Synopses & Reviews
This is a lively collection of ten short, annotated and illustrated biographies of aristocratic ladies of the final years of the Byzantine empire. Some were ambitious mothers; others, unhappy wives; some were nuns or scholars; one became the wife of a Turkish sultan and the stepmother of a famous son; another the champion of the Greek refugees in Venice after the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. Their stories demonstrate the enterprise of some Byzantine women in the male-dominated society of their time.
A lively collection of ten biographies of aristocratic women of the Byzantine empire in its final years.
What kind of lives did women in the Byzantine empire lead? Just how subservient were they in so male-dominated a society? In this collection of biographies Donald M. Nicol uncovers the unexpected fact that in the later years of the empire, at least, some aristocratic women enjoyed influence and exercised initiative. The story of their achievements offers new perspectives on the Byzantine empire, and a fascinating insight into the lives of women in past times.
Some were ambitious mothers, others unhappy wives or nuns or scholars... A lively collection of ten concise illustrated biographies of aristocratic ladies of the Byzantine empire demonstrates the enterprise of Byzantine women in the male-dominated society of their time.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Helena Doukaina, Queen of the Two Sicilies, 1258-1266; 2. Thamar, Princess of Taranto 1294-1309; 3. Theodora Raoulaina, nun and scholar, c. 1240-1300; 4. Eirene Palaiologina (Yolanda of Montferrat), Empress, 1288/9-1317; 5. Eirene-Eulogia Choumnaina Palaiologina, princess and abbess, died c. 1355; 6. Eirene Asenina Cantucuzene, Empress, 1347-1354; 7. Anna of Savoy, regent and Empress, 1341-c. 1365; 8. Anna Notaras Palaiologina, died 1507; 9. Mara Brankovic of Serbia, Sultanina, c. 1412-1476; 10. Helena Cantacuzene Kommene, Empress of Trebizond, died c. 1463.