Saturday, February 20, 2010

Empress Theodora

The Mad Monarchist has a post about one of the most colorful women who ever lived, the Empress Theodora.
Together with her husband Empress Theodora oversaw the rebuilding of Constantinople into one of the most spectacular cities in history. She helped in the building of hospices, churches and refuges for the poor. She is also credited with influencing new laws to protect women, making rape and kidnapping capital offenses, no matter if the woman was noble or common born. Women could not be forced into the entertainment industry or prostitution and could not be put in prison for debts. Instead they were to be placed under the supervision of religious women to work off their debt. This was necessary because of the rape and abuse women often suffered in prison. She cracked down hard on prostitution, buying the freedom of many girls herself, meting out harsh punishment to their captors and setting up establishments to help them get back on their feet in legitimate ways.


tubbs said...


Dear EM, This item - what a startling change from your usual delicacy! - but nevertheless refreshing.

And I wonder what her stage name was on the byzantine burlesque circuit....Feely O'Quay? Ortha Doxie?

(Forgive me / I'm from the last era that can remember such greats as Penny Central, Connie Edison, Norma Vincent Peel, Bermuda Schwartz, etc.)

Athanasius said...

That is a very interesting depiction of Theodora. Even in Vasilev's treatment, she appears as little more than an agitator constantly working to impose her monophysite sympathies and living in luxury cold and indifferent. I have not read anything depicting that side of her.

Viola said...

What an enlightened woman! She was certainly very modern for her era.