Favourite Roman Empress (Up to two choices)

Who is/are your favourite Roman empresses (up to two choices)?

  • Agrippina the Elder

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Plotina

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Faustina the Elder

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Faustina the Younger

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Julia Maesa

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Julia Mamaea

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pulcheria

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Aelia Eudocia

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Honoria

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Licinia Eudoxia

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    26
Oct 2018
1,734
Sydney
Two things surprise me about these figures.

1. There are no votes for Helena, the low-born mother of Constantine; the empress whose pilgrimage and building efforts began the transformation of Palestine into a holy site, and who, in legend, was responsible for the finding of the True Cross.

2. The quantity of votes for Theodora. She is winning hands-down. And yes she is an interesting figure, but I can't help but be a bit surprised when the Justinian dynasty has so far received not a single vote in my Roman dynasty poll: Most interesting Roman/Byzantine dynasty (up to two votes). I suppose for many users the Justinian dynasty is substantially less interesting on the male front.
 
Sep 2013
632
Ontario, Canada
Helena is an interesting individual in Roman history. Low born as she was, she was regardless an Empress of the Roman Empire and wielded serious influence and respect as such. But it only was for a relatively short time, and at the end of her long life. Her son Constantine the Great had finally wrested complete power of the whole Empire the year before when he named his mother Augusta in 325 CE. She was about 80 years old when she returned to Constantinople from her pilgrimage with the supposed piece of the True Cross, instrumental in the acceptance and spread of Christianity throughout the Byzantine Empire after the conversion of her son.

Other Empresses had much more of an impact, and I could only pick two, so I picked one from the early Empire and one from the Byzantine. Helena lost out because I had to say Theodora. She is just so heads and shoulders above everyone else in her period, and for generations afterwards, as much as Livia.

Justinian was so reliant on her that he himself married her so that he could continue to make use of her keen mind and endless energy in the Byzantine political arena. You can tell the impact she had by looking at the projects, actions, and legislation Justinian completed from when she became Empress up to her death. Then compare it to how little he accomplished afterwards when he no longer had her counsel or prodding on what to do.
 
Oct 2018
1,734
Sydney
I would have chosen Irene had she been listed...
Good choice. Unfortunately the limitations of a twenty-choice maximum and my own greater knowledge of the classical period meant that the post-Justinian empresses were excluded from the poll, but I will take note of your choice for future figure tallies (e.g. post 20), as I did with Shemesh's choices of Caesonia and Julia Soaemias.
 
Oct 2018
1,734
Sydney
Good choice. Unfortunately the limitations of a twenty-choice maximum and my own greater knowledge of the classical period meant that the post-Justinian empresses were excluded from the poll, but I will take note of your choice for future figure tallies (e.g. post 20), as I did with Shemesh's choices of Caesonia and Julia Soaemias.
On which note, @Kirialax, @JeanDukeofAlecon, @Picard, @Futurist, @Mastersonmcvoidson, @souslespaves89, @rymerster, @Pandit, @At Each Kilometer, @Carlex, @MinecraftEsportsPro, @wigglywaffles, @Aethelstan, @Chlodio and others of the Byzantine persuasion or who I've seen vote Byzantine in polls are welcome to nominate up to two Byzantine choices in the thread instead of voting in the classical-leaning poll if they feel inclined to participate. Those who have already voted but wish to remove one or two of their existing votes in favour of a Roman or Byzantine empress not included in the poll are also welcome to do so.
This way I'll get a better sense of which empresses most interest people.
 
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Oct 2011
487
Croatia
Galeria Valeria and Theodora.

2. The quantity of votes for Theodora. She is winning hands-down. And yes she is an interesting figure, but I can't help but be a bit surprised when the Justinian dynasty has so far received not a single vote in my Roman dynasty poll: Most interesting Roman/Byzantine dynasty (up to two votes). I suppose for many users the Justinian dynasty is substantially less interesting on the male front.
It is not that Justinian dynasty isn't interesting, and they have very interesting individuals, but as a dynasty they are Overshadowed by Awesome - Augustians, Tetrarchy, Heraclians, Macedoneans, Komnens... with such competition, it is hard to get ahead.
 
Oct 2018
1,734
Sydney
Galeria Valeria and Theodora.



It is not that Justinian dynasty isn't interesting, and they have very interesting individuals, but as a dynasty they are Overshadowed by Awesome - Augustians, Tetrarchy, Heraclians, Macedoneans, Komnens... with such competition, it is hard to get ahead.
Fair point, and I'm glad to see Galeria Valeria has received a second vote! Yes, to be clear, I do indeed find Justinian to be very interesting. I don't know very much about the other emperors of the dynasty.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,975
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Julia Domna - the story of Caracalla not being able to find any assassin who would take the job to kill her shows how great a woman she was, how loved she was. She already saw Geta killed in her lap by Caracalla.

Zenobia for carrying the rebellion against the Empire. Even though in the end she lost to Aurelian. She was not loved, but she was a most interesting figure.

Theodora and Galla Placidia are always interesting. As is Aggripina the younger, who from what I understand was quite villainous: and probably the inspiration for Atia’s character in HBO’s Rome.
I have to ask Theodoric how can Zenobia be a Roman empress if she carried out a rebellion against the Roman Empire?