In this Book

summary

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xiii-xxii
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  1. 1. Women in Byzantium
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. 2. In Search of Byzantine Women: Three Avenues of Approach
  2. pp. 12-37
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  1. 3. Women and the Faith in Icons in Early Christianity
  2. pp. 38-79
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  1. 4. Mothers and Daughters in the Medieval Greek World
  2. pp. 80-114
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  1. 5. “Femina Byzantina”: The Council in Trullo on Women
  2. pp. 115-132
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  1. 6. Public and Private Forms of Religious Commitment among Byzantine Women
  2. pp. 133-160
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  1. 7. The Imperial Feminine in Byzantium
  2. pp. 161-193
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  1. 8. Political Power and Christian Faith in Byzantium: The Case of Irene (Regent 780–90, Emperor 797–802)
  2. pp. 194-207
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  1. 9. Moving Bones: Evidence of Political Burials from Medieval Constantinople
  2. pp. 208-218
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  1. 10. The Many Empresses of the Byzantine Court (and All Their Attendants)
  2. pp. 219-237
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  1. 11. Theophano: Considerations on the Education of a Byzantine Princess
  2. pp. 238-260
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  1. 12. Toleration and Repression in the Byzantine Family: Gender Problems
  2. pp. 261-280
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  1. 13. The Icon Corner in Medieval Byzantium
  2. pp. 281-301
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  1. 14. Marriage: A Fundamental Element of Imperial Statecraft
  2. pp. 302-320
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 321-328
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400845217
Related ISBN
9780691153216
MARC Record
OCLC
828424280
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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