or FLACCILLA, AE'LIA (in Greg. Nyss. Πλάκιλλα
, in Chron. Alex. Φλάκκιλλα
), first wife of Theodosius the Great. Several moderns infer from an obscure passage in Themistius (Orat.
xvi. De Saturnino
), that she was the daughter of Antonius, who was consul A. D. 382, but this is very doubtful.
She appears to have been born in Spain (Claudian, Laus Serenae,
vs. 69), and to have had a sister, the mother of Nebridius, who was married after A. D. 388 to Salvina, daughter of Gildo, the Moor. (Hieron. Epist.ad Salvin.
vol. iv. p. 663, ed. Benedict.) Flaccilla had at least three children by Theodosius,--namely, Arcadius, born about A. D. 377, Honorius, born A. D. 384, both afterwards emperors; and Pulcheria, who was apparently born before 379, as Claudian (Laus Seren.
113, 136) intimates that Theodosius had more than one child when raised to the throne. This Pulcheria died before her mother, and Gregory Nyssen composed a consolatory discourse upon the occasion. Some have supposed that she had another child, Gratian, but without reason. (Ambros. De Obitu Theodos. Oratio,
where see note of the Benedictine editors.) Flaccillaherself died A. D. 385, at a place called Scotoamin, in Thrace, and Gregory Nyssen, composed a funeral discourse for her. All writers conspire to praise Flaccilla for her piety, and charity, and orthodoxy, and she has been canonized in the Greek Church. (Greg. Nyss. Orat. Funeb. pro Flaccilla ;
Theodoret, Hist. Eccl.
5.19; Themist. De Human. Theodos. Imp. ;
Sozom. Hist. Eccles.
7.6; Chron. Alex.
p. 563, ed. Bonn.; Tillemont, Hist. des Emp.
vol. v. pp. 143, 192, 252.)