Anna Comnena

Anna Comnena

(än`nə kŏmnē`nə), b. 1083, d. after 1148, Byzantine princess and historian; daughter of Emperor Alexius I. She plotted, during and after her father's reign, against her brother, John IIJohn II
(John Comnenus) , 1088–1143, Byzantine emperor (1118–43), son and successor of Alexius I. He was crowned despite the intrigues of his sister, Anna Comnena, and of his mother, Irene.
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, in favor of her husband, Nicephorus Bryennius, whom she wished to rule as emperor. Having failed, she retired to a convent. There she wrote the Alexiad (finished in 1148), one of the outstanding Greek historical works of the Middle Ages. Covering the reign of Alexius I and the First Crusade, it tends to glorify her father and his family; however, Anna's familiarity with public affairs and her access to the imperial archives give her work great value. There is an English translation by E. R. Sewter (1979).

Bibliography

See biography by G. Buckler (1929).

References in periodicals archive ?
His deeds were recorded by two twelfth-century historians, Anna Comnena and John Zonaras, who offered different interpretations not only of his reign, but of his suitability to the imperial office.
Writings by Anna Comnena are representative of the care the sick and disabled received at that time.
The collection features two essays on accounts of the Crusades, including that of Anna Comnena; the Book of Dede Korkut and other collections of tales from late medieval Anatolia; a survey of various medieval chronicles; and the story of Alexander the Great in 20th-century Sephardic glossed books of proverbs.
He is tracking two historical figures, the Byzantine princess Anna Comnena, author of an account of her father's reign and often called the first female historian, and Adhemar, Bishop of Le Puy in France, who led one group of Crusaders.
If you're curious about the lives of such writers as Theri, Auvaiyar, Eudocia, Khansa, Huneberc of Heidenheim, Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya, Yeshe Tsogyal, Murasaki Shikibu, Anna Comnena, Clemence of Barking, Janabai, Laila Akhyaliyya, Perchta of Rozmberk, Laura Cereta, Mirabai, Gaspara Stampa, and Gluckel von Hameln--and other women who wrote before 1700--and would like a taste of their work in translation, OTHER WOMEN'S VOICES is the place to start: http://home.infionline.net/~ddisse/.
Helena as a woman depicted in art, the empress Zoe as an imperial wife, and the historian Anna Comnena as a "passionate voice." In part four, "Late Byzantium (1204-1453)," she analyzes the foundation documents of the Convent of Sure Hope in Constantinople, with an "epilogue" on Melane, the Byzantine widow of a Mongol khan.
Indeed, the Byzantine historian Anna Comnena described him during the 12th century as "the greatest saint in the hierarchy".
His discussion of the First Crusade relies heavily, though with some caution, on Anna Comnena. Given the dearth of other Byzantine evidence, it does not add much to our knowledge about the tensions between Alexios I and the crusaders.
It was the last expansion that led the early-12th-century Greek historian Anna Comnena to write that all "Europe" seemed to have uprooted itself and poured in on the civilized world that she inhabited.(*) But the fact that she also referred to the mainly Frankish and Norman crusaders as "Celts" tells us that she was using what old Greek and Latin terms she could find to describe far western phenomena, and that there was no reason why she should think of herself as either European or Asian.
Nevertheless, in her endnote, the author (who is an archeology graduate) does not claim it as such; and, stressing the dramatic happenings, wars, and machinations of the times (as recorded by Anna Comnena and other biased chroniclers), she states that she tried to recreate that historical period in the form of fiction.
in complete contrast, Lilie's book on relations between Byzantium and the Crusaders relies almost entirely on chroniclers, including some of the greatest medieval historians like Anna Comnena, William of Tyre and Nicetas Choniates.
Sources: Buckler, Georgina Grenfell, Anna Comnena, A Study.