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Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint (David S Potter) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 2017) 9780190692759
Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint (David S Potter) Paperback Book, (Oxford University Press, 2017) 9780190692759
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Title: Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint

Author: Potter, David S

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2017

Paperback; ISBN: 9780190692759

Volumes: 1; Pages: 288

List Price in Paper: $21.95 Our price: $17.99

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Raised in a family of circus performers, Theodora became one of the most influential women in Byzantine history. It was on stage that Theodora caught the future emperor Justinian's attention. To the shock of the ruling elite, the two were married and when Justinian assumed power in 527, they ruled the Eastern Roman Empire together.

Their reign was the most celebrated in Byzantine history, bringing wealth, prestige, and even Rome back to the Empire. During this time Theodora was Justinian's most trusted advisor and influenced the Empire discernibly. Her interest in social causes, for example, is seen in added legal protections for women and the lower classes. Theodora's most lasting impact was her support for the unorthodox Christian sect of Monophysitism. Although her husband was orthodox, Theodora maintained her religion's independence, and today in Syria, where the sect still thrives, she is revered as a saint.

In Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint, renowned historian David Potter provides a new account of this important figure. Potter penetrates the highly biased accounts in her contemporaries' writings and takes advantage of the latest research on early Byzantium to craft a modern, engaging narrative of Theodora's life. There is nothing of this scope currently available, and those interested in ancient and women's history will be intrigued by Potter's account of Theodora.

Table of Contents


List of Maps

List of Illustrations



1. Constantinople

2. Telling Nasty Stories

3. Sex and the Stage

4. Factions and Networks

5. Patrician

6. The Succession

7. Augusta: The First Five Years

8. Revolution

9. War and Religion

10. Plots and Plague

11. Last Years

12. Legacy

Dramatis Personae





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