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Honoria






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HONORIA (Justa Grata), daughter of Constantius III. and of Placidia, was born at Ravenna, in Cisalpine Gaul, A.D. 417.  Brought up at the court of her brother Valentinian III. under the eyes of her mother, who kept her under great restraint, she received the title of Augusta, about A.D. 433, being then sixteen years of age.

It is conjectured that this elevation was conferred upon her, in order to prevent her from entering into any matrimonial engagement, by raising her above the rank of a subject.  Thus debarred from marriage, however, she secretly communicated, by one of her eunuchs whom she sent, with Attila, who had lately become king of the Huns, inviting him to come into Italy, and to marry her.  It is most probable that at the time of this mission (exact period unknown) she conveyed her ring to Attila, as a pledge of her faith.  But the barbaric chief treated her invitation with apparent inattention.  And she afterwards dishonored herself and the imperial dignity she held, by an illicit connection with a man named Eugenius, her own household steward, by whom she became pregnant.  On the discovery of her condition, she was expelled from the palace; and sent (A.D. 434) to Constantinople, where Theodosius II. and Pulcheria received her with kindness.  It appears that she remained in the East, until the death of Theodosius, which occurred A.D. 450.  In that year, Attila, desirous of some pretext for quarrelling with the Emperor of the West, sent an embassy to Valentinian, setting forth the wrongs of Honoria, and claiming her as having engaged herself to him;  furthermore he said, that he regarded her as his wife, and was entitled to have half of the empire as the dowry of the princess.  The answer of Valentinian was, that Honoria was already married (supposed to be a forced alliance with some obscure person); that women had no part in the succession of the empire, and that consequently his sister had no claim.  The fatal war which followed this refusal, and which brought so many calamities upon the Romans, having been terminated, Honoria passed the remainder of her days in Italy, where there is reason to believe she died, though at what time, or in what place, is doubtful, but later than A.D. 454.

   The coins of this princess are in gold and silver and of the highest rarity.  On these she is styled D. N. IVST. (or IVSTA) GRAT. (or GRATA) HONORIA P. F. AVG.

   Gold.-

   D. N. IVST. GRAT. HONORIA.  Bust stolata to the right, a cross on the right shoulder, double necklace, earrings, and helmet-like headdress, formed of double diadem of laurel and pearls, with round jewel in front: above the head a hand holding a wreath. -Rev- BONO REIPVBLICAEVictory standing, holding a long staff surmounted by a broad cross, near which is a star. On the exergue CONOB.

   Rev.-SALVS REIPVBLICAE.  Crown of laurel, in the middle of which is the monogram of Christ.  On the exergue COMOB.

   Rev.- VOT. XX. MVLT. XXX.  Victory standing, holding a cross.

   Silver. -Rev- Without legendCross within a crown of laurel; on exergue COMOB.


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