On Dating and Reasons for Eudocia’s Leaving for the Holy Land

Alexandrova Tatiana L.

The article discusses extant evidence concerning Eudocia’s departure to Jerusalem. It is argued that the famous ‘apple story’ involving an accusation of adultery against the Empress resulting in banishment is in fact the least plausible reason for her departure. Chronological connection of Eudocia’s departure to the Holy Land with the execution of magister officiorum Paulinus has hardly any serious basis. None of the chronologically close source either give an exact dating of Eudocia’s moving to Palestine or mention her split with her husband, whose policy she continued to support actively. The hypothesis is put forward, therefore, that the second pilgrimage of Eudocia was a mission connected with Church policy and took place in the very late 440s. Since Theodosius died in Eudocia’s absence and there was a shift of power, the next rulers were highly interested in removing Eudocia’s kinsmen from power and discrediting herself. This can explain the contriving of ‘the apple story’ and the tendency of giving earlier dating to Eudocia’s pilgrimage.

Keywords: Christianity, Eudocia, Theodosius II, Pulcheria, Paulinus, ‘the apple story’, pilgrimage, Jerusalem, Holy Land, Palestine, Byzantine Empire

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