Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium

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Princeton University Press, 2013 - History - 328 pages
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"Herrin dissolves the most formidable barrier to any balanced history: the wall between women's history and men's. With an eye for details ignored and grand lines distorted by scholarly myopia, she offers a comprehensive history of Byzantium."--Thomas F. Mathews, author of The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art

"Herrin is acutely aware not only of Byzantium's place in the world, but also of its idiosyncrasies, which she illuminates by bringing into play the ecclesiastical sources in a way that few other Byzantine historians have done. Her essays reveal first and foremost her breadth of vision."--Michael Angold, editor of The Cambridge History of Christianity: Eastern Christianity

"Tracing her journey across the history of Byzantium, Herrin's elegant essays display her insightful approaches, solid methodology, and vast historical knowledge."--Christine Angelidi, Institute of Historical Research, Athens

"Herrin's essays reveal a capacity given to very few historians--the power to present the big picture without ever losing sight of the vital details. Their genesis over the course of her career, and more importantly their bearing on our current intellectual and political situation, illustrate what it means to be a humane and humanistic scholar in the last half century."--Anthony Cutler, author of The Hand of the Master

"All of Herrin's essays reveal a distinguished historian with a clear intellectual consciousness."--Antonio Carile, University of Bologna

"This wide-ranging collection of studies by one of the foremost medieval historians of this generation opens up new perspectives on Byzantium. The life experience of women and men is re-created with a view from the margins. Women at the court and in private households are restored to agency and the capital of Constantinople is seen from the perspective of the provinces. As a result, Byzantium no longer appears as a monolith steeped in unchanging ritual, but as a dynamic society that developed its own responses to challenges and so ensured its extraordinary longevity."--Claudia Rapp, author of Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity

 

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Contents

1 Women in Byzantium
1
Three Avenues of Approach
12
3 Women and the Faith in Icons in Early Christianity
38
4 Mothers and Daughters in the Medieval Greek World
80
The Council in Trullo on Women
115
6 Public and Private Forms of Religious Commitment among Byzantine Women
133
7 The Imperial Feminine in Byzantium
161
The Case of Irene Regent 78090 Emperor 797802
194
Evidence of Political Burials from Medieval Constantinople
208
10 The Many Empresses of the Byzantine Court and All Their Attendants
219
Considerations on the Education of a Byzantine Princess
238
Gender Problems
261
13 The Icon Corner in Medieval Byzantium
281
A Fundamental Element of Imperial Statecraft
302
Index
321
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About the author (2013)

Judith Herrin is the Constantine Leventis Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King's College London. She is the author of Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, Women in Purple: Rulers of Medieval Byzantium, and The Formation of Christendom (all Princeton).

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