ANICIA JULIANA Valentinian-Theodosian princess

ANICIA JULIANA Valentinian-Theodosian princess Born and lived at Constantinople ca. 463528. Noted in late-ancient Roman, Byzantine and early Christian history for three main reasons: 1 the exceptional nobility of her ancestry, family and relatives; 2 her commitment to defending the church’s unity and Chalcedonian orthodoxy; 3 her intensive construction activity, especially Christian buildings. On her father’s side Anicia Juliana descended from the gens Anicia, one of the earliest families of the Roman patriciate. She was the only daughter of Flavius Anicius Olybrius, the fourth-last emperor of the West. The dignity of primicerius or domesticus was conferred on another family member, Maximus, by the Goth Theodatus, cousin of Amalasuntha and king of Italy 534536. In 541 Anicius Faustus Albinus Basilius would become in his turn the last ordinary console nominated by Justinian. Her mother’s side was of still higher nobility: she was the daughter of Placidia the Younger, descendant of no less than five of the most illustrious emperors: Valentinian III Anicia Juliana’s grandfather, Theodosius II, Constantius, Arcadius and Theodosius I. Not by chance did complacent Byzantine poets of the day exalt the most noble Anicia Juliana as daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Roman emperors West and East see Anthologia Palatina, I,10,7; ed. Watz, I Paris 1928, 16. As mentioned, Anicia Juliana was also famous as an outstanding representative of Christianity in the late Roman period and early Byzantine Empire. The Anici family was among the first and most notable pagan senatorial familes to embrace the Christian faith; regarding the Christian merits of this gens, it is not insignificant that a personage of the importance of Severinus Boethius Anicia Juliana’s contemporary belonged to one of its many branches. Beyond the Anici family, two other of Anicia Juliana’s relatives noteworthy in a religious sense were Theodosius I, who with the Edict of Thessalonica defended Nicene orthodoxy with great authority and efficacy, and St. Pulcheria daughter of the emperor Arcadius and herself empress: 450453, who opposed Nestorians and monophysites and brought an austere morality to the court. Following in their wake, Anicia Juliana was also a fervent Christian and champion of orthodoxy. In 519 she authoritatively backed the composition of the Acacian schism, promoted from a Chalcedonian, antimonophysite and pro-Roman perspective by pope Hormisdas and the emperor Justin I, who was advised in that direction by his nephew, the future emperor Justinian. Anicia Juliana also continued the pious imperial tradition of her ancestors including Galla Placidia, Eudoxia and Licinia Eudoxia, her maternal aunt as a generous promoter and financer of Christian religious buildings. At least the following construction works all at Constantinople were hers: she carried out or completed decoration of the Church of St. Euphemia, building a monastery next to it; she had the Church of St. Polyeuktus rebuilt and decorated; she built the Church of the Theotokos on the Asiatic coast of the Bosporus; and she very probably also built St. Stephen in Zeugma, near the Constantinianae quarter. A. Premerstein, Anicia Juliana im Wiener Dioskorides-Kodex Med. gr. 1: Jahrbuch der Kunsthist. Sammlungen des allerhochsten. Kaiserhauses 24 1903 105-124; H. Grgoire, Saint’ Euphmie et l’empereur Maurice: Muson 59 1946 300; C. Bertelli, Anicia Giuliana: Diz. dell’Arte Antica I Rome 1958 394-396; C. Mango – I. Sevecenko, Remains of the Church of St. Polyeuktos at Constantinople: Dumbarton Oaks Papers 15 1961 243-247; 21 1967 276; C. Capizzi, Anicia Giuliana 463 ca.528 ca.. Ricerche sulla sua famiglia e la sua vita: Studi Bizantini and Neoellenici n.s. 4XIV 1968 191-226; R.M. Harrison, The Church of St. Polyeuktos in Constantinople: An Excavation Report, in Akten des VII. Internationalen Kongresses f¼r christliche Arch¤ologie, Trier 5-11 September 1965, Vatican City-Berlin 1969, 543-549; C. Capizzi, Anicia Giuliana e il suo intervento nell’unione ecclesiastica del 519, in Atti del I Congresso Internazionale sulle Relazioni fra le due Sponde Adriatiche Brindisi-Lecce- Taranto 15-18 ottobre 1971, Lecce 1973, 49-86; Id., L’attivit  edilizia di Anicia Giuliana, in Collectanea Byzantina OCA 204, Rome 1977, 119- 146; P. Speck, Juliana Anicia, Konstantin der Grosse und die Polieuktoskirche in Konstantinopel: Poikila Byzantin  11 Varia III Berlin 1993, 111-147; C. Capizzi, Giuliana: la committente ca. 463ca. 528, Milan 1997.Strong Women | 2guysreadinggibbon’s Blog travelquaz

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