Browning, Robert. “An Unpublished Funeral Oration of Anna Comnena.” Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society (n.s. 8) (): Repr. The Alexiad (Penguin Classics) [Anna Komnene, Peter Frankopan, E. R. A. Sewter] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A revised edition of a. ‘The shining light of the world, the great Alexius’ Anna Comnena () wrote The Alexiad as an account of the reign of her father, the Byzantine Emperor .

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Alexias is a medieval historical and biographical text written around the yearby the Byzantine historian and princess Anna Komnenedaughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. In the AlexiadAnna describes the political and military history of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of her father, alesiad Byzantine emperor, which makes it a reference on the Byzantium of the High Middle Ages.

The Alexiad of Anna Comnena Summary & Study Guide

The Alexiad documents the Byzantine Empire’s interaction with the First Crusade and highlights the conflicting perceptions of the East and West in ann early 12th century. The text was written in a form of artificial Attic Greek and shows the Byzantine perception of the Crusades. The Alexiad is divided into 15 books and a prologue; its scope is limited to the duration of Alexios’ reign, which it is thus able to depict in full detail.

The Alexiad remains one of the few primary sources recording Byzantine reactions to both the Great Schism of and the First Crusade, [2] as well as documenting first-hand the decline of Byzantine cultural influence in both eastern kombena western Europe. The First Crusade and Byzantine reactions to it Books 10— Although Anna Komnene explicitly states her intention to record true events, important issues of bias do exist.


Throughout the Alexiademphasis on Alexios as a “specifically Christian emperor,” morally, as well as politically laudable, is pervasive. Frankopan frequently compares Alexios’ treatment in the text to the techniques of the hagiographical tradition, while contrasting it with the generally negative portrait or outright absence of his successors John II and Manuel I.

This distaste extends to the Turks and Armenians.

Anna Komnene – Wikipedia

Despite these issues, George Ostrogorsky nevertheless emphasizes the importance of the Alexiad as a primary document. The main theme of the Alexiad is the First Crusade, and religious conflict.

The Alexiad was originally written in Greek in aroundand first edited by Possinus in Anna Komnene explicitly describes herself in the text and openly acknowledges her feelings and opinions for some events, which goes against the typical formatting of historiography. Anna Komnene’s writings are a major source of information on her father, Alexios I of the Byzantine Empire. She regarded the crusaders, whom she refers to as Celts, Latins and Normans, as uneducated barbarians.

The Alexiad by Anna Comnena

Some historians believe her work to be biased because of her feelings towards the Crusaders, and how highly she regarded her father. There has been much debate as to whether the Alexiad aleiad in fact written by Anna Komnene herself, with one scholar saying that the text gives very few comments that would suggest the author’s gender or any other aspect of their background, aside from a few explicit mentions.

However, it is largely agreed that Anna Komnene was the author. Explicit mentions in the text of her engagement, her role as a wife, and the commentary on her female modesty that influences her writing make Anna’s authorship of the Alexiad “unmistakable”, according to some. In the AlexiadAnna Komnene portrays gender and gender stereotypes in a unique way.

Like her male counterparts, she characterizes women along the typical stereotypes, such as being “liable to tears and as cowardly in the face of danger”.


Immediately, however, she informs the reader that she will stop crying in order to properly return to her duty of history, an episode which she repeats twice in the narrative.

Anna Komnene’s somewhat unusual style of writing history has been attributed to her gender.

Her style is noteworthy in that it included both a history of her father’s actions during the First Crusade, and her reactions to some of these events. Her opinions and commentary on particular events komenna an otherwise historical text have been a,exiad to her gender both positively and negatively.

While the Roman historian Edward Gibbon saw this “gendered” narrative to betray “in every page the vanity of a female author”, [25] with some scholars agreed with komndna, [26] [27] other scholars claim that this style might be indicative of Anna’s mentor, Michael Psellos. Anna Komnene is considered unique for her time in the intensity by which she integrates her own narrative and emotion, [30] and yet she does not mention all personal details, such as the fact that she had four children.

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The Alexiad

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