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Flavia Maximiana Theodora

Flavia Maximiana Theodora

Roman empress
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Roman empress
Gender female
Death
Family
Mother: Eutropia
Father: Maximian
Spouse: Constantius Chlorus
Children: Flavia Julia ConstantiaAnastasiaEutropiaJulius ConstantiusFlavius Dalmatius
The details
Biography

Flavia Maximiana Theodora, also known as Theodora, was a Roman Empress, wife of Constantius Chlorus.

She is often referred to as a stepdaugher of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus. This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian.

Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while more reliable sources refer Theodora as Maximian's natural daughter. He concludes that she was born no later than c. 275 to an unnamed earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.

In 293, Theodora married Flavius Valerius Julius Constantius (later known as Constantius Chlorus), after he had divorced from his first wife, Helena, to strengthen his political position. The couple had six children:

  • Flavius Dalmatius;
  • Julius Constantius, father of Roman Emperor Julian and of the unnamed wife of Constantius II;
  • Hannibalianus (must have died before the imperial purges that occurred in 337 because he is not listed among its victims);
  • Anastasia, who was to marry Bassianus;
  • Flavia Julia Constantia, wife of Roman Emperor Licinius;
  • Eutropia, mother of Nepotianus.
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