pontifical office, some emperors were given divine status after death. With the eventual hegemony of Christianity, the emperor came to be seen as God's chosen ruler, as well as a special protector and leader of the Christian Church on Earth, although in practice an emperor's authority on Church matters was subject to challenge. Due to the cultural rupture of the Turkish conquest, most western historians treat Constantine XI as the last meaningful claimant to the title Roman Emperor. From 1453, one of the titles used by the Ottoman Sultans was "Caesar of Rome", part of their titles until the Ottoman Empire ended in 1922.
A Byzantine group of claimant Roman emperors existed in the Empire of Trebizond until its conquest by the Ottomans in 1461, though they had used a modified title since 1282. Eastern emperors in Constantinople had been recognized and accepted as Roman emperors both in the East, which they ruled, by the Papacy and Germanic kingdoms of the West until the deposition of Constantine VI and accession of Irene of Athens as Empress regnant in 797. Objecting to a woman ruling the Roman Empire in her own right and issues with the eastern clergy, the Papacy would create a rival lineage of Roman emperors in western Europe, the Holy Roman Emperors, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire for most of the period between 800 and 1806; these Emperors were never recognized as Roman emperors by the court in Constantinople. Modern historians conventionally regard Augustus as the first Emperor whereas Julius Caesar is considered the last dictator of the Roman Republic, a view having its origins in the Roman writers Plutarch and Cassius Dio.
However, the majority of Roman writers, including Josephus, Pliny the Younger and Appian, as well as most of the ordinary people of the Empire, thought of Julius Caesar as the first Emperor. At the end of the Roman Republic no new, no single, title indicated the individual who held supreme power. Insofar as emperor could be seen as the English translation of imperator Julius Caesar had been an emperor, like several Roman generals before him. Instead, by the end of the civil wars in which Julius Caesar had led his armies, it became clear that there was no consensus to return to the old-style monarchy, but that the period when several officials, bestowed with equal power by the senate, would fight one another had come to an end. Julius Caesar, Augustus after him, accumulated offices and titles of the highest importance in the Republic, making the power attached to those offices permanent, preventing anyone with similar aspirations from accumulating or maintaining power for themselves. However, Julius Caesar, unlike those after
Nestorianism is a Christian theological doctrine that upholds several distinctive teachings in the fields of Christology and Mariology. It opposes the concept of hypostatic union and emphasizes a radical distinction between two natures of Jesus Christ; this Christological position is defined as radical dyophisitism. Nestorianism was named after Christian theologian Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431, influenced by Christological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch. Nestorius' teachings brought him into conflict with other prominent church leaders, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who criticized his rejection of the title Theotokos for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Nestorius and his teachings were condemned as heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, again at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which led to the Nestorian Schism. Following that, many of Nestorius's supporters relocated to the Sasanian Empire, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East.
Over the next decades the Church of the East became Nestorian in doctrine, leading to it becoming known alternatively as the Nestorian Church. Nestorianism is a radical form of dyophysitism, differing from the orthodox dyophysitism on several points by opposition to the concept of hypostatic union, it can be seen as the antithesis to monophysitism. Where Nestorianism holds that Christ had two loosely united natures and human, monophysitism holds that he had but a single nature, his human nature being absorbed into his divinity. A brief definition of Nestorian Christology can be given as: "Jesus Christ, not identical with the Son but united with the Son, who lives in him, is one hypostasis and one nature: human." This contrasts with Nestorius' own teaching that the Word, eternal, the Flesh, not, came together in a hypostatic union,'Jesus Christ', Jesus thus being both man and God, of two ousia but of one prosopon. Both Nestorianism and monophysitism were condemned as heretical at the Council of Chalcedon.
Monophysitism developed into the Miaphysitism of the Oriental Orthodoxy. Nestoranism was condemned as heresy at the Council of Ephesus; the Armenian Church rejected Council of Chalcedon because they believed Chalcedonian Definition was too similar to Nestorianism. The Persian Nestorian Church, on the other hand, supported the spread of Nestorianism in Persarmenia; the Armenian Church and other eastern churches saw the rise of Nestorianism as a threat to the independence of their Church. Peter the Iberian, a Georgian prince strongly opposed the Chalcedonian Creed. Thus, in 491, Catholicos Babken I of Armenia, along with the Albanian and Iberian bishops met in Vagharshapat and issued a condemnation of the Chalcedonian Definition. Nestorians held that the Council of Chalcedon proved the orthodoxy of their faith who had started persecuting non-Chalcedonian or monophysite Syrian Christians during the reign of Peroz I. In response to pleas for assistance from the Syrian Church, Armenian prelates issued a letter addressed to Persian Christians reaffirming their condemnation of the Nestorianism as heresy.
Following the exodus to Persia, scholars expanded on the teachings of Nestorius and his mentors after the relocation of the School of Edessa to the Persian city of Nisibis in 489, where it became known as the School of Nisibis. Nestorian monasteries propagating the teachings of the Nisbis school flourished in 6th century Persarmenia. Despite this initial Eastern expansion, the Nestorians' missionary success was deterred. David J. Bosch observes, "By the end of the fourteenth century, the Nestorian and other churches—which at one time had dotted the landscape of all of Central and parts of East Asia—were all but wiped out. Isolated pockets of Christianity survived only in India; the religious victors on the vast Central Asian mission field of the Nestorians were Islam and Buddhism". Nestorius developed his Christological views as an attempt to understand and explain rationally the incarnation of the divine Logos, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity as the man Jesus, he had studied at the School of Antioch.
Nestorius took his Antiochene leanings with him when he was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople by Byzantine emperor Theodosius II in 428. Nestorius's teachings became the root of controversy when he publicly challenged the long-used title Theotokos for Mary, he suggested that the title denied Christ's full humanity, arguing instead that Jesus had two persons, the divine Logos and the human Jesus. As a result of this prosopic duality, he proposed Christotokos as a more suitable title for Mary. Nestorius' opponents found his teaching too close to the heresy of adoptionism – the idea that Christ had been born a man, "adopted" as God's son. Nestorius was criticized by Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch of Alexandria, who argued that Nestorius's teachings undermined the unity of Christ's divine and human natures at the Incarnation; some of Nestorius's opponents argued that he put too much emphasis on the human nature of Christ, others debated that the difference that Nestorius implied between the human nature and the divine nature created a fracture in the si
Ioannes, known in English as Joannes or John, was a Roman usurper against Valentinian III. On the death of the Emperor Honorius, Theodosius II, the remaining ruler of the House of Theodosius, hesitated in announcing his uncle's death. In the interregnum, Honorius's patrician at the time of his death, elevated Joannes as emperor. Joannes was a primicerius notariorum or senior civil servant at the time of his elevation. Procopius praised him as "both gentle and well-endowed with sagacity and capable of valorous deeds." Unlike the Theodosian emperors, he tolerated all Christian sects. From the beginning, his control over the empire was insecure. In Gaul, his praetorian prefect was slain at Arles in an uprising of the soldiery there, and Bonifacius, Comes of the Diocese of Africa, held back the grain fleet destined to Rome."The events of Johannes' reign are as shadowy as its origins," writes John Matthews, who provides a list of the ruler's known actions in a single paragraph. Joannes was proclaimed at Rome and praetorian games were provided at the expense of a member of the gens Anicia.
Johannes moved his base of operations to Ravenna, knowing full well that the Eastern Empire would strike from that direction. There is a mention of an expedition against Africa, but its fate, presumed unsuccessful, is unrecorded. In Gaul, he appears to have caused offense by submitting clerics to secular courts. And, all. Joannes had hoped that he could come to an agreement with the Eastern Emperor, but when Theodosius II elevated the young Valentinian III, first to Caesar to co-emperor as an Augustus, he knew he could only expect war. Late in 424, he gave to one of his younger and most promising followers, Aëtius, an important mission. Aëtius, Governor of the Palace at the time, was sent to the Huns, with whom he had lived as a hostage earlier, to seek military help. While Aëtius was away, the army of the Eastern Empire left Thessalonica for Italy, soon camped in Aquileia. Although the primary sources state that Ravenna fell to their assault – John of Antioch states that a shepherd led the army of Aspar safely through the marshes that protected the city– Stewart Oost believes that Aspar's father, captured by Joannes' soldiers, convinced the garrison of Ravenna to betray the city.
The fallen emperor was brought to Aquileia where first his hand was cut off he was paraded on a donkey in the Hippodrome to the insults of the populace. After further insults and injuries, Joannes was decapitated in June or July 425. Three days after Joannes's death, Aëtius returned at the head of a substantial Hunnic army. After some skirmishing, regent to her son, Aëtius came to an agreement that established the political landscape of the Western Roman Empire for the next thirty years; the Huns were sent home, while Aetius received the position of magister militum. The historian Adrian Goldsworthy writes that "it took a hard-fought campaign by strong elements of the East Roman army and navy, in addition to a fair dose of betrayal," to defeat Joannes. Hugh Elton, "Ioannes", from De Imperatoribus Romanis"
Marcian was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 450 to 457. Little of his life before becoming emperor is known, other than that he was a domesticus who served under Ardabur and his son Aspar for fifteen years. After the death of Emperor Theodosius II on 28 July 450, Marcian was made a candidate to the throne by Aspar, who held much influence due to his military power. After a month of negotiations Pulcheria, the sister of Theodosius, agreed to marry Marcian, Flavius Zeno, a military leader of similar influence to Aspar, agreed to help Marcian to become emperor in exchange for the rank of patrician. Marcian was elected and inaugurated on 25 August 450. Marcian reversed many of the actions of his predecessor, Emperor Theodosius II, in religious matters and the Eastern Roman Empire's relationship with the Huns under Attila. Marcian immediately revoked all treaties with Attila, ending all subsidy payments to him. In 452, while Attila was raiding Italy a part of the Western Roman Empire, Marcian launched expeditions across the Danube into the Hungarian plain, defeating the Huns in their own heartland.
This action, accompanied by the famine and plague that broke out in northern Italy, allowed Marcian to bribe Attila into retreating from the Italian peninsula. After the death of Attila in 453, Marcian took advantage of the resulting fragmentation of the Hunnic confederation, settling numerous tribes within Eastern Roman lands as foederati. Marcian convened the Council of Chalcedon, which reversed the outcome of the previous Second Council of Ephesus, declared that Jesus had two natures and human. Marcian died on 26 January 457, leaving the Eastern Roman Empire with a treasury surplus of seven million solidi. After his death, Aspar had Leo I elected as Eastern Roman Emperor. Marcian was born in c. 392, in either Thrace or Illyria. He is described by the ancient historian John Malalas as being tall and having some sort of foot impediment. Little of Marcian's early life is known. Marcian's father had served in the military and at a young age, Marcian enlisted at Philippopolis in Thrace. By the time of the Roman–Sasanian War of 421–422, Marcian had reached the rank of tribune but did not see action in the war itself due to becoming ill in Lycia, where he was cared for by Tatianus, who became praefectus urbi, his brother Iulius.
Marcian rose to become the domesticus of Aspar, the magister militum of the Eastern Roman Empire. In the early 430s, Marcian served under Aspar in Roman Africa; some sources give a false account of Marcian, while in captivity, meeting the Vandal King Genseric who predicted he would become emperor. After his capture, he is not mentioned again until the death of Eastern Emperor Theodosius II; the Eastern Roman Empire had been plagued by external threats during the reign of Theodosius II. In 429 the Vandals, led by Genseric, began to conquer Roman Africa. Theodosius organised a response, sending Aspar and three other commanders to attempt to repel them in the summer of 431. To the north, the Huns, who had customarily attacked the Eastern Empire whenever its armies were preoccupied and receded whenever those forces returned, send ambassadors to Theodosius in 431, demanding tribute. Theodosius agreed to their demand to pay 350 pounds of gold every year. In 434, the Eastern Roman armies were still campaigning against the Vandals in Africa, having faced initial defeats and the withdrawal of a large number of Western Roman soldiers.
In the face of Eastern Roman weakness, the Huns doubled their demand, asking for 700 pounds of gold per year, which Theodosius agreed to. With large amounts of the Eastern Roman armies home, Attila, who had just taken power in the Hunnic Confederation, busy campaigning to the north, Theodosius refused to pay the tribute and continued to refuse to pay tribute until 439. On 19 October 439, the Vandals captured Carthage. Both the Western and Eastern Roman Empires began preparing a massive counter-offensive, stripping the Balkan provinces of protection. In the spring of 440, 1,100 ships set sail from Constantinople for Africa, twice the size of the fleet that would be sent by Emperor Justinian a century later. Sending away such a large number of the Eastern Roman forces was a huge gamble on Theodosius' part, betting that the fortified cities along the Danube could delay the Huns for long enough that the invasion force could gain a secure foothold in Africa, allowing troops to be withdrawn back to the northern frontier.
This gamble worked until 442 when the bishop of Margus led a raiding party into the Huns territory and desecrated the royal tombs of the Huns. In response to this desecration, Attila demanded. With control of Margus, Attila had a foothold across the Danube, which he aggressively exploited and destroying the cities of Viminacium and Sirmium. Theodosius launched a counterattack. After his force was decisively defeated, Theodosius undertook to pay tribute to the Huns every year, which he did each year until his death in 4
Aelia Eudocia Augusta called Saint Eudocia, was a Greek Eastern Roman Empress by marriage to Byzantine emperor Theodosius II, a prominent historical figure in understanding the rise of Christianity. Eudocia lived in a world where Greek paganism and Christianity existed side-by-side with both pagans and non-Orthodox Christians being persecuted. Although Eudocia's work has been ignored by modern scholars, her poetry and literary work are great examples of how her Christian faith and Greek heritage/upbringing were intertwined, exemplifying a legacy that the Roman Empire left behind on the Christian world. Aelia Eudocia was born circa 400 in Athens into a family of Greek descent, her father, a Greek philosopher named Leontius, taught rhetoric at the Academy of Athens, where people from all over the Mediterranean came to either teach or learn. Eudocia's given name was Athenais, chosen by her parents in honour of the city's protector, the pagan goddess Pallas Athena, her father was rich and had a magnificent house on the Acropolis with a large courtyard in which young Athenais played as a child.
When Athenais was 12 years old, her mother died and she became her father's comfort, taking on the responsibilities of household chores, raising her siblings and tending to her father. She had two brothers and Valerius, who would receive honours at court from their sister and brother-in-law. In return for her household activities, her father spent time giving her a thorough training in rhetoric and philosophy, he taught her the Socratic virtue of knowledge of moderation, predicted that she would have a great destiny. She had a gift for memorisation, learned the poetry of Homer and Pindar, which her father would recite to her. Both as a teacher and a role model, he had a great impact on her, prepared her for her destiny and influenced the literary work she created after she became Empress; when he died in 420, she was devastated. In his will, he left all his property to her brothers, with only 100 coins reserved for her, saying that "ufficient for her is her destiny, which will be the greatest of any woman."
Athenais had been her father's confidante and had expected more than this meager 100-coin inheritance. She begged her brothers to be fair and give her an equal share of their father's property, but they refused. Shortly after her father's death, at the age of 20, Athenais went to live with her aunt, who advised her to go to Constantinople and "ask for justice from the Emperor," confident she would receive her fair share of her father's wealth. Legend has it, he talked to his sister Pulcheria, who began to search for a maiden fit for her brother, either "patrician or imperial blood." His longtime childhood friend, Paulinus helped Theodosius in his search. The Emperor's search had begun fortuitously at the same time that Athenais had arrived in Constantinople. Pulcheria had heard about this young girl, who had only 100 coins to her name, when she met her, she was "astonished at her beauty and at the intelligence and sophistication with which she presented her grievance." Upon reporting back to her brother, she told him she had "found a young girl, a Greek maid beautiful and dainty, eloquent as well, the daughter of a philosopher," and young Theodosius, full of desire and lust fell in love instantly.
Athenais had been raised pagan, upon her marriage to Theodosius II converted to Christianity and was renamed Eudocia. They were married on June 7, 421 and there were "reports that Theodosius celebrated his wedding with chariot races in the hippodrome." Her brothers, who had rejected her after their father's death, fled since they were fearful of the punishment they thought they were going to receive when they learned that she became Empress. However, instead of punishing them, Eudocia called them back to Constantinople, Theodosius rewarded them; the emperor made Valerius magister officiorum. Both Gessius and Valerius were rewarded because Eudocia believed that their mistreatment of her was part of her destiny, he honoured his best friend, Paulinus with the title of magister officiorum, for he had helped find his wife. This rags-to-riches story, though it claims to be authentic and is accepted among historians, leads one to believe that the tale may have been twisted due to the detail of how the romance was portrayed.
The earliest version of this story appeared more than a century after Eudocia's death in the "World Chronicle of John Malalas, an author who did not always distinguish between authentic history and a popular memory of events infused with folk-tale motifs." The facts are that she was the daughter of Leontius and she did have the name Athenais, according to the Greek historian Socrates of Constantinople, a contemporary historian named Priscus of Panion. The historians Sozomen and Theodoret did not include Eudocia in their respective historical works because they wrote after 443 when Eudocia had fallen into disgrace. While on her pilgrimage to Jerusalem in spring of 438, Eudocia stopped in Antioch, during her stay she addressed the senate of that city in Hellenic style and distributed funds for the repair of its buildings, she was conscious of her Greek heritage, as demonstrated in her famous address to the citizens of Antioch where she included the line "Υμετέρης γενεής τε καί αίματος εύχομαι είναι".
The last words of Eudocia's oration brought down the house, which resulted in the c