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The first that I ever came across Empress Theodora was when I was a sopho in high school, and we read her speech from Procopius s History of the Wars, where she is said to persuade her husband to stay rather than fleeing by saying, Purple is a noble shroud I was then reintroduced to Theodora in my freshman college seminar, where we studied Byzantine art Because of this, I wanted to find outabout her Paolo s Ceasaratti s Theodora Empress of Byzantium is a very comprehensive biogra The first that I ever came across Empress Theodora was when I was a sopho in high school, and we read her speech from Procopius s History of the Wars, where she is said to persuade her husband to stay rather than fleeing by saying, Purple is a noble shroud I was then reintroduced to Theodora in my freshman college seminar, where we studied Byzantine art Because of this, I wanted to find outabout her Paolo s Ceasaratti s Theodora Empress of Byzantium is a very comprehensive biography of Empress Theodora Because I did not know much about her, it was fascinating how she rose up from humble beginnings to become an empress of the Byzantine empire Theodora was the daughter of a bear trainer and a dancer and an actress After the death of her father, Theodora had to become the main breadwinner of her family She then became an actress, and later catches the eye of Justinian, who at the time was heir to the Byzantine Empire They had to wait until Justinian became emperor because he was not allowed to marry an actress There is very little information about the empress Most of the information we have of Empress Theodora comes from Procopius, who is biased against Theodora and greatly disliked her However, the author has made a great attempt to write a full biography of her This author focused on Theodora s rise to become an empress and as a brave, intellectual ruler For it was her advice that Justinian listened to and followed, when there was a revolt in Constantinople The author also focused on her contributions to help women s rights, for example women can divorce and own land It also showed Empress Theodora as a woman who was deeply religious and pious Overall, this book portrays Empress Theodora as a complex but intriguing figure in history She is shown as a woman that had made great contributions to women s rights in her empire She is also a woman that ruled equally with Justinian, and whom Justinian relied on as a partner and for inspiration Therefore, I believe that Empress Theodora deserve great attention and study, for she is a woman of admirable accomplishments My hat is off to the author for trying something very difficult writing the biography of someone when sources about their early life barely exist In fact, there is but one source, written by an author with hostile intent toward Theodora So, especially in the early chapters, the author just had to make his best guess based on things we know about Byzantine society at the time Some readers might not like that, but there s no other choice in this case, and this part of the book was about as go My hat is off to the author for trying something very difficult writing the biography of someone when sources about their early life barely exist In fact, there is but one source, written by an author with hostile intent toward Theodora So, especially in the early chapters, the author just had to make his best guess based on things we know about Byzantine society at the time Some readers might not like that, but there s no other choice in this case, and this part of the book was about as good as it s possible to make it.The only issue I had is that this sort of informed speculation sometimes appears later in the book when it isn t quite so necessary Again, perhaps this is unavoidable when the subject of the biography didn t leave us a diary or many other personal records and lived 1,500 years ago, but I didn t enjoy that as much.Regardless, the entire book is a good read The author s style in writing is good, especially considering the original was written in Italian and I read a translation I recommend the book for anyone curious to knowabout the life of this extraordinary woman Wonderful, although at times fanciful the only available factual account of this extraordinary woman. I first heard about Theodora while watching a documentary on the History Channel about the Eastern Roman Empire I was moderately fascinated by Justinian I However, as the recounting of his life continued I becameandintrigued by his wife I began looking for books about her and information on the web Almost all of those roads lead to Procopius histories Unfortunately his account regarding her were less than objective In order to get acomplete picture I read whatever I coul I first heard about Theodora while watching a documentary on the History Channel about the Eastern Roman Empire I was moderately fascinated by Justinian I However, as the recounting of his life continued I becameandintrigued by his wife I began looking for books about her and information on the web Almost all of those roads lead to Procopius histories Unfortunately his account regarding her were less than objective In order to get acomplete picture I read whatever I could find about her This book is the most recent and so far, the best I doesn t offer any information about her than the others but is does offer greater context due to the authors superior knowledge of the era A woman in the sixth century who saved her husband from being deposed as Emperor at least twice Reformed land ownership laws to include women Personally saw to the fair treatment of courtesans and prostitutes And basically shut down trafficking of women Everyone should readabout this woman Little is written about her, but what is known, even from the pen of Procopius, it s nothing short of amazing.It is, at once, great to see such figures as Theodora, Candace of Ethiopia, Amina, and Himiko of Japan, being unearthed Yet tragic that so much of this history has been buried or blighted with bias This is an interesting book, Theodora was an interesting, compelling person But there really isn t much material to work with, so even though there is information it has an educated guess vibe I get that, and can accept that The writing come off dry though, almost like reading a long paper The book was originally written in Italian, so maybe something was lost in translation. This was actually quite a book The author displays his ease with detailed knowledge of the Byzantine empire, which was something I was looking for It made Theodora less of the mosaic in my history book andof a real person with her flaws, triumphs, and struggles.The author can tend to get long winded in historical details but I actually find that to be pretty exciting, especially about a culture that I had not read much about.Very intriguing read and great research. I thought this book was decent It was not great and it was not bad just decent The book basically covers the life of the Empress Theodora, as the title pretty much gives that away Theodora has always been a interesting historical figure and depending on who you ask is either a great woman of history or some one who should be ignored The people being being Gibbon and Procopius The main people for her being the author of this book and many others So with that out of the way I will say that i I thought this book was decent It was not great and it was not bad just decent The book basically covers the life of the Empress Theodora, as the title pretty much gives that away Theodora has always been a interesting historical figure and depending on who you ask is either a great woman of history or some one who should be ignored The people being being Gibbon and Procopius The main people for her being the author of this book and many others So with that out of the way I will say that is good about this book and what is bad.This book tries to paint a fair and balanced picture of Theodora and it does that well It shows that she was not a whore like many people have made her to be She started as an actress and had patrons that she was expected to give certain services too Some of which included sex That though does not make her a whore, it was just the way the world worked at the time The author even mentions that she did not have many lovers as some would claim that she did Which goes against what Procopius says about her Which is another major positive of this book, he goes against the main source of material on Theodora and finds many other sources that paint a better picture of Theodora On the other hand thought he speculates to much He says Theodora does things not with proof but with what he thinks she would have done None of which comes from a defentive source which is required for a history book Which brings to the other issue of the book Were as in the beginning he tries to disprove Procopius and his claims, later on in the book after Theodora becomes Empress he paints a picture of a woman who is manipulative and petty There are some sources for this so it may be true to a certain extent but at the same time a lot of it is still speculation And the speculation is the major issues with this book If he had just stuck to the sources and left that out it would have been a much better book The final issues with the book is that at times he seemed to just go off tangent, ignore Theodora, or focuson Justinian The last item might be hard to get away from based on the fact that the Justinian and Theodora will always be linked together and many of their accomplishments were done together butfocus still should have been on Theodora With all this in mind it is still a decent book It won t be the last book written about Theodora Even those who hate her will admit this Theodora is one of the most interesting historical figures out there WE may not ever know everything about her life but she will fascinate people for years to come Rating 4 10 Originally in Italian 2001 and translated to English in 2004 The issue I have with this book is not the translation but the concept of fictionalized history in book form Most of what we know about Theodora is from the Byzantine author Procopius who wrote her biography shortly after her death but kept it secret as many of the details were scurrilous and derogatory The author has taken the facts from Procipius and written a mainly fictionalized version of Theodora s life So yo Rating 4 10 Originally in Italian 2001 and translated to English in 2004 The issue I have with this book is not the translation but the concept of fictionalized history in book form Most of what we know about Theodora is from the Byzantine author Procopius who wrote her biography shortly after her death but kept it secret as many of the details were scurrilous and derogatory The author has taken the facts from Procipius and written a mainly fictionalized version of Theodora s life So you read about what Theodora might have said, or might have felt, or might have thought but, of course, there is no proof that she said, felt, or thought anything that Cesaretti ascribes to her My own opinion is that fictionalized history, while appealing to many people who otherwise would not learn about historical figures, is not really being honest with the reader In its own way, it s a Hollywood version of historical events Barbara Tuchman or Margaret Macmillan, I am sure, would NOT approve {READ PDF} õ Theodora: Empress of Byzantium ⚪ Theodora s meager beginnings as the daughter of a bear keeper could not have foretold her astonishing future as the wife of Justinian, the powerful ruler of the Byzantine empire With a gift for performing, Theodora became an actress in burlesque theater as a young woman By all accounts, fans of her bawdy act were legion, and she leveraged her popularity in whatever way she could She eventually caught the attention of Justinian, who was no doubt charmed as much by her beauty as by her cunningJustinian and Theodora ruled the empire together from their rich and bustling seat of power in Constantinople, making decisions and strategic maneuvers regarding the fate of their kingdom that would reverberate for years to come they waged battles against the Goths and Vandals, quelled nationalist unrest in Egypt and the Middle East, and suppressed a rebellion at their doorstep by mercilessly slaughtering , in Constantinople s stadium Theodora s wisdom and counsel to the emperor saved Justinian s empire and their place in history time and time againHailed by European reviewers as Book of the Year upon its publication in Italian, Paolo Cesaretti s book gives the reader a balanced portrait of an intriguing figure who, in the face of those who tried to defame her, rose from the ranks of the poor to build an empire at the side of her ambitious husband Wow, where to begin with this book Theodora is quite a character, and, though this is mostly a work of non fiction, it s just as, if not , interesting that a lot of fictional novels out there The author uses Procopius as his main source, which may or may not be a good idea Procopius was writing the history of Theodora and Justinian during the time they were in power, but he also had a Secret History in which he said a lot of nasty things about the two monarchs Procopius obviously exag Wow, where to begin with this book Theodora is quite a character, and, though this is mostly a work of non fiction, it s just as, if not , interesting that a lot of fictional novels out there The author uses Procopius as his main source, which may or may not be a good idea Procopius was writing the history of Theodora and Justinian during the time they were in power, but he also had a Secret History in which he said a lot of nasty things about the two monarchs Procopius obviously exaggerated a lot of his information about Theodora, especially about her sex life Either way, though, it is a very fascinating read, and it helps non historian readers understand a littleabout this infamous empress