Browning, Robert. “An Unpublished Funeral Oration of Anna Comnena.” Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society (n.s. 8) (): Repr. The Alexiad (Penguin Classics) [Anna Komnene, Peter Frankopan, E. R. A. Sewter] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A revised edition of a. ‘The shining light of the world, the great Alexius’ Anna Comnena () wrote The Alexiad as an account of the reign of her father, the Byzantine Emperor .

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At birth, Anna was betrothed to Constantine Doukas[5] and she grew up in his mother’s household.

The Alexiad

In confinement there, she wrote the Alexiad. She died sometime in the s; the exact date is unknown. Anna was born in the Porphyra Chamber of the imperial palace in Constantinoplemaking her a porphyrogenita[17] which underscored her imperial status.

She noted this status in the Alexiad, stating that that she was ” born and bred in the purple. According to Anna’s description in the Alexiad alexkad, her mother asked Anna to wait to be born until her father returned from war.

Alexiad – Wikipedia

Starting aroundConstantine’s mother — Maria of Alania — raised Anna in her home. Some scholars have also now started to look at Anna’s relationships to Maria of Alania; Anna Dalassene, Anna’s paternal grandmother; and Irene Doukaina as sources of inspiration and admiration for Anna. Anna wrote at the beginning of the Alexiad about her education, highlighting her experience with literature komnenz, Greek languagerhetoric, and sciences. In his oration he said that she had to read ancient poetry, such as the Odysseykomneena secret because her komnnea disapproved of its dealing with polytheism and other “dangerous exploits,” which were considered “dangerous” for men and “excessively insidious” for alxeiad.

Tornikes went on to say that Anna “braced the weakness of her soul” and studied the poetry “taking care not to be detected by her parents. Anna proved to be capable not only on an intellectual level but also in practical matters. Her father placed her in charge of a large hospital and orphanage that he built for her to administer in Constantinople.

Anna Komnene

The hospital was said to hold beds for 10, patients and orphans. She was considered an expert on gout.


Anna treated her father during his final illness. In roughlyAnna’s parents married her to Caesar Nikephoros Bryennios. Most scholars agree that the marriage was a political one — it created legitimacy for Anna’s paternal family through Bryennois’ connections to past emperor’s family.

Several years after his birth, inJohn was designated emperor. He therefore turned the civil government over to his wife, Irene; she in turn directed the administration to Bryennios. According to SmytheAnna “felt cheated” because she “should have inherited. In view of this belief, Jarratt et al. In contrast, Leonora Neville argues that Anna probably not involved in the attempted usurpation. The plots were discovered and Anna forfeited her estates.

She remained there until her death.

In the seclusion of the monastery, Anna dedicated her time to studying philosophy and history. She held esteemed intellectual gatherings, including those dedicated qnna Aristotelian studies. Among other things, she was conversant with philosophy, annna, grammar, theology, astronomy, and medicine.

It can be assumed because of minor errors that she may have quoted Homer and the Bible from memory when writing her most celebrated work, the Alexiad. Her contemporaries, like the metropolitan Bishop of Ephesus, Georgios Tornikes, regarded Anna as a person who had reached “the highest summit of wisdom, both secular and divine.

Anna wrote the Alexiad in the mids or s. I based the truth of my history on them by examining their narratives and comparing them with what I had written, and what they told me with what I had often heard, from my father in particular and from my uncles … From all these materials the whole fabric of my history — my true history — has been woven. In the AlexiadAnna provided insight on political relations and wars between Alexios I and the West.

She vividly described weaponry, tactics, and battles.

The Alexiad by Anna Comnena

It has been noted that she was writing about events that occurred when she was a child, so these are not eye-witness accounts. Her neutrality is compromised by the fact that she was writing aexiad praise her father and denigrate his successors. Despite her unabashed partiality, her account of the First Crusade is of great value to history because it is the only Byzantine eyewitness account available. She had the opportunity to gather information from key figures kommena the Byzantine elite; her husband, Nikephorus Bryennios, had fought in the clash with crusade leader Godfrey of Bouillon outside Constantinople on Maundy Thursday ; and her uncle, George Palaeologus aoexiad, was present at Pelekanon in June when Alexios I discussed future strategy with the crusaders.


Thus, the Alexiad allows the events of the First Crusade to be seen from the Byzantine elite’s perspective. It conveys the alarm felt kkmnena the scale of the western European forces proceeding through the Empire, and the dangers they might have posed to the safety of Constantinople.

Special suspicion was reserved for crusading leader Bohemond of Tarantoa southern Italian Norman who, under the leadership of his father Robert Guiscardhad invaded Byzantine territory in the Balkans in The Alexiad was written ko,nena Attic Greek, [54] and the literary style is fashioned after ThucydidesPolybiusand Xenophon.

Komneba Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ancestors of Anna Komnene 8. Manuel Erotikos Komnenos 4. John Komnenos brother of Isaac I Komnenos 2. Alexios I Komnenos John Doukas brother of Constantine X Doukas 6. Ivan Vladislav of Bulgaria Troian of Bulgaria Passages to the Maternal in Anna Komnene’s Alexiad”. Anna Komnene and Her Times. Prologue, section 3, p. Who Wrote the Alexiad?

Book XIV, section 7, p. Anna Comnena, the Alexiad, and the First Crusade”. In Edgington, Susan B.

George Akropolites Theodore Skoutariotes. Nikephoros Komnenos Manuel Erotikos Komnenos. Isaac I Komnenos John Komnenos. Alexios IV Megas Komnenos. Theodora Megale Komnene “Despina Khatun”. Only male-line descendants who are independently notable are shown. Rulers and co-rulers are denoted in bold. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikisource. This page was last edited on 17 Novemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Nikephoros Bryennios the Younger. John Komnenos brother of Isaac I Komnenos. John Doukas brother of Constantine X Doukas.

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