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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.
Posted December 12, 2009
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.