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The Journals of Empress Galla Placidia, with Notes from her Faithful Servant, Lepida, Poems by Naomi Feigelson Chase

Empress Galla Placidia was the daughter of Theodosius I, last ruler of the united Roman Empire. Galla was nineteen when the Goths sacked Rome and kidnapped her. At first a prisoner, she later married the Goth King Athualf. In 416, Constantius III, a Roman general, persuaded Galla's half-brother, Emperor Honorius, to have Athaulf murdered and ransom Galla, so he could marry her. She would be his stepping stone to the throne. When Constantius died, their son, Valentinian 111, age six, became Emperor. Galla, his regent, became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire. She was the only woman in history to rule Rome, and one of the few in the ancient world to rule her own country.

How did a Roman Princess, raised in extravagant luxury, survive as a prisoner of "the Barbarians?" Did she love Athaulf, as it was rumored? Did she hate Constantius? What resilience kept her going after a second exile? How did she negotiate her final triumph, to become ruler of the Western Empire? She said she built her Mausoleum in Ravenna so she could be buried sitting up. Was she capricious, eccentric, or just unconventional? The Journals of Empress Galla Placidia, with Notes from her Faithful Servant, Lepida is a translation of her life.

Sample Poems by Naomi Feigelson Chase

"Chase's poems continue to give us delightful, intriguing, thought-provoking imagery about women and their real, historical, and mythic bodies."-Denise Duhamel

“I read Naomi Chase's poems. I listen to her readings. Always her words pierce me and cause me to see and hear....Like her Gittel, the Would-­Be Messiah, I roll onto my back to see how a voice looks.”—Jimmy Breslin

Naomi Feigelson Chase won the 2003 Flume Press Poetry Chapbook Award for One Blue Thread. She has published other poetry books, including Gittel, the Would-Be Messiah (Turning Point); Listening for Water (Archival Press); and Waiting for the Messiah in Somerville, Mass.(Garden Street Press); and two other poetry chapbooks, The Judge’s Daughter, and Stacked (illust., Jon Agee). Her nonfiction books include A Child Is Being Beaten: Child Abuse in America (Holt, Rinehart & Winston), and The Underground Revolution, Hippies, Yippies and Others(Funk and Wagnalls). Her fiction has been published in many magazines, and anthologized by Milkweed Editions and New Rivers Press.

ISBN-13: 978-1625491787, 86 pages, $18

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