The Empress Theodora: Partner of Justinian

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Overview

Even by modern standards, the Empress Theodora (?-548) had a remarkable rise to power. Born into the lowest class of Byzantine society, she worked as an actress in burlesque theater. Yet she attracted the love of the future emperor Justinian, who, to the astonishment of proper society, made her not only his wife but also his partner in government. Justinian's respect for and trust in Theodora gave her power in her own right unmatched by almost any other Roman or Byzantine empress.

In this book, James Allan Evans provides a scholarly, yet highly accessible account of the life and times of the Empress Theodora. He follows her from her childhood as a Hippodrome bearkeeper's daughter to her imperial roles as Justinian's most trusted counselor and as an effective and powerful advocate for the downtrodden. In particular, he focuses on the ways in which Theodora worked to improve the lives of women. He also explores the pivotal role Theodora played in the great religious controversy of her time, involving a breach between sects in the Christian church.

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What People Are Saying

Warren Treadgold
There is no other book that gives Theodora as extensive or as penetrating treatment as this one. . . . The task is worthwhile, because Theodora is a figure of historical importance and great interest and perhaps the only Byzantine woman about whom the sources say enough to make even a short book feasible.
Warren Treadgold
There is no other book that gives Theodora as extensive or as penetrating treatment as this one. . . . The task is worthwhile, because Theodora is a figure of historical importance and great interest and perhaps the only Byzantine woman about whom the sources say enough to make even a short book feasible.
Warren Treadgold, author of A Concise History of Byzantium
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292702707
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 1,056,449
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James Allan Evans is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of British Columbia.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1. A New Dynasty Takes Power
Chapter 2. The EarlyLife of Theodora
Chapter 3. The Early Years in Power
Chapter 4. The Nika Revolt
Chapter 5. Theodora's Friends and Enemies
Chapter 6. Theodora and Foreign Policy
Chapter 7. The Theological Dilemma: The Search for Common Ground
Chapter 8. Theodora's Quest for a New Strategy
Chapter 9. The Coercion of Rome
Chapter 10. Afterword
Abbreviations
Bibliography
Notes
Index
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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Excellent history of one of the most fascinating characters in history

    Theodora was the child prostitute and actress who became Empress of Byzantium, the Eastern Roman Empire, in the 6th Century. She was brilliant, cruel, and loyal to her husband, Justinian. She advocated for prostitutes, the defenseless, women and the poor but was vicious when crossed. She did what she had to do to maintain her power. This is a balanced, and fairly brief, story of her life. Excellent, astounding history here.

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