Empresses of Late Byzantium: Foreign Brides, Mediators and Pious Women


     With the exception of the wife of Andronikos III Palaiologos, Anna of Savoy, who acted as regent of Byzantium from 1341 to 1347, the lives of the late Byzantine empresses have so far received little scholarly attention. This study presents the biographies of all fifteen empresses of the Palaiologan dynasty and based on their experiences follows the development of the role and position of an empress in the last centuries of the empire. The final analysis considers the selection process for imperial brides and the rituals accompanying their arrival in Constantinople. The author also inquires into their role in public, ritual and ecclesiastical life and their most important social roles at various stages of life.


Table of contents


Part I: The Lives

1. Theodora Doukaina Palaiologina: Mother of the Palaiologan Dynasty

2. Anna of Hungary: The Beloved Augusta

3. Eirene-Yolanda of Montferrat: Mère Politicienne

4. Maria-Rita of Armenia: An Empress Surrounded by Death

5. The Lonely Empress: Eirene-Adelheid (of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen)

6. Anna of Savoy: Nemesis or Savior?

7. Eirene Asenina Kantakouzene: An Empress ‘of Great Sense and Understanding’

8. Helene Palaiologina: Caught Between Fate and Family

9. Eirene Palaiologina: The Captive Empress

10. Maria of Bulgaria: The Itinerant Empress

11. Helene Dragaš: Mother of the Last Byzantine Emperors

12. Eirene Gattilusio: The Widowed Empress

13. Anna of Moscow: The Child Empress

14. Sophia of Montferrat: The Ill-Favored Empress

15. Maria Komnene Kantakouzene Palaiologina: The Last Crowned Empress of Byzantium

Part II: Roles and Rituals

16. The Transformation: Becoming an Empress in Late Byzantium

17. Courts and Rituals

18. Power and Public Life

19. Piety and Orthodoxy

20 Seasons of Life


List of illustrations


Publisher Peter Lang
Language English
Pages 640
Illustrations b/w figures
Binding paperback
ISBN 978-954-509-454-5
Creation date 2019
Size 16 х 24 cm

Write a review

Your Name:

Your Review: Note: HTML is not translated!

Rating: Bad           Good

Enter the code in the box below:

Panel Tool