2. The daughter of the emperor Valentinian I., and second wife of Theodosius the Great.
According to Zosimus, she accompanied her mother, Justina, and her brother, Valentinian II., when they fled to Theodosius, on the invasion of Italy by the usurper Maximus (A. D. 387). Theodosius met the fugitives at Thessalonica, and Justina artfully placed her weeping daughter before him, to work at once on his compassion and his love. Galla was eminent for beauty, and the emperor was smitten, and requested her in marriage. Justina refused her consent, except on condition of his undertaking to attack Maximus, and restore Valentinian, to which condition he consented, and they were married, probably about the end of A. D. 387. Tillemont, who rejects the account of Zosimus as inconsistent with the piety of Theodosius, places the marriage in A. D. 386, before the flight of Valentinian; but we prefer, with Gibbon, the account of Zosimus. During the absence of Theodosius in Italy, Galla was turned out of the palace at Constantinople by her step-son, the boy Arcadius, or by those who governed in his name.
She died in childbirth, A. D. 394, just as Theodosius was setting out to attack Arbogastes and Eugenius, after giving to Theodosius a daughter, Galla Placidia [No. 3], and apparently a son named Gratian. (Ambros. De Obit. Theodos. Orat.
100.40, and note of the Benedictine editors.) Whether the latter, who certainly died before his father, was the child whose birth occasioned her death, or whether there was a third child, is not clear. Tillemont understands Philostorgius to claim Galla as an Arian ; but the passage in Philostorgius (10.7) appears to refer rather to her mother, Justina. However, the Paschal Chronicle calls her an Arian, and the marked silence of Ambrose with respect to Galla in the passage just referred to makes it not unlikely that she was suspected or known to be not orthodox. (Zosim. 4.44, 45, 55, 57; Marcellin. Chron.; Chron. Pasch.
p. 563, ed. Bonn; Tillemont, Hist. des Emp.
vol. v.; Gibbon, c. xxvii.)