Flavius Arcadius, the elder son of Theodosius I and Aelia Flaccila, was born in 377 A.D. and was raised to the rank of Augustus by his father in 383. On the death of Theodosius in 395, the Empire was divided between his two sons, Arcadius taking the Eastern division and Honorius the Western.
Aelia Eudoxia was the daughter of Bauto the Frank and was married to Arcadius in 395 A.D. She exercised considerable influence over her weak husband, and from 400 A.D. till her death in October, 404, she was virtual ruler of the Eastern division of the Empire.
The son of Arcadius and Eudoxia, Theodosius II was born in 401 A.D. and was raised to the rank of Augustus at age 9 months (January 402. At the time of his father's death he was still only seven years of age and the regency was at first assumed by the Praetorian Prefect, Anthemius. In 414 A.D. this task was taking over by the emperor's sister, Aelia Pulcheria.
The daughter of Arcadius and Eudoxia, Aelia Pulcheria was born in 399 A.D. and made Augusta on July 4th, 414. Although only fifteen years of age, she immediately assumed the regency on behalf of her younger brother, Theodosius II, and as the young emperor was a poor ruler, she remained in control of the government even after he had attained his majority. The empress dominated throughout most of her brother's long reign, and after his death, in 450, it was she who selected a successor. She died in July, 453, leaving all her possessions to the poor.
The daughter of the Athenian sophist Leontius, she was originally named Athenais but changed this to Aelia Eudocia shortly before her marriage to Theodosius II in 421 A.D. For a time she exercised considerable political influence, but in 441 she retired to Jerusalem and devoted the rest of her life to the building of churches and monasteries. She died on October 20th, 460.
Following the death of Theodosius II in 450, the choice of successor was left to the late emperor's sister, Pulcheria. She selectedthe senator, Marcian, a distiguished soldier of humble origin, and having given him her hand in nominal marriage she crowned him in the Palace of Hebdomon (August 35th).
A native of Dacia and a man of considerable military experience, Leo was proclaimed emperor soon after the death of Marcian, early in 457 A.D.
Aelia Verina was the wife of Leo I and the mother-in-law of Zeno. After the death of her husband in 474 she continued to play a leading part in political life, and was implicated in two serious revolts against Zeno - that of her brother Basilscus (475-476) and that of Leontius (484-488). She eventually died at the Isaurian fortress of Cherris in the autumn of 484 A.D., after having witnessed the failure of the revolt of Leontius.
The elder daughter of Leo I and Verina, Aelia Ariadne was married to Zeno in 467 A.D. Following the death of her husband in 491, she was called upon to select a successor to the Imperial throne, and her choice fell upon the elderly Anastasius of Dyrrhachium whom she married a few weeks later. She died in 515.
Leo II, the son of Zeno and Ariadne, was born about 467 A.D. and was raised to the rank of Augustus by his grandfather, Leo I, in October, 473. Following the death of Leo I, less than four months later, the infant Leo II was left as sole ruler, but he was a sickly child and it was feared that he had not long to live. Accordingly, the empresses Ariadne and Verina instructed him to crown his father co-emperor, and the coronation of Zeno took place in the Hippodrome on February 9th, 474. Leo II died nine months later, leaving Zeno sole occupant of the imperial throne.
Basiliscus was the brother of the empress Verina and was appointed commander of the great expedition which was sent against the Vandals in 468 A.D. Following the failure of this foray, which was due entirely to the incompetence of its commander, Basiliscus retired in disgrace to Heraclea, but six years later he formed a conspiracy with his sister against the emperor Zeno. On January 9th, 475, Zeno fled from Constantinople and Basilscus was proclaimed emperor, but the new ruler soon made himself extremely unpopular through his unorthodox religious policy, and in August of the following year Zeno was able to re-enter the city. Basiliscus was deposed and sent, together with his wife, Zenonis, and his son, Marcus, to Cucusus in Cappadocia, where all three were beheaded.
During the reign of Leo I, the Isaurian chieftain Tarasicodissa came to Constantinople where he changed his name to to Zeno and, in 467 A.D., married the emperor's eldest daughter, Ariadne. Leo II, the son of Zeno and Ariadne, succeeded Leo I on February 3rd, 474, and sis days later the young ruler crowned his father co-emperor.
The names of these two princes are not known, their coins being the only evidence of their existence. They may have been the younger sons of Basilicus and brothers to Marcus.
In A.D. 484 the Isaurian general Illus rebelled against Zeno. First of all he set up Marcian, the son of Anthemius, as a rival emperor, but soon afterwards he deposed him and elevated the patrician Leontius in his place. Verina, who had been a prisoner of Illus since 479, performed the ceremony of coronation at Tarsus, but in a battle fought soon afterwards the forces of Zeno were victorious and the rebels fled to the Isaurian fortress of Cherris. The siege of the fortress continued for nearly four years, but it was eventually taken by treachery, and Leontius and Illus were both beheaded (488 A.D.).
Born at Dyrrhachium about 430 A.D., Anastasius was a silentiary (usher at the Imperial Palace) at the time of the death of Zeno in 491. He was selected for the succession by the widowed empress and crowned by the patriarch on April 11th: six weeks later he married Ariadne.
In 498 A.D. Anastasius carried out a monetary reform, and this is, therefore, a convenient point at which to terminate the Roman coinage and to begin the Byzantine. Anastasius therefore is considered the last Roman emperor and the first Byzantine, although at the time, the Roman Empire continued unchanged, based at Constantinople. Byzantine Coinage of Anastasius