Anicia Iuliana

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Anicia Iuliana (assignment uncertain).

Anicia Iuliana - also Juliana Anicia and Anikia Juliania - (* around 460; † before 532) was an influential Roman aristocrat during the late antiquity .

Although much of her family's vast estates were in the western half of the empire, Iuliana was born in Constantinople . She was of imperial blood: not only had her father Olybrius been Emperor of the Western Empire for a few months until his untimely death in 472 , but her mother Placidia was also the daughter of Emperor Valentinian III. Iuliana's great-grandfathers were the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II and the Western Roman Emperor Constantius III. , and also from the emperors Arcadius , Theodosius I and Valentinian I , she descended in direct line. In 479, according to the will of the then emperor Zeno , she was supposed to marry the Goth Theodoric the Great , but the marriage did not take place. Instead, she became the wife of the powerful general Areobindus , who in 512 was almost proclaimed anti-emperor in Ostrom , and her son Olybrius (491 consul) married Eirene, a niece of the emperor Anastasius . As was expected of an aristocrat of her rank, Iuliana acted as a patron of the arts and sciences, and she also had numerous public buildings and churches built. In Constantinople in particular, she surpassed many emperors in this regard. The magnificent, financed by it (but today until destroyed a few remnants) Church of St. Polyeuctus was until the construction of the new Hagia Sophia by Justinian few years, the largest religious building in the capital.

Iuliana bore the high honorary title patricia and, as the only woman of her time, the name nobilissima , which was only granted to imperial daughters; it can serve as an example that the late Roman Senate aristocracy represented a link between East and West even after the division of the empire in 395 . She belonged (like her contemporary Boëthius or later Gregory the Great ) to the noble family of Anicii , which traced its roots back to the Roman Republic . At the same time, as mentioned, it came from the Valentinian - Theodosian dynasty, which had provided the emperors from 364 to 455 (western Rome) and 457 (eastern Rome). Iuliana was one of the richest and most influential women of her time. She died in the first few years of Justinian's reign, whom she probably did not consider equal due to his origins from a simple peasant family.

The illustrated edition of De Materia medica by Pedanios Dioscurides that was given to her is named after Anicia Iuliana as the Anicia Codex .


  • Carmelo Cappizzi: Anicia Giuliana (462 approx. - 530 approx.). Ricerche sulla sua famiglia e la sua vita . In: Rivista di studi bizantini e neoellenici . NS 5, 1968, ISSN  0557-1367 , pp. 191-226.
  • John Martindale: The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire II . Cambridge 1980, pp. 635f.
  • Hanna-Riitta Toivanen: The Church of St. Polyeuktos, Archeology and Texts. In: Acta Byzantina Fennica . NS 2, 2003-2004 (2005), ISSN  1458-7017 , pp. 127-149.
  • Otto Mazal : Plants, Roots, Juices, Seeds. Ancient healing art in miniatures by the Viennese Dioscurides. Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz 1981, ISBN 3-201-01169-X , p. 14 f. and 63.