daughter of Diocletian,
wife of Galerius
murdered by Maximinus
The story of Galeria Valeria is a tragic and poignant. Is the story of an empress who was unable to influence the events that controlled her life and in the end brought about her untimely death.
In A. D. 293 Diocletian chose the general Galerius to help him rule the huge Roman empire, for he realized that it had become too large for one man to rule it successfully.
Diocletian ruled in the West and Galerius became his co-emperor in the East.
Galeria Valeria was Diocletian's daughter and, to cement the alliance between Diocletian and Galerius, Valeria was married to him.
It appears that this was not a very happy marriage as Galeria Valeria was sympathetic towards Christians during this time of severe persecution and the imperial couple were not blessed with any children during their eighteen year marriage.
After Galerius died in A. D. 311, Galeria Valeria and her mother Prisca went to live at the court of Maximinus Daia, the caesar who became emperor of the East upon the death of Galerius.
Maximinus proposed marriage to Valeria soon afterward. She refused his hand, and immediately Maximinus reacted with hatred and fury.
Diocletian, by now an old man living in a seaside villa on the Dalmatian coast, begged Maximinus to allow the two women to come home to him but he refused and had Valeria and her mother banished to live in a village in Syria.
During the civil war that erupted between Maximinus and Licinius, Valeria and her mother disguised themselves and escaped, trying to reach the safety of Diocletian's villa.
In the meantime, Diocletian had died, leaving the women without refuge.
The two royal fugitives traveled from one city to another, always living in fear of being discovered but eventually they were recognized in the Greek city of Salonika.
They were hastily taken to a square in the city and beheaded before a crowd of citizens who had once revered them as empresses.
The bodies of Valeria and her mother were afterwards thrown into the sea.