Flavia Maximiana Theodora
Flavia Maximiana Theodora. On the reverse, the goddess Pietas.
Roman empress
BornMaximiana Theodora
Diedbefore 337
SpouseConstantius Chlorus
FatherUncertain, perhaps Afranius Hannibalianus or Emperor Maximian
MotherUncertain, perhaps Eutropia

Flavia Maximiana Theodora (died before 337) was a Roman empress as the wife of Constantius Chlorus.

She is often referred to as a stepdaughter of Emperor Maximian by ancient sources, leading to claims by historians Otto Seeck and Ernest Stein that she was born from an earlier marriage between Eutropia, wife of Maximian, and Afranius Hannibalianus.[1] This man was consul in 292 and praetorian prefect under Diocletian.

Timothy Barnes challenges this view stating that all "stepdaughter sources" derive their information from the partially unreliable work Kaisergeschichte (written in the 4th century), while sources he considers to be more reliable refer to Theodora as Maximian's daughter, rather than his stepdaughter.[1] He concludes that she was born to an earlier wife of Maximian, possibly one of Hannibalianus' daughters.[2]

In 293,[3] Theodora married Constantius I, the junior emperor of Maximian, after he had set aside Helena, mother of his son Constantine, to strengthen his political position. The couple had six children. Through her son Julius Constantius, she would become the grandmother of the emperor Julian.

After the death of her stepson Constantine, several of her male descendants were massacred, which Julian explicitly blamed Constantius II for.[4] Constantine’s successors proceeded to print coins of Theodora,[5] presumably in an attempt to distance themselves from the massacre.[6]


  1. ^ a b Barnes 1982, p. 33.
  2. ^ Barnes 1982, p. 33-34.
  3. ^ Pohlsander 1993, p. 153.
  4. ^ Julian, "Letter to the senate and people of Athens", 270. The full text of Letter to the senate and people of Athens at Wikisource
  5. ^ Woods 2011, p. 193.
  6. ^ Woods 2011, p. 194-195.


  • Barnes, Timothy D. (1982). The New Empire of Diocletian and Constantine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. doi:10.4159/harvard.9780674280670. ISBN 0-674-28066-0.
  • Pohlsander, Hans A. (1993). "CONSTANTIA". Ancient Society. 24: 151–167. JSTOR 44079527.
  • Woods, David (2011). "Numismatic Evidence and the Succession to Constantine I". The Numismatic Chronicle. 171: 187–196. JSTOR 42667233.

Media related to Flavia Maximiana Theodora at Wikimedia Commons

Royal titles Preceded byPrisca(wife of Diocletian) Empress of Rome 305–306with Galeria Valeria (305–306) Succeeded byGaleria Valeria Preceded byEutropia(wife of Maximian)