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Verina
Augusta  AD 457 - 484

Aelia Verina:
Wife of Leo I;
Mother of Aelia Ariadne and Leontia (wife of Patricius);
Sister of Basiliscus;
Mother-in-law of Patricius, Zeno and Anastasius I;
Grandmother of Leo II;
Aunt of Marcus.

Nothing is known of the birth and origins of Aelia Verina. She was married to Leo I before he ascended the throne and they had already had one daughter, Ariadne. Her family was large and soon rose to prominence. She bore the emperor one further daughter, Leontia, who was married to Marcian, the son of the western emperor Anthemius. A son was also born, but survived for only a few months. In 466/7 the elder daugther of Leo and Verina, Ariadne, married the Isaurian commander Zeno, and they had one child, Leo II. After the death of Leo I in January 474, Verina turned against her brother Basiliscus and supported the return of Zeno. She then resorted to repeated intrigues against Zeno's right-hand man Illus, yet at the end of her life supported him and his candidate for the throne, Leontius, against Zeno. After Zeno became sole emperor, Verina plotted against him and had Basiliscus crowned emperor. As if that wasn’t enough, she continued her intrigues and was accordingly sent off to a monastery at Tarsus in Cilicia, from which she was later moved to Dalisandus, and then Cherris in Isauria, from where she never returned to Constantinople. In the last years of her life, Verina took up the cause of her bitter enemy Illusbut his revolt failed to gain support. The rebels withdrew to the fortress of Papirius in Isauria, and it was there that Verina died (probably in 484). The fortress fell in 488; Verina's body was brought back to Constantinople for burial by her daughter Ariadne.

Mints: Constantinopolis.

List all Verina coins in the Catalog.

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