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    Description

    Very Rare Eudocia Semissis

    Aelia Eudocia, Eastern Roman Empire (AD 423-450). AV semissis (18mm, 2.26 gm, 11h). NGC MS 5/5 - 3/5. Constantinople, ca. AD 425-429. AEL EVDO-CIA AVG, pearl-diademed, draped bust of Aelia Eudocia right, wearing pearl necklace and earring, hair elaborately weaved with long plait up the back of head and tucked under diadem / Christogram within wreath terminating in large jewel; CONOB* below. RIC X 248. Depeyrot 76/1. Strong strike with delicate details proudly displayed on ample flan with much underlying luster. Very rare - only three examples, including this specimen, in sales archives over the past 20 years.

    Ex Heritage Auction 3066 (ANA Platinum Night, 17 August 2018), lot 30133.

    Aelia Eudocia started life as a legendary beauty born in Antioch to a Pagan professor. Having absorbed Greek philosophy from childhood, she became an accomplished poet, prose writer and orator in her own right. She traveled to Constantinople in AD 420 and caught the eye of Emperor Theodosius II, who was in the market for a wife. His sister, Pulcheria, insisted that she convert to Christianity before any marriage, terms that she readily accepted. The new empress immediately became an advocate for universal education and tolerance, particularly toward Jews and other persecuted sects. She also sought to blend Classical Hellenism and Christianity. This placed her at odds with Pulcheria, who began to denigrate the sincerity of her conversion. To prove her devotion, Eudocia made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in AD 438, but soon after returning she was accused of adultery and banished from the court. Theodosius still loved her, however, and she was able to retire to Jerusalem where she continued her writing and charitable work until her death in AD 460.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    12th-13th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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