Aelia Pulcheria Proclaims Herself Augusta of Eastern Roman Empire, Takes Over From Young Brother

Aelia Pulcheria Proclaims Herself Augusta of Eastern Roman Empire, Takes Over From Young Brother

Aelia Pulcheria, Augusta
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Aelia Pulcheria proclaims herself Augusta (Empress) of the Eastern Roman Empire and takes control from her younger brother, Theodosius II, who is just 13 years old. Pulcheria herself is only fifteen.

Theodosius was proclaimed emperor when he was seven, and he will assume full control himself in 416 when he is fifteen years old. Nevertheless, Pulcheria will retain a strong influence on her brother until his death.

Pulcheria will be treated like other powerful men, but she will have more influence over church and theology than over politics in the Eastern Roman Empire. She and later her brother will promote anti-Semitic policies such as the destruction of synagogues and the killing of Jews who come into conflict with Christians. Similar intolerance is shown to pagans; at the same time, she has the state take a stake in Christianity by building many more churches and promoting the state's preferred definition of orthodoxy.

Upon proclaiming herself Augusta, Aelia Pulcheria also takes a vow of virginity, refusing to marry until after her brother's death; she herself will die just three years later and will eventually be proclaimed a saint in the Catholic Church.

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