Eutropia

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Eutropia

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Syria
Death: Died in now, Milano, Lombardia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Titus Flavius Sabinus, VI and Gordiana Balba
Wife of Maximian, Western Roman Emperor and Afranius Hanniballianus
Mother of Maxentius, Western Roman Emperor; Flavia Maxima Fausta; Flavia Maximiana Theodora and [Afranius]
Sister of Flavius Titus Eutropius

Occupation: Western Roman Empress
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About Eutropia

Eutropia was the (second?) wife of Emperor Maximian, second mother-in-law of Emperor Constantius Chlorus, and also second mother-in-law of Constantius Chlorus’ son Emperor Constantine I.


Her ancestry is uncertain. She was a daughter, sister or sister-in-law of Claudia Crispina. It has been suggested that her ancestry is a fiction designed to connect the Constantintian dynasty to their predecessors.

There are three standard reconstructions:

  1. She was the daughter of Titus Flavius and his wife Gordiana Balba. Titus Flavius was a member of the Forum Julii, a family descended from Julius Caesar’s cousin Sextus Julius Caesar. Gordiana Balba was a granddaughter of Emperor Gordian I and a sister of Emperor Gordian III.
  2. She was the granddaughter of Titus Flavius and his wife Gordiana Balba, through their son Flavius Eutropius and his wife Claudia Crispina. (These same parents are also claimed for Eutropia’s husband Constantius Chlorus.) Claudia Crispina was was a niece of the Emperors Claudius II and Quintillus, and a daughter of Flavius Crispus and his wife Aurelia Pompeiana.
  3. She was a sister rather than daughter of Claudia Crispina. This reconstruction is offered by David Hughes, a problematic source. According to Hughes, Eutropia was daughter of Flavius Crispus by his wife Aurelia Pompeiana. Flavius Crispus was a son of Flavius Numerius, a Greek prince. Aurelia Pompeiana was a daughter of Commodus Pompeianus (died 209).

Eutropia md (1) Unknown, perhaps a man from the province of Asia, and perhaps Afranius Hannibilianus, consul in 292, and praetorian prefect under Diocletian. If so, they apparently divorced before 283. Alternatively, Afranius Hannibilianus might have been the father of an unknown first wife of Emperor Maximian.


  1. Theodora, who married Emperor Constantius Chlorus, father of Constantine I. Alternatively, Theodora might have been a daughter of Maximian by his unknown first wife.

md (2) Emperor Maximian reigned 286-305, and died 309 or 
310 CE.

  1. Emperor Maxentius
  2. Flavia Maxima Fausta, who married Emperor Constantine I, son of Constantius Chlorus

Biography


Eutropia was of Syrian extraction and her marriage to Maximianus Herculius seems to have been her second. She bore him two children: Maxentius and Fausta. An older daughter, Theodora, may have been a product of her first marriage. Fausta became the wife of Constantine I , while her sister Theodora was the second spouse of his father Constantius I Chlorus .


Eutropia is said to have become a Christian. Eusebius in his Life of Constantine, 
narrating the role of Constantine’s mother Helena in identifying Christian sites in the Holy Land, adds that "Constantine's mother-
in-law [Eutropia] was restoring the sites at Hebron". "By the initiative of Eutropia, Constantine's 
mother-in-law, a church was also built at 
Mamre, . . ."


Eutropia’s husband, the Emperor Maximianus, was a notorious persecutor of Christians. Maximianus and his son Maxentius both died resisting Constantine, but Eutropia herself was (second) mother-in-law to Constantine, and also (second) mother-in-law of Constantine's 
father, Constantius Chlorus.


Eutropia apparently survived all her children, with the possible exception of her daughter Fausta, who was alive in 325 and seems to have died in 326.


Sources


  • De Imperatoribus Romanis, Eutropia, Maximianus Herculius' Wife.
  • David Hughes, The British Chronicles (Heritage Books, 2007), Volume 2, Table 8J.
  • Sir Anthony Wagner, Pedigree and progress: essays in the genealogical interpretation of history (London: Phillimore & Co., Ltd., 1975 ), Pedigree 24.

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Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutropia

Eutropia (d. after 325) a woman of Syrian origin, who was the wife of Emperor Maximian.

Marriage to Maximian and their children

In the late 3rd century, she married Maximian, though the exact date of this marriage is uncertain. By Maximian, she had two children, a boy, Maxentius (c. 277-287), who was Western Roman Emperor from 306-312 and a girl, Fausta (c. 298), who was wife of Constantine I, and mother of six children by him, including the Augusti Constantine II, Constantius II and Constans.

Another daughter?

There is some doubt as to whether Flavia Maximiana Theodora, who married Constantius I Chlorus, was the a daughter of Eutropia by an earlier husband or whether she was a daughter of Maximian by an earlier anonymous wife.

Footnotes

  1. Barnes, New Empire, 34. Barnes dates Maxentius' birth to circa 283, when Maximian was in Syria, and Fausta's birth to 289 or 290 (Barnes, New Empire, 34).
  2. Aurelius Victor, de Caesaribus 39.25; Eutropius, Breviaria 9.22; Jerome, Chronicle 225g; Epitome de Caesaribus 39.2, 40.12, quoted in Barnes, New Empire, 33; Barnes, New Empire, 33.
  3. Origo Constantini 2; Philostorgius, Historia Ecclesiastica 2.16a, quoted in Barnes, New Empire, 33. See also Panegyrici Latini 10(2)11.4.

References

  • s.v. DiMaio, Michael, "Maximianus Herculius (286-305 A.D)", DIR
  • Barnes, Timothy D. The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982. ISBN 0783722214
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Eutropia's Timeline

250
250
Syria
272
272
Age 22
273
273
Age 23
Roma, Lazio, Italia
275
275
Age 25
278
278
Age 28
288
288
Age 38
Rome, Italy
289
289
Age 39
Sirmium, Balkans
325
325
Age 75
now, Milano, Lombardia, Italy
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