The Power Game in Byzantium: Antonina and the Empress Theodora by James Allan EvansThe Power Game in Byzantium: Antonina and the Empress Theodora by James Allan Evans

The Power Game in Byzantium: Antonina and the Empress Theodora

byJames Allan Evans

Hardcover | December 22, 2011

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This title presents an original portrayal of Justinian's reign, its politics and theological disputes, focusing on the lives of two extraordinary women who wielded power and influence. A fascinating exploration of the corridors of power in Byzantium of the time of Justinian (527-565), the book reveals how Empress Theodora and Antonina, both alumnae of the theatre, were remarkable examples of social mobility, moving into positions of power and influence, becoming wives of key figures. Theodora had three aims: to protect those Christians who would not accept the Chalcedonian Creed; to advance the careers of her family and friends; and to defend the poor and assist the defenceless and, in particular, women - a mission which she claimed publicly. Finally, there was the allure of power, and though the exercise of power cannot be qualified as an 'aim', there can be no doubt that Theodora loved authority: she made and unmade marriage contracts, and appointed men to office, or destroyed them if they got in her way. Antonina was both friend and agent, and equally ruthless. She managed her husband, Belisarius, and advanced his career, though she was unfaithful to the marriage bed, and would outlive the main players of the age of Justinian.
James Allan Evans is Professor Emeritus of Classical Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Title:The Power Game in Byzantium: Antonina and the Empress TheodoraFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1 inPublished:December 22, 2011Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1441140786

ISBN - 13:9781441140784

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Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Background of the Story 2. The Scum of Society 3. The Rise to Power 4. The Remarkable Career of the Young Belisarius 5. Antonina in Love 6. Victory and Defeat in the Ecclesiastical Arena 7. Theodora's Riposte 8. The Fall of John the Cappadocian 9. The Theodosius and Antonina Affair Continued 10. Plague and Intrigue 11. Theodora Helps to Found an Anti-Chalcedonian Church 12. The Agony of Italy 13. Postlude: The Ending of the Era of Reconquest Appendix I: Two Contemporary Witnesses Sources Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

Evans' book brings a fresh perspective to the reign of Justinian by focusing not only on the emperor's wife Theodora, but also on her close associate Antonina. It also offers a gripping account of a turbulent reign and the struggles of court factions.