Aelia Pulcheria, Augusta, 414-453. Solidus (Gold, 21 mm, 4.49 g, 6 h), struck under her brother, Theodosius II, Constantinople, 423-425. AEL PVLCH-ERIA AVG Draped and diademed bust of Pulcheria to right, crowned by Hand of God above, wearing pearl necklace, earrings and with a cross on her shoulder. Rev. VOT XX - MVLT XXX / CONOB Angel standing left, holding long, jeweled cross in her right hand. Depeyrot 75/3. DOC 438. MIRB 19a. RIC 226. Perfectly centered and with a bold, sharp strike. Extremely fine.
Pulcheria was the older sister of Theodosius II and was probably the most powerful and competent of all the Theodosian women. She more-or-less acted as regent or, at least, power-behind-the-throne, throughout her brother’s reign. Supposedly out of piety, she and her sisters remained chaste throughout their lives (Pulcheria officially married Marcian to give him legitimacy as her brother’s successor, but the marriage was never consummated), though they may have thought that if they did marry, their husbands, if they had any abilities at all, would have become rivals of their brother. Solidi of Pulcheria used to be great rarities; they have now become more common but very few exist in such superb condition as this one.
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