Strong Women and their Husbands in Byzantine Historiography

Authored by: Neville Leonora

The Byzantine World

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415440103
eBook ISBN: 9780203817254
Adobe ISBN: 9781136727870

10.4324/9780203817254.ch6

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Abstract

Through the centuries Byzantine emperors had mothers, wives and daughters, and these women consistently took on significant political roles when opportunities arose. Imperial women appear more frequently however in eleventh-and twelfth-century histories, and it is on this period that I shall focus. This phenomenon has been interpreted as indicative of a greater political role for women, brought on by the “aristocratization” of Byzantine politics in the Komnenian era. 1 I would argue however that at least some appearances by women in eleventh-and twelfth-century histories are due to the increased use of classical Roman models by Byzantine historians.

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