Eudocia. I. A Roman Empress, born in Athens about A. D. 394, died in Jerusalem about 461. She was instructed by her father, the sophist Leontinus, in the religion, literature, and science of the pagan Greeks, and was as remarkable for beauty as for learning. Leontinus at his death left her only 100 pieces of gold, saying that the merits of his daughter, which raised her so much above her sex, would be sufficient for her. Having sought in vain from her brothers a share in the paternal heritage, she went with an aunt to Constantinople to solicit the cancelling of the will. She procured an audience of Pulcheria, sister of the young emperor Theodosius II., and regent in his name, who was so charmed by her wit and beauty that she induced her brother to marry her in 421, after her baptism, when she received the name of Eudocia in place of her original one of Athenais. She received the title of Augusta in 423, and requited the un-kindness of her brothers by making them consuls and prefects. During the first 20 years after her marriage she took little part in public affairs, which remained in the hands of Pulcheria. She translated parts of the Old Testament into hexameter verses, and a life of Jesus Christ composed in verses taken from Homer is attributed to her.
She also celebrated in verse the Persian victories of Theodosius, and the legends and martyrdom of St. Cyprian. She at length, supplanting Pulcheria, ruled the empire for several years. Her court was filled with learned men, with one of whom, Paulinus, a companion of her early studies in Athens, she cherished an intimacy which roused the jealousy of her husband, and Paulinus was banished to Cappadocia, where he was soon afterward assassinated. The Eutychian discussion was at this time vexing the church; Pulcheria and Eudocia adopted different views, and in the alternate ascendancy of the two parties, first the former and then the latter was exiled. Eudocia retired to Jerusalem, where the jealousy of the emperor or the vindictive spirit of Pulcheria pursued her, and two priests who shared her exile were slain. The exasperated empress immediately put to death the agent of the emperor ; and being now stripped of all the honors of her rank, she passed the remainder of her life in exercises of piety and charity.
II. A Byzantine empress, wife of the emperors Oonstantine XI.(Ducas) and Romanus IV. (Diogenes). She was married to Constantine before his accession in 1059, receiving the title of Augusta. On his death in 1067 he bequeathed the empire to her and her three sons, binding her by an oath not to marry again. Romanus Diogenes, a popular and able soldier, prepared to seize the throne. Eudocia imprisoned and exiled him, but subsequently married him and made him her colleague. They differed, however, and she again imprisoned him, and during his captivity Joannes Ducas, brother of Constantine, who had been made Caesar, declared Michael Parapinaces sole emperor, and banished Eudocia to a convent near the Propontis. Her husband died from cruel treatment in 1071, and she buried him with great splendor. She appears to have lived many years after this. She compiled a dictionary of history and mythology, entitled (a "Collection of Violets," printed in the Anecdota Groeca, Venice, 1781).