Friday, 17 May 2019

Margarita Vallejo Girvés: The image of empress Lupicina/Euphemia in the patristic sources

Among the government of  Anastasius and Justinian, and those of their respective wives, that of Justin I have gone unnoticed. Until the study of B. Croke in 2007 the period between 518 and 527 has been treated as a previous step of the mandate of Justinian I, being, therefore, Justin I a mere puppet in the hands of his nephew. Nonetheless, there is currently a broad debate about the figure of Justin I and his real political activity. On top of this, it should not be surprising that the interest for Euphemia, wife of Justin I, has been practically reduced to a simple opposition to the marriage of Justinian and Theodora. However, the ecclesiastical sources present her with a great capacity to influence her husband in such matters as the end of the Acacian schism, which was the great religious initiative of Justin I´s reign. This is the case of Pope Hormisdas, on behalf of the supporters of the ecclesiastical union between Rome and Constantinople, who requests the intervention of Euphemia to persuade the emperor to restore three Chalcedonian bishops deposed by Anastasius I. This is also the case of John of Ephesus who, as attested in  fragments preserved through Pseudo-Dionysius of Tel-Mahre and Michael the Syrian, is presented not only as an active militant of the Chalcedonian, but also as the only member of the court of Justin I whose pressure on John of Constantinople achieved that he accepted, in the end, the union with Rome.

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