Eudocia wife of the emperor Theodosius II, was the daughter of Leontius, an Athenian sophist. She was called Athenais, and was carefully instructed by her father in Greek letters. She was also noted for personal beauty. On the death of her father, the jealousy and avarice of her brothers compelled her to go to Constantinople, where she appealed to Pulcheria, sister of Theodosius II, who was so fascinated by her beauty and talent that she induced Theodosius to marry her, A.D. 421. She was baptized under the name of Eudocia, and long retained great influence with the emperor. In A.D. 438 she made a splendid pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Soon after she was charged with aspiring to the government of the Eastern empire; and later, with an intrigue with one Paulinus, a courtier. About A.D. 449, "the emperor, through jealousy, dismissed all her court, and had her exiled to Palestine, where she continued to reside after his death. She there embraced the opinions of Eutyches, and supported by her liberality and influence the monk Theodosius, who forced himself into the see of Jerusalem, after driving away Juvenal, the orthodox bishop, and kept it until he was himself driven away by order of the emperor Marcianus.
Euthlymius, called the Saint, by his reasonings brought back Eudocia to the orthodox faith, after which she spent the remainder of her days at Jerusalem, where she died in 460, protesting her innocence of the crime with which her husband had charged her." Eudocia wrote several works: (1) Photius quotes a translation in verse of the first eight books of the Old Testament. (2) There is also attributed to her a Life of Christ, composed of lines taken from Homer, translated into Latin by Eachard, and published under the title of Homerocentra, or Homerici Centones (Gr. and Lat. Frlncof. 1541,1554; Par. 1578, 12mo; Lips. 1793, 8vo); an account of the martyrdom of St. Cyprian, Greek and Latin, ed. by Bandini, in his Graecae Ecclesiastes vet. Monumenta, 1:130-189. — Hoffmann, Bibliogr. Lex. 2:63; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chapter 32.