The Byzantine Lady: Ten Portraits, 1250-1500

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Cambridge University Press, Jul 29, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 143 pages
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The status of women in the Byzantine empire has been much deplored, on the assumption that in so male-dominated a society all women were subservient and oppressed. In the millennium if its existence, this may sometimes have been true. But in its declining years, from 1250 to 1500, some of its women of the upper class enjoyed considerable influence, outspokenness and initiative. The ten ladies of those centuries whose biographies are presented here did not complain of male oppression. They were deeply conscious of their aristocratic lineage and their social and religious responsibilities as empresses, mothers, nuns, scholars, or as unhappy victims of diplomatic marriages. Most of them will be unfamiliar figures to western readers, though two were Italians who became Byzantines by faith and language; two were unhappily married to south Italian rulers, and one settled in Venice as protectress of the Greek refugees there after the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

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Review: The Byzantine Lady: Ten Portraits, 1250 1500

User Review  - Beth - Goodreads

I love the idea for this in theory, but I'm less certain about the execution. The bios are inconsistent in quality, and I don't get much personality in some of them. Also I think the editorializing goes in circles on occasion. Read full review


Thamar Princess of Taranto 12941309
Theodora Raoulaina nun and scholar c 12401300
Eirene Palaiologina Yolanda of Montferrat Empress
EireneEulogia Choumnaina Palaiologina princess
Eirene Asenina Cantacuzene Empress 13471354
Anna of Savoy regent and Empress 1341c 1365
Anna Notaras Palaiologina died 1507
Mara Brankovic of Serbia Sultanina c 14121476
Helena Cantacuzene Kommene Empress of Trebizond

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Page 129 - Italian women in Greece in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries', Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Slavi...
Page 131 - The Life and Ideology of Byzantine Women: A Further Note on Conventions of Behaviour and Social Reality as Reflected in Eleventh and Twelfth Century Historical Sources.
Page 126 - Monete e sigilli di Anna di Savoia, imperatrice di Bisanzio (Rome, 1937) Boissonade, JF, Anecdota Graeca, 5 vols.

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