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Women in purple : rulers of Medieval Byzantium

Author: Judith Herrin
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : Juvenile audience : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the eighth and ninth centuries, three Byzantine empresses--Irene, Euphrosyne, and Theodora--changed history. Their combined efforts restored the veneration of icons, saving Byzantium from a purely symbolic and decorative art and ensuring its influence for centuries to come .In this account, Judith Herrin tells the story of how these women exercised imperial sovereignty with consummate skill and sometimes ruthless  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Biography
Named Person: Irene, Empress of the East; Euphrosyne, Empress of the East; Theodora, Empress of the East; Euphrosyne, Empress of the East; Irene, Empress of the East; Theodora, Empress of the East; Theodora, Empress of the East; Irene, Empress of the East; Euphrosyne, Empress of the East.; Theodora, Empress consort of Justinian I Emperor of the East
Material Type: Biography, Juvenile audience, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Judith Herrin
ISBN: 0691095000 9780691095004 0691117802 9780691117805
OCLC Number: 48843608
Description: 304 pages : illustrations (some color), maps, plans
Contents: Constantinople and the world of Byzantium --
Irene : the unknown empress from Athens --
Euphrosyne : a princess born in the purple --
Theodora : the Paphlagonian bride --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Judith Herrin.
More information:

Abstract:

In the eighth and ninth centuries, three Byzantine empresses--Irene, Euphrosyne, and Theodora--changed history. Their combined efforts restored the veneration of icons, saving Byzantium from a purely symbolic and decorative art and ensuring its influence for centuries to come .In this account, Judith Herrin tells the story of how these women exercised imperial sovereignty with consummate skill and sometimes ruthless tactics. Though they gained access to the all-pervasive authority of the Byzantine ruling dynasty through marriage, all three continued to wear the imperial purple and wield tremendous power as widows. From Constantinople, their own Queen City, the empresses undermined competitors and governed like men. They conducted diplomacy across the known world, negotiating with the likes of Charlemagne, Roman popes, and the great Arab caliph Harun al Rashid. Vehemently rejecting the ban on holy images instituted by their male relatives, Irene and Theodora used craft and power to reverse the official iconoclasm and restore icons to their place of adoration in the Eastern Church. In so doing, they profoundly altered the course of history. The art--and not only the art--of Byzantium, of Islam, and of the West would have been very different without them. As Judith Herrin traces the surviving evidence, she evokes the complex and deeply religious world of Constantinople in the aftermath of Arab conquest. She brings to life its monuments and palaces, its court ceremonies and rituals, the role of eunuchs, bride shows, and the influence of warring monks and patriarchs. --From publisher's description.

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