Joyce SalisburyRome’s Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015

by Marshall Poe on August 14, 2015

Joyce Salisbury

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Before I read this excellent book, I had no idea that Rome–that is, the Roman Empire–ever had an empress. But, as Joyce E. Salisbury tells us in Rome's Christian Empress: Galla Placidia Rules at the Twilight of the Empire (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), it did. And she was a very good one. Galla Placidia ruled in tough times for the Empire. She had to govern a realm with two capitals, preside over endless debates about what being a Christian really meant, deal with several varieties of hostile (though not only) "barbarians," reshape the imperial office she held, and make sure her son followed her in that office. Moreover, she had to do it all in a metaphorical snake pit. As Joyce points out, she was up to it all. Alas, her successors were not, and the empire she nurtured so well soon "fell" (or, as Joyce has it, "was pushed").  Listen in to hear the whole story!

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