This volume brings together a group of international scholars, who explore many unusual aspects of the world of Byzantine women in the period 800-1200. The specific aim of this collection is to investigate the participation of women - n-imperial women in particular - in supposedly 'masculine' fields of operation. This new research across a range of disciplines attempts to provide an analysis of the activities of and attitudes towards Byzantine women in this period. Using evidence from sources as diverse as tax registers, monastic foundation documents, twelfth-century vels, historical texts, art history and the writings of women themselves, such as the hymgrapher Kassia and the historian Anna Komnene, these papers elucidate the context in which Byzantine women lived. They emphasize the variety of female experiences, the circumstances that shaped women's lives, and the ways in which individual women were perceived by their society. Contributions focus on women's dress, their participation in the street life of Constantiple, their appearance in Byzantine fiscal documents, their monastic foundations, their engagement with entertainment at the imperial court, and the way heroines are portrayed in the Byzantine vels. Analysis of the writings of the hymgrapher Kassia, the networking of Mary 'of Alania' and the ways she overcame the disadvantages of being a foreign-born empress, and the family values reflected in Anna Komnene's Alexiad, draw attention to specific problems. All these aim to expand our understanding of the circumstances that shaped women's lives and expectations in the Middle Byzantine period and to analyze the range of women's experiences, the roles they played and the impact they made on society.
Lynda Garland is an Associate Professor in the School of Classics, History and Religion at The University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. Judith Herrin, Anna M. Silvas, Timothy Dawson, Leonora Neville, Lynda Garland, Stephen Rapp, Dion C. Smythe, Corinne Jouanno.
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Date of Publication
History: World & General
Publications of the Centre for Hellenic Studies, King's College, London