Orations for the first generation of Theodosian imperial women

Meaghan McEvoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines four orations dedicated to, or concerned with, the first generation of imperial women of the Theodosian house. Exploring first the funeral orations delivered by Gregory of Nyssa at Constantinople for Pulcheria and Flaccilla in the 380s CE, and second Claudian’s poems in honor of Serena and for the marriage of Maria and Honorius at Milan in the 390s CE, it aims to highlight the particular insights these speeches offer concerning the women of the new ruling house and the courts within which they operated. In so doing, it will investigate the developing canon of virtues expected of a late Roman imperial woman at the end of the fourth century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-141
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Late Antiquity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Roman history
  • Late Antiquity
  • Byzantine history
  • empresses
  • Women's history
  • panegyrics


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