Women played key roles in Byzantine society: some ruled or co-ruled the empire, and others commissioned art and buildings, went on pilgrimages, and wrote. This engrossing book draws on evidence ranging from pictorial mosaics and inscriptions on the walls of churches to women’s poetry and histories, examining for the first time the lives, occupations, beliefs, and social roles of Byzantine women.
In each chapter Carolyn L. Connor introduces us to a single woman—from the elite to the ordinary—and uses her as a springboard to discuss Byzantine society. Frequently quoting from contemporary accounts, Connor reveals what these women thought of themselves and their lives and how they remembered the lives of women who had lived earlier.
Informative, sympathetic, and engagingly written, this book is a window into Byzantine culture and women’s history that has never before been opened.
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