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HOME : Roman Coins : Empress Eudoxia : Bronze Coin of Empress Aelia Eudoxia
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Bronze Coin of Empress Aelia Eudoxia - C.642
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 383 AD to 400 AD

Catalogue: V25
Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Bronze

Additional Information: Found in Jerusalem, Israel
Location: United States
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Obverse: AEL EVDOXIA AVG; Diademed and Draped Bust of the Empress Facing Right with the Hand of God Holding a Wreath Above her Head

Reverse: SALVS REPVBLICAE; Victory Seated to the Right, Inscribing a Christogram on a Shield set on a Cippus

Women, though often overlooked, played an intriguing role during the height of the Roman Empire, often pulling the strings from offstage when the emperor was too young to rule or especially gullible to the influences of an ambitious empress. Aelia Eudoxia, the wife of Emperor Arcadius, is one such powerful plotter who altered the course of history. Like many of the women in the house of Theodosius I, she was a strong willed, determined individual who easily dominated her husband when it came to affairs of state. Historically, she is well remembered for bringing about the downfall of two of her harshest enemies: John of Cappadocia and John Chrysostom. John of Cappadocia was a Praetorian Prefect whose power was perceived as a threat to the empress. John Chrysostom incurred the wrath of Eudoxia because his sermons on immorality seemed to be aimed directly at her. Sure enough, Eudoxia was able to get both men banished to the edges of the frontier. Eudoxia ruled from behind the curtains until she finally passed away in 404 A.D., for years after she had been named Augusta.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. Today, this coin is an ancient memorial to a powerful woman passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation.
- (C.642)


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