History for the Rest of Us

Theodora – Byzantine Empress or Crazy Woman

Theodora – Byzantine Empress or Crazy Woman

May 9, 2014

Procopius, the principal historian of the 6th century, became disillusioned with the Empress Theodora and her husband Justinian and wrote the following (doubtfully true) story in his Secret History about the Empress Theodora: ‘Often, even in the theatre, in the sight of all the people, she removed her costume and stood nude in their midst, except for a...

Theodora, Empress of Byzantium – Summary

Theodora, Empress of Byzantium – Summary

May 5, 2014

When the Nika riots broke out in the hippodrome of Constantinople in January 532, Theodora saved her husband Justinian’s throne. Public buildings were set on fire and Hypatius proclaimed the new emperor. Justinian and his officials were ready to flee, but Theodora convinced them that ‘royal purple is the noblest shroud’. Justinian took courage...