Thermantia - Death


Thermantia is reported to have returned to the custody of her mother in 408. During the prolonged siege of Rome by Alaric, Serena was falsely accused of conspiring with the Visigoths and executed with the approval of her paternal first cousin Galla Placidia. Zosimus does not mentioned the role of Thermantia in the affair. Zosimus was a Pagan and attributes the execution of Serena to divine punishment, for Serena had desecrated a temple of Rhea back in 394. An old woman, the last of the Vestal Virgins, had reportedly placed a curse on Serena and her family.

"When Alaric was near Rome, besieging its inhabitants, the senate suspected Serena of bringing the Barbarians against their city. The whole senate therefore, with Placidia, uterine sister to the emperor, thought it proper that she should suffer death, for being the cause of the present calamity. They observed, that "Alaric, upon Serena being removed, will retire from the city, because no person will remain by whom he can hope the town to be betrayed into his hands." This suspicion was in reality groundless, as Serena never had any such intentions. ... However, the death of Serena did not remove Alaric from the siege, but he blocked up the gates all round, and having possessed himself of the river Tiber, prevented the arrival of necessaries from the port to the city".

The Chronicon Paschale records that news of Thermantia's death reached Constantinople on 30 July 415. She had presumably died months earlier. Her husband never remarried. Honorius died childless in 423.

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