(Εὐδοκία). (1) A Roman empress, wife to Theodosius the Younger. Her original name was Athenas, and she was the daughter of Leontius, an Athenian philosopher; but on her marriage she embraced Christianity, and received the baptismal name of Eudocia. She was a woman of beauty and talent. She versified several books of the Old Testament, and wrote several paraphrases on some of the Jewish prophets; but became suspected by her husband of conjugal infidelity, and, being degraded, she was allowed to seek a refuge in the Holy Land. Here she devoted herself to religious studies, but the jealousy of her suspicious husband still pursued her; and having learned that two priests, whom she had chosen as the companions of her exile, were accustomed to pay her frequent visits and were loaded by her with presents, Theodosius sent Saturninus, one of the officers of his court, to Jerusalem, who put to death the two priests without even the formality of a trial. Irritated at this new insult, Eudocia caused Saturninus to be slaina deed more likely to darken than avenge her innocence. The emperor contented himself with depriving her of all the badges of her rank, and reducing her to the conditions of a private individual. She lived twenty years after this event, in the bitterest penitence, and died at the age of sixty-seven years, in A.D. 460.
The principal work ascribed by some to Eudocia is Homerocentra (Ὁμηρόκεντρα), or a life of the Saviour, in 2443 hexameters, formed from verses and hemistichs selected from the poems of Homer. (See Cento.) Others, however, make Pelagius, surnamed Patricius, who lived in the fifth century, its author. Eudocia left, also, a poem on the martyrdom of Cyprian. The best edition of the Homerocentra is that of Teucher (Leipzig, 1798).
(2) The Younger, daughter of the preceding and of Theodosius II., married Valentinian III. After the assassination of her husband by Petronius Maximus, she was obliged to marry the usurper. Eudocia, out of indignation and revenge, called in Genseric, king of the Vandals, who came to Italy, plundered Rome, and carried Eudocia with him to Africa. Some years afterwards she was sent back to Constantinople, where she died, A.D. 462.
(3) The widow of Constantine Ducas, married to Romanus Diogenes, an officer of distinction, A.D. 1068, and associated him with her upon the throne. Three years after, Michael, her son, by means of a revolt, was proclaimed emperor, and caused his mother to be shut up in a convent, where she spent the rest of her life. She left a treatise on the genealogies of the gods and heroes, which displays an extensive acquaintance with the subject. It is printed in Villoison's Anecdota Graeca (Venice, 1781).