Anna Komnene and the Alexiad

Author: Loulia Kolovou

Publisher: Pen and Sword History

ISBN: 1526733048

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 9259


Anna Komnene is one of the most curious figures in the history of an intriguing empire. A woman of extraordinary education and intellect, she was the only Byzantine female historian and one of the first and foremost historians in medieval Europe. Yet few people know of her and her extraordinary story. Subsequent historians and scholars have skewed the picture of Anna as an intellectual princess and powerful author. She has been largely viewed as an angry, bitter old woman, who greedily wanted a throne that did not belong to her. Accusations of conspiracy and attempted murder were hurled at her and as punishment for her ‘transgressions’ she was to live the last days of her life in exile. It was during her time in a convent, where she was not a nun, that she composed the Alexiad, the history of the First Crusade and the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118), her father. This book aims to present Anna Komnene - the fascinating woman, pioneer intellectual, and charismatic author - to the general public. Drawing on the latest academic research to reconstruct Anna's life, personality and work, it moves away from the myth of Anna the conspirator and 'power-hungry woman' which has been unfairly built around her over centuries of misrepresentation. It places Anna Komnene in the context of her own time: the ancient Greek colony and medieval Eastern Roman empire, known as Byzantium, with the magnificent city of Constantinople at its heart. At the forefront of an epic clash between East and West, this was a world renowned for its dazzling wealth, mystery and power games. It was also known for a vigorous intellectual renaissance centuries before its western counterpart. This was a world with Anna Komnene directly at the center.

The Alexiad of Anna Komnene

Author: Penelope Buckley

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107037220

Category: Art

Page: 331

View: 1047


A critical appraisal of the literary art of a great Byzantine text by the first woman historian, Anna Komnene.

Anna Komnene and Her Times

Author: Thalia Gouma-Peterson

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134829574

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 220

View: 6727


This significant critical anthology explores the life of Anna Komnene, the Byzantine context in which she wrote, and the impact of the Alexiad on her times and on subsequent historical works of literature.

Term Paper Resource Guide to Medieval History

Author: Jean S. Hamm

Publisher: ABC-CLIO

ISBN: 0313359679

Category: History

Page: 371

View: 1427


Help students get the most out of studying medieval history with this comprehensive and practical research guide to topics and resources. * Covers 100 significant events across four continents, between 410 C.E. and 1485 C.E. * Offers an easy-to-use chronological organization that facilitates research and saves time for students, faculty, and librarians * Includes an annotated bibliography of primary source materials for each topic

Byzantine Women

Author: Lynda Garland

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351953710

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 5573


This volume brings together a group of international scholars, who explore many unusual aspects of the world of Byzantine women in the period 800-1200. The specific aim of this collection is to investigate the participation of women - non-imperial women in particular - in supposedly 'masculine' fields of operation. This new research across a range of disciplines attempts to provide an analysis of the activities of and attitudes towards Byzantine women in this period. Using evidence from sources as diverse as tax registers, monastic foundation documents, twelfth-century novels, historical texts, art history and the writings of women themselves, such as the hymnographer Kassia and the historian Anna Komnene, these papers elucidate the context in which Byzantine women lived. They emphasize the variety of female experiences, the circumstances that shaped women's lives, and the ways in which individual women were perceived by their society. Contributions focus on women's dress, their participation in the street life of Constantinople, their appearance in Byzantine fiscal documents, their monastic foundations, their engagement with entertainment at the imperial court, and the way heroines are portrayed in the Byzantine novels. Analysis of the writings of the hymnographer Kassia, the networking of Mary 'of Alania' and the ways she overcame the disadvantages of being a foreign-born empress, and the family values reflected in Anna Komnene's Alexiad, draw attention to specific problems. All these aim to expand our understanding of the circumstances that shaped women's lives and expectations in the Middle Byzantine period and to analyze the range of women's experiences, the roles they played and the impact they made on society.

Guide to Byzantine Historical Writing

Author: Leonora Neville

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110866394X

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 2339


This handy reference guide makes it easier to access and understand histories written in Greek between 600 and 1480 CE. Covering classicizing histories that continued ancient Greek traditions of historiography, sweeping, fast-paced 'chronicle' type histories, and dozens of idiosyncratic historical texts, it distills the results of complex, multi-lingual, specialist scholarship into clear explanations of the basic information needed to approach each medieval Greek history. It provides a sound basis for further research on each text by describing what we know about the time of composition, content covered by the history, authorship, extant manuscripts, previous editions and translations, and basic bibliography. Even-handed explanations of scholarly debates give readers the information they need to assess controversies independently. A comprehensive introduction orients students and non-specialists to the traditions and methods of Byzantine historical writing. It will prove an invaluable timesaver for Byzantinists and an essential entry point for classicists, western medievalists, and students.

Anna Komnene

Author: Leonora Neville

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190498188

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 9561


Byzantine princess Anna Komnene is known for two things: plotting to murder her brother to usurp the throne, and writing the Alexiad, an epic history of her father Alexios I Komnenos (1081-1118) that is a key historical source for the era of the First Crusade. Anna Komnene: the Life and Work of a Medieval Historian investigates the relationship between Anna's self-presentation in the Alexiad and the story of her bloodthirsty ambition. It begins by asking why women did not write history in Anna's society, what cultural rules Anna broke by doing so, and how Anna tried to respond to those challenges in her writing. Many of the idiosyncrasies and surprises of Anna's Alexiad are driven by her efforts to be perceived as both a good historian and a good woman. These new interpretations of Anna's authorial persona then spark a thorough re-thinking of the standard story which defines Anna's life by the failure of her supposed political ambitions. The second half of this work reviews the medieval sources with fresh eyes and re-establishes Anna's primary identity as an author and intellectual rather than as a failed conspirator.

Imperial Women in Byzantium 1025-1204

Author: Barbara Hill

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317884655

Category: History

Page: 258

View: 9255


This book will be essential reading for anyone studying Byzantine history in this period. It ranges in time from the death of the emperor Basil II in 1025 to the sacking of the city of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusaders in 1204, spanning the rise and fall of the successful Komnenos dynasty. Eleventh-century Byzantine history is unusual in that imperial women were able to wield immense power and in this ground-breaking book Dr Hill explores why this was possible and, equally, why they lost their position of influence a century later.

Gendering the Crusades

Author: Susan Edgington,Sarah Lambert

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231125994

Category: History

Page: 215

View: 4399


This volume presents 13 essays which examine womens roles in the Crusades and medieval reactions to them, including active participation, female involvement in debates surrounding the Crusade, women in the latin east, papal policy, and literary representations.

Medieval Greek Commentaries on the Nicomachean Ethics

Author: Charles E. Barber,David Todd Jenkins

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004173935

Category: Philosophy

Page: 226

View: 9331


Given the enduring importance of Aristotle s "Nicomachean Ethics," it is remarkable to find that there is no extensive surviving commentary on this text from the period between the second century and the twelfth century. This volume is focused on the first of the medieval commentaries, that produced in the early twelfth century by Eustratios of Nicaea, Michael of Ephesus, and an anonymous author in Constantinople. This endeavor was to have a significant impact on the reception of the "Nicomachean Ethics" in Latin and Catholic Europe. For, in the mid-thirteenth century, Robert Grosseteste translated into Latin a manuscript that contained these Byzantine commentators. Both Albertus Magnus and Bonaventure then used this translation as a basis for their discussions of Aristotle's book. Contributors are George Arabatzis, Charles Barber, Linos Benakis, Elizabeth Fisher, Peter Frankopan, Katerina Ierodiakonou, David Jenkins, Anthony Kaldellis and Michele Trizio.