Eliya Pulcheria Augusta ( Greek Αιλία Πουλχερία ; January 19, 399 - 453 ) - regent of the Byzantine Empire with the title of Augustus with his younger brother Emperor Theodosius II in 414 - 421 years . Once again, she began to rule the empire ( 450 - 453 years ) after his death, taking him as a husband and making commander Markian emperor. Canonized by the church in the face of the faithful for her struggle with heresies , commemorated on September 10 (according to the Julian calendar ).
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Origin and childhood
Pulcheria was born on January 19, 399 in the family of the Byzantine emperor Arkady and his wife Elia Eudoxia . 4 years before her birth, the Roman Empire was divided in 395 between the sons of Theodosius the Great , Arkady and Honorius . Arkady got the eastern part of the Roman Empire, which in history was called Byzantium .
Pulcheria’s mother came from the Franks ,  the historian Philostorgius describes this woman this way: “ This emperor’s wife was completely alien to her husband’s lethargy. On the contrary, there was a lot of courage characteristic of the barbarians. "  Already in childhood, Pulcheria showed her character, taking up the strict education of the younger sisters of Arcadia and Marina and brother Theodosius , who inherited the Byzantine throne at the age of 7 in 408 after the death of his father.  The Byzantine court turned into a likeness of a monastery. A contemporary of Socrates Scholastic wrote with enthusiasm about the pious customs established there by Theodosius under the influence of his sister: " He established an order similar to the monastery 's in the royal palace: he got up early in the morning and, together with his sisters, sang antiphons for the glory of God ." [four]
In 414, at the age of 15, Pulcheria resolutely removed the prefect Anfemia from government control. On July 4, 414, she was proclaimed August , and the Senate confirmed her regency over Emperor Theodosius.  At the same time, Pulcheria vowed celibacy, devoting her virginity to God. Soon, coins with her image were minted. Various sources indicate that Pulcheria herself ruled the empire, and ruled with dignity.
At the head of the Byzantine Empire
Sozomen described Pulcheria's concern for state affairs as follows:
“Having taken care of the rule, Pulcheria ruled the Roman world perfectly and very well, made good orders, soon decided and stated what she should, tried to speak and write correctly in Latin and Greek, and attributed the glory of everything that was done to her brother” . 
During the reign of Pulcheria, religious strife in the east intensified. In Egyptian Alexandria in 415, during such unrest, a female mathematician and philosopher Hypatia was torn to pieces by a crowd of Christian fanatics belonging to the parabalan sect. In the Persian Empire, the massacre of Christians began, after the bishop of Christians in the city of Susa Avda destroyed one Zoroastrian temple.  In 420, Byzantium entered the war with the Persians, successfully completing it in 422 by signing a treaty under which Christians were granted freedom of religion within the state of the Sassanids .
On June 7, 421, Emperor Theodosius married the educated and attractive daughter of a philosopher from Athens, Athenaid, who was baptized with the name Evdokia . It was Pulcheria who found a wife for her reigning brother, and since then her influence on state affairs began to weaken. Moving away from state concerns, Pulcheria devoted all her strength to religious and charitable activities, while fighting Evdokia for influence on the emperor.
On April 10, 428, in Constantinople, on the recommendation of Pulcheria, a new archbishop Nestorius was ordained, who immediately declared: “ Tsar! Give me the land cleansed of heresies, and for that I will give you heaven; help me exterminate heretics, and I will help you exterminate the Persians . ”  Nestorius began to persecute clergymen of various heresies: Arians , Novatians, Macedonians, Apollinarists , but in order to attract their flock to their temples, by allegedly refuting, and in fact, synthesizing their views during his reform of the rites that he made acceptable for a variety of heretics, he himself created, in the words of John Cassian , "one great heresy."
In particular, the new archbishop developed a discussion about the name, which should be called the Virgin Mary . He refused to call the Virgin Mary by names that are not in the Gospels,  and proposed the term " Mother of God ". The theological dispute was seized upon by the rivals of Nestorius — the future Patriarch Proclus (434–447), the Alexandrian Bishop Cyril , and the Pope Celestine , on whose initiative the Roman Council in August 430 condemned the teachings of Nestorius. Pulcheria, who devoted herself to the cult of the Virgin Mary, immediately joined the enemies of Nestorius, despite the fact that Nestorius was supported by Theodosius and Eudokia .
The personal enmity of Patriarch Nestorius and Pulcheria is testified in the Byzantine Court . Nestorius, as if despite inviting him to Constantinople by Pulcheria, accused Pulcheria of prostitution in front of the emperor, for which she ignited him with hatred. [ten]
In June 431, the Third Ecumenical (Ephesian) Cathedral was held , at which Nestorius not only abandoned his heresy, but even agreed to resign as archbishop contrary to the will of the emperor and retire to the monastery. Historians and contemporaries saw behind this the efforts of Pulcheria personally,  its influence and authority in the church circles of both Byzantium and the western part of the Roman Empire greatly increased.
Opal and Return
In the 440s, the eunuch Chrysaphius became very influential in the Byzantine court. Theophanes so informs of his intentions: "The wicked Chrysaphius, who looked enviously at the consent of the Churches, tried his best to outrage them ... But while Pulcheria ruled everything, he could not do anything, and therefore turned to the inexperienced Evdokia ." 
Chrisaphius directed the intrigue against Pulcheria. He knocked out Eudokia to ask the emperor that Pulcheria be ordained deaconess , which would remove her from worldly affairs. Patriarch Flavian warned Pulcheria, and she hid in the suburbs of Constantinople (Eudomon).
The chronicler of the 7th century, John of Nikiu  , opposed to Pulcheria, tells another story about the disgrace of Pulcheria. According to him, she prepared a decree on the transfer of the palace and other property of Empress Evdokia to Pulcheria. When Theodosius was about to sign it, he noticed a postscript that his wife should become a slave of Pulcheria. This angered the emperor so much that he sent his sister away and ordered the patriarch to initiate her into deaconesses .  The later chronicler Theophanes , who glorifies the acts of Pulcheria, turns the story of the empress’s slavery into a joke: “ Incidentally, the wise Pulcheria once offered him [Theodosius] a paper on giving her his wife, Evdokia, which he had not read, signed for that then she rebuked him . "
However, soon Evdokia herself fell into disgrace, suspected by her husband of adultery (see the article by Evdokia ). Evdokia retired to live in Jerusalem in 443 , and Pulcheria returned at the request of Theodosius to the palace. Chrysaphius was later extradited by order of Pulcheria to his bloodline and killed.
According to the church history of the Greek Orthodox tradition (which the church history of the non-Chalcedonian ancient Eastern Christian tradition agrees with, all the churches of which are also anathematized by Eutychius), after the victory over Nestorianism, a new heresy arose, the teaching of Archimandrite Eutyches about the denial of the human principle in Christ ( Monophysitism ), condemned to local council in Constantinople, chaired by Flavian. The church history of the non-Chalcedonian tradition does not consider the docetic doctrine of Eutyches to be related to myaphysitism. Following the complaint of Eutychius , the Second Council of Ephesus convened in 449 , later branded as the Robber , who deposed Patriarch Flavian and acquitted Eutyches in the part in which he defended the teachings of Cyril of Alexandria. Pope Leo I sends numerous letters to Theodosius and Pulcheria with a request to impede the actions of supporters of Eutyches and, although not sharing his docetism, but not condemning him, the Patriarch of Alexandria Dioscoros,  but the emperor shared Dioscor’s position and did not heed the opinion the popes. The situation was resolved only after the death of Theodosius in July 450 with his unsuccessful fall from the horse. 
Theophanes tells of the events after the death of Theodosius:
“Meanwhile, Blessed Pulcheria, while no one knew about the death of the emperor, sent for Marcian, her husband as smart as modest and modest, though already quite old and capable of business, and when he appeared to her, she said to him:“ Since Emperor passed away, then I elect you from the whole Senate, as the most worthy of others. Give me your word that you respect my virginity, which I promised to God, and I will proclaim you king "." [sixteen]
The son of a Thracian shepherd, Markian , having married 51-year-old Pulcheria, became the Byzantine emperor on August 25, 450 .  In order to confirm his legitimacy in the Western Empire, he, together with Pulcheria, convened the Council of Chalcedon in October 451 , at which the decisions of the Rogue Ephesus Cathedral were condemned.
In Constantinople, Pulcheria built 3 churches: the Blachernae church , the monastery of Panagia Hodegetria and the sanctuary of Halkopratia, where she placed Christian relics. According to Nicephorus Calliste , Pulcheria in the Halkopratean temple laid the belt of the Blessed Virgin Mary, brought from Palestine to Constantinople under Arcadia ; in the temple of Hodegetria, she placed an icon with a portrait of the Mother of God  ; in Vlaherna donated the grave sheets of the Mother of God sent from Jerusalem by Archbishop Juvenal . [nineteen]
Pulcheria died in 453 , bequeathing all his property to the poor. Recognized as a saint in the western and eastern churches, memorial day on September 10 in the Catholic and Orthodox (Greek Queen Tsar Pulcheria) churches, August 7 in the eastern calendars.
- Elias Evdokia's father was Frank Flavius Bavton , commander of the Roman Empire and consul of 385. Nothing is known about mother.
- Philostorgius, “Church History,” book 11
- Theophanes and especially Sozomen (9.1) told about how Pulcheria brought up her brother and sisters in “Christian truths” by her own example
- Socrates Scholastic, Church History, 7.22
- Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) / St. Pulcheria
- Sozomen, “Church History,” 9.1. By ed. 1851, St. Petersburg
- Theodoret , “Church History,” 5.39
- Socrates Scholastic, Church History, 7.29
- “ Theotokos ” (Mother of God), which emphasizes the divine nature of Christ. Nestorius said that the mother of Christ cannot be turned into a goddess, because this will lead to pagan polytheism.
- Ships : pi, 2145 (Pulcheria)
- Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) / St. Pulcheria. Also, a letter from Pope Leo I of April 13, 451 (“Leonis epist.”, Lxxix, in Migne, LVI, 785 sq.) In which he recognizes the decisive role of Pulcheria in overcoming the Nestorian and other heresies.
- Theophanes, l. M. 5940. According to Theophanes, Chrysaphius wanted to elevate his man, Archimandrite Eutyches, to the rank of Patriarch of Constantinople, instead of Bishop Flavian (447–449). However, the disgrace of Pulcheria occurred before the election of Flavian as patriarch. When she returned to power after Evdokia left for Jerusalem, she really defended Flavian.
- John of Nikiu - Bishop of the late 7th century in Nikiu, Egyptian city.
- John of Nikiu , The Chronicle, LXXXVII.29
- John Malala , XIV.366
- Theophanes, l. M. 5942
- Easter Chronicle
- According to other sources, this icon was kept in the Vlaherna Church
- Nicephorus Callistus , Church History, xvi — xviii