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Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium

Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium

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Key Metrics

  • Judith Herrin
  • Princeton University Press
  • Hardcover
  • 9780691153216
  • 9.2 X 6.4 X 1 inches
  • 1.3 pounds
  • Social Science > Women's Studies
  • English
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Book Description

Unrivalled Influence explores the exceptional roles that women played in the vibrant cultural and political life of medieval Byzantium. Written by one of the world's foremost historians of the Byzantine millennium, this landmark book evokes the complex and exotic world of Byzantium's women, from empresses and saints to uneducated rural widows. Drawing on a diverse range of sources, Judith Herrin sheds light on the importance of marriage in imperial statecraft, the tense coexistence of empresses in the imperial court, and the critical relationships of mothers and daughters. She looks at women's interactions with eunuchs, the in-between gender in Byzantine society, and shows how women defended their rights to hold land. Herrin describes how they controlled their inheritances, participated in urban crowds demanding the dismissal of corrupt officials, followed the processions of holy icons and relics, and marked religious feasts with liturgical celebrations, market activity, and holiday pleasures. The vivid portraits that emerge here reveal how women exerted an unrivalled influence on the patriarchal society of Byzantium, and remained active participants in the many changes that occurred throughout the empire's millennial history.


Unrivalled Influence brings together Herrin's finest essays on women and gender written throughout the long span of her esteemed career. This volume includes three new essays published here for the very first time and a new general introduction by Herrin. She also provides a concise introduction to each essay that describes how it came to be written and how it fits into her broader views about women and Byzantium.

Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium

Author Bio

Judith Herrin is professor emeritus in the Department of Classics at King’s College London. Her books include Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe; Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire; Margins and Metropolis: Authority across the Byzantine Empire; and Unrivalled Influence: Women and Empire in Byzantium 

Herrin worked as an archaeologist with the British School at Athens and on the site of Kalenderhane Mosque in Istanbul as a Dumbarton Oaks fellow.[5] Between 1991 and 1995, she was Stanley J. Seeger Professor in Byzantine History, Princeton University.[6] She was appointed Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at King's College London (KCL) in 1995, and was Head of the Center for Hellenic Studies at KCL.[4] She retired from the post in 2008, becoming Professor Emeritus.[4] She was president of the International Congress of Byzantine Studies in 2011

Research interests
 

  • Byzantine archaeology and other fields including women in Byzantium and Byzantium in relation to Islam and the West.

Source: Princeton University Press and King's College, London 

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