Ariadne – Wife

Spread the love

Aelia Ariadne

474-491 AD

Empress of East
Wife of Zeno
Daughter of Leo I & Verina

Aelia Ariadne was the eldest daughter of Emperor Leo l and Aelia Verina. Ariadne was married to Zeno in 467 AD. She bore a son named after his grandfather Leo II who became heir to the throne. She also may have bore two other sons named Zeno and Leo, but they apparently died very young leaving only their names recorded by the coinage of the period.

Her mother Verina proved to be a constant source of trouble during her reign with her husband. Verina orchestrated two rebellions against Zeno, both of which failed. The first was led by Ariadne’s uncle Basiliscus (brother of Verina). The second came when Verina crowned Leonitus as Emperor in opposition to Zeno. Verina failed to win the support of the legions and was forced to flee, but later died under siege by Zeno.

Following the death of her husband Zeno in 491 AD, Ariadne was called upon to select a successor to the imperial throne, and her choice fell upon the elderly Anastasius of Dyrrhachium whom she married several weeks later. Ariadne eventually died in 515 AD. She was the last Empress of the Roman Empire.

Monetary System

Mints: Constantinople

Obverse Legends:



AU Solidus (4.50 grams)
AU Tremissis (1.45 grams)

Monetary History of the World
© Martin A. Armstrong