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522591. SOLD $250

Aelia Flaccilla. Augusta, AD 379-386/8. Æ Maiorina (23mm, 6.10 g, 7h). Constantinople mint, 5th officina. Struck under Theodosius I, AD 379-383. Bust right, wearing elaborate pearl headdress, necklace, and mantle / Victory seated right on throne, inscribing Chi-Rho on shield set upon short column; CONЄ. RIC IX 55.1; LRBC 2149. Dark green patina with red earthen fields. Good VF.

Aelia Flaccilla was wife to Theodosius I, the last man to hold undisputed sway over the entire Roman Empire. She was likely a noblewoman from a powerful military family in Spain, and thus an ideal match for the Spaniard Theodosius, of similar lineage. They married in about AD 374 and their union produced two sons, Arcadius and Honorius, and one daughter, the formidable Pulcheria. Theodosius became emperor in January of AD 379 and Flaccilla acclaimed Augusta shortly thereafter, making her the first woman since Helena, five decades previous, to be so honored and have coinage struck in her name. Flaccilla was praised by several contemporary writers as a devout Nicene Christian, a pillar of the church, and a generous patron of the disabled and disadvantaged. She died in AD 386 and was deeply mourned throughout the Roman Empire. She is venerated as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church.