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


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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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