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    Description

    Pagan-Christian Saint

    Aelia Eudocia, wife of Theodosius II (Augusta, AD 423-450). AV tremissis (15mm, 1.39 gm, 6h). NGC MS 5/5 - 3/5, clipped. Constantinople, AD 425-429. AELIA EVDO-CIA AVG, pearl-diademed and draped bust of Eudocia right / Cross within wreath, CONOB* below. RIC X 253. Depeyrot 72/2. Rare. One edge a tiny bit trimmed, otherwise cleanly struck from fresh dies, perfectly centered, and possessing lovely lustrous surfaces.

    Aelia Eudocia started life as Athenais, 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. 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
    September, 2017
    7th-12th Thursday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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