74. Socrates (1. vii. c. 21) mentions her name (Athenais, the daughter of Leontius, an Athenian sophist), her baptism, marriage, and poetical genius. The most ancient account of her history is in John Malala (part ii. p. 20, 21, edit. Venet. 1733 [p. 354, 355, ed. Bonn]) and in the Paschal Chronicle (p. 311, 312 [ed. Paris; tom. i. p. 576, 577, ed. Bonn]). Those authors had probably seen original pictures of the empress Eudocia. The modern Greeks, Zonaras, Cedrenus, etc., have displayed the love, rather than the talent, of fiction. From Nicephorus, indeed, I have ventured to assume her age. The writer of a romance would not have 'imagined' that Athenais was near twenty-eight years old when she inflamed the heart of a young emperor.
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