Galla Placidia

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Galla Placidia

(găl`ə pləsĭd`ēə), c.388–450, Roman empress of the West, daughter of Theodosius I. Captured by Alaric I in the course of his Italian campaign, she was held by the Visigoths as a hostage and married (414) Alaric's successor AtaulfAtaulf
, d. 415, Visigothic king (410–15). Succeeding his brother-in-law, Alaric I, he abandoned Alaric's scheme of southward expansion and led the Visigoths out of Italy into S Gaul (France) in 412.
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. After the murder (415) of Ataulf she was at first ill-treated but was returned in 416 to her brother HonoriusHonorius,
384–423, Roman emperor of the West (395–423). On the death (395) of Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was divided; Arcadius, the elder son, received the East, and Honorius, the younger son, received the West. This division proved to be a permanent one.
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. In 417 she married the general Constantius; shortly before his death he was made (421) coemperor as Constantius IIIConstantius III,
d. 421, Roman emperor of the West (421). In 411, as general of Honorius, he defeated Gerontius and Constantine; thereafter he was the virtual ruler of the West.
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. In 423 she quarreled with Honorius and fled to the court of Theodosius II; after the death of Honorius she became regent for her son Valentinian IIIValentinian III,
419–55, Roman emperor of the West (425–55). Two years after the death of his uncle, Honorius, he was placed on the throne by his cousin Theodosius II, who deposed the usurper John.
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, whom Theodosius placed on the throne after overthrowing (425) the usurper John. She had great personal influence over her son, but she was forced to leave the government largely in the hands of AetiusAetius,
c.396–454, Roman general. At first unfriendly to Valentinian III, he later made his peace with Valentinian's mother, Galla Placidia, and was given a command in Gaul.
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.