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Galla Placidia
Augusta  AD 421 - 450

Aelia Galla Placidia (AD 388 - 450):
Daughter of Theodosius and Galla;
Wife of Ataulf the Visigoth and Constantius III;
Mother by Constantius III of Valentinian III and Honoria;
Half-sister of Arcadius and Honorius
Mother-in-law of Licinina Eudoxia;
Granddaughter of Valentinian I and Justina.

Aelia Galla Placidia, born ca. 388/390, was the daughter of the emperor Theodosius I (379-395) and his second wife Galla. She was the half-sister of the emperors Honorius (393-423) and Arcadius (383-408). When the Goths sacked Rome in 410 Placidia seems already to have been in Gothic hands. She was carried off with them to Gaul, and in 414 she was married in a Roman wedding ceremony to the Visigothic chieftain Athaulf at Narbonne. She may have been one of the causes of his eventual pro-Roman outlook. She subsequently traveled with the Goths to Spain and bore Athaulf a son, Theodosius, who died in infancy, thus destroying an opportunity for a possible Romano-Visigothic rapprochement. In 416, after Athaulf's death, Placidia was restored to the Romans. In the next year, rather against her will, she was wedded to the powerful Roman general Constantius, of whom she had a dauther and a son, the future empror Valentinian III. When Constantius became co-emperor she was proclaimed an Augusta, but in 421 he died, she quarreled with her brother and went off to Constantinople to the court of Theodosius II. With the installation of Valentinian in 425 she returned to Rome and assumed leading role in the affairs of the western empire for the next twelve years. After the rise of Aetius to power her direct influence was somewhat diminished, but her voice was till heard, especially in religious policy and ecclesiastical governance.

Mints: Constantinopolis, Ravenna, Rome.

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