Galla (wife of Eucherius)

Galla (c.380 - c.420s) was a late Roman woman who was a correspondent of Paulinus of Nola, and wife of Eucherius of Lyon.

Notable workCorrespondent of Paulinus of Nola


Whilst little is known about the life of Galla, she is a significant late Roman woman since Paulinus of Nola addressed Epistola 51 to her and her husband, making her one of the few late Roman women known by name.[1] This letter is also one of the last known to be written by Paulinus.[2]

Galla was married to Eucherius, who became bishop of Lyons in 434.[1][3] They had two sons: Veranus and Salonius, who were born c.400.[4][5] According to some sources, they also had two daughters, Consortia and Tullia.[6] Galla's date of birth is unknown, but it could have been c.380.[7]

After their sons were born, Eucherius suggested that they alter their way of life to become more holy, leading the family to become religious ascetics together.[8][9] Galla and Eucherius' marriage evolved to run on ascetic principles, like other 'marriages of friendship' undertaken by other religious figures such as Paulinus and Therasia of Nola.[4] The Vita Sanctae Consortiae tells us that their religious conversion involved intense isolation.[4]

In the 420s monks from Lérins visited Paulinus and told him how Eucherius, Galla and their sons were living an ascetic and secluded life in the monastery there.[4] Both sons were later sent to visit Paulinus of Nola.[8] The family practised "unwealth" - where life was restricted to the minimum in order to support prayer and devotion.[10]

After the death of Galla, Eucherius retired to Lerins.[11] Since Epistola 51 was written in either 421 to 426, we can assume Galla died some time after then in the 420s.[2]


  1. ^ a b Jones, A. H. M. (Arnold Hugh Martin), 1904-1970. (1971–1992). The prosopography of the later Roman Empire. Martindale, J. R. (John Robert),, Morris, John, 1913-1977. Cambridge [England]: University Press. p. 491. ISBN 0-521-20160-8. OCLC 125134.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b Frend, W. H. C. (1969). "Paulinus of Nola and the Last Century of the Western Empire". Journal of Roman Studies. 59 (1/2): 1–11. doi:10.2307/299842. ISSN 0075-4358. JSTOR 299842.
  3. ^ Online, Catholic. "St. Eucherius of Lyon - Saints & Angels". Catholic Online. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  4. ^ a b c d Beach, Alison I; Cochelin, Isabelle, eds. (2020). The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West. Cambridge Core. doi:10.1017/9781107323742. ISBN 9781108766760. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  5. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Eucherius (4th Century)". Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  6. ^ Waarden, Joop van, “Eucherius of Lyon”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 22 June 2020 <>
  7. ^ Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies. Christian Classics Ethereal Library Archived 2005-02-19 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b Antelmy, J. (1726). Assertio pro unico S. Eucherio Lugdunensi episcopo. Auctore Jos. Antelmio,... Opus posthumum. Accedit concilium Regiense sub Rostagno metrop. Aquensi, anni MCCLXXXV. Nunc primo prodit integrum, & Notis illustratum operâ Car. Antelmii: apud Ant. Claudium Briasson.
  9. ^ Beach, Alison I.; Cochelin, Isabelle (2020-01-09). The Cambridge History of Medieval Monasticism in the Latin West. Cambridge University Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-108-77063-7.
  10. ^ Cecconi, Giovanni Alberto; Lizzi Testa, Rita; Marcone, Arnaldo, eds. (2019). The Past as Present: Essays on Roman History in Honour of Guido Clemente. Studi e testi tardoantichi. Vol. 17. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols Publishers. doi:10.1484/m.stta-eb.5.117753. ISBN 978-2-503-58524-6.
  11. ^ Cooper-Marsdin, A. C. (20 June 2013). The history of the islands of the Lerins : the monastery, saints and theologians of S. Honorat. Cambridge. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-107-61546-5. OCLC 828670716.