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 “An Unpublished Funeral Oration of Anna Comnena.”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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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — The Alexiad by Anna Comnena. The Alexiad by Anna Comnena. It is also an important source of information on the Byzantine war with the Normans, and the First Crusade, in which Alexius participated. While the Byzantines were allied to the Crusaders, they were none t ‘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 Alexius I.
While the Byzantines were allied to the Crusaders, they were none the less critical of their behaviour and Anna’s book offers a startlingly different perspective from that of Western historians. Her character sketches are shrewd and forthright – from the Norman invader Robert Guiscard ‘nourished by mainfold Evil’ and his son Bohemond ‘like a streaking thunderbolt’ to Pope Gregory VII ‘unworthy of a high priest’.
The Alexiad is a vivid and dramatic narrative, which reveals as much about the character of its intelligent and dynamic author as it does about the fascinating period through which she lived.
Sewter’s translation captures all the strength and immediacy of the original and is complemented by an introduction that examines Anna’s life and times. This edition also includes maps, appendices, genealogical tables, a bibliography and indexes of events and names. Paperbackpages. Published December 20th ahna Penguin Classics first aleixad To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about The Alexiadplease sign up. Lists with This Book. I’ve been thinking a lot about reviewing lately. For a time I considered stopping entirely. It sometimes gets very stressful to read a book while searching for quotes to use and things to mention, not being able to actually enjoy the book because too much time and focus goes towards planning the eventual review.
Which is bloody ridiculous. It’s sad to say this, but I’ve been putting too much energy into reviewing. It should only be done for fun, and that’s what I’m going to do from now on. Which is I’ve been annna a lot about reviewing lately. Which is why I’m going kimnena go a lot more easy when reviewing the books I’m reading nowadays.
From now on, I will only be writing reviews for the books I actually feel like reviewing. I’ll be spending some time writing the best review I’ve ever written for a book as remarkably unknown as this one.
Because it’s special to me. But most jomnena all because I want to. Life’s too short for doing too many things we don’t enjoy. View all 39 comments. Jan 31, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: For me the most interesting thing about Anna Comena’s biography of her father is how much hard work it was to be a Byzantine Emperor. There seem to be constant hordes of enemies, external and internal whack a mole rebellionswhile every alexiqd to fight in their support needs to scrapped from the bottom of the barrel.
Her narrative is indispensable for those interested in the 1st crusade and is ironically, considering her lack of love for the westerners, the most widely available primary source For me the most interesting thing about Anna Comena’s biography of her father is how much hard work it was to be a Byzantine Emperor. Her narrative is indispensable for those interested in the 1st crusade and is ironically, considering her lack of love for the westerners, the most widely available primary source.
Comena does have the irritating habit of referring to western Europeans as Kelts and her description of them is strongly reminiscent of earlier Roman and Greek descriptions of the celtsEgyptians as Babylonians and Hagarines for Muslims it was good style apparently to be as archaic, if not as obscure as possible in your nomenclature for the educated writer. At that same time this implies that nothing has ever changed the Roman Empire still does battle with the Celts and the Babylonians just as it did a thousand years and more!
Everything is eternal and unchanging the narrative implies, thus gracefully covering over the fact that the Commene family had only recently seized the Imperial throne through marriage and their right to rule was not universally taken seriously.
There are some insights and stories – like the one of her komnea in labour – that presumably a man of the household would konnena have access to, but because of the focus on her father and on him as a successful and able politician there is not as much about the alexia of the women in the political life of the Empire or about the decision making process that one might have liked from such a well placed witness.
And that is the great disappointment of her book, here for the only time we get the voice and opinion of a woman of the Imperial household, only she is not very interested in talking about being a woman in the Imperial household, her father – unlike her younger brother who got to be the next Emperor – is presented as an exemplary figure so she also keeps us at arms length from the doubts and political infighting behind the decision making. Still there is nothing else quite like it.
The Alexiad – Wikisource, the free online library
Aug 10, Curt Lorde rated it it was amazing. Gibbons, I believe, suffered from an elitism that all good things came from the pagan Romans. That Eastern religion was a part of their downfall. A little town called Constantinople broke two massive invasions that most definitely would have changed history, and not to the liking of Gibbons, or Hansen, for that matter. The men and women who both fought for,and,many a time,each other for the throne of this ‘ghost of Rome’ were some fascinating folk.
Alexius I Comnenus is a perfect example. His daughter Anna wrote his biography. It is a tale of an reeling empire.
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One beset by aggressive Seljuk Turks who defeated a former emperor in at Manzikert in what is now Armenia,in the east, and some western adventurer knights, led by the Normans, descendants of the Vikings, who had swept up Sicily,parts of southern Italy, and looked on the remnants Of the Empire like raw meat to a wolf.
Okay got that out. Alexius, to the surprise of many, would hold the Empire together. Though unable to drive the Turks completely away from its former territory, it would be nearly four hundred years before Byzantium died. He would see off the Normans. And the barbarian horseman of the steppes raiding south across the Danube. Anna loved and admired alexuad father, though she wished he anan chosen her and her husband as successors, instead of her brother who she tried to usurp.
Family affairs, the Empire is full of such stories. Alexius also steered the First Crusade through his realm. Anna gives an excellent description of their leaders, in particular, the mighty Norman, Bohemund. I can picture the young Anna looking from the women’s nook at the mailed badass from the semi civilized West and going “Damn!
The Alexiad, the writing of Ammianus Marcellinus, and Tacitus will give you three different views of the Roman Empire at three different stages in its life. View all 4 comments. Dec 21, Suzannah rated it really liked it Shelves: What would Byzantine history be like if it was written by a sour and snippily self-conscious Victorian governess? Thanks to Anna Comnena, we don’t alexiaf to wonder.
Full review now available on Vintage Novels. View all 3 comments. Sep 03, else fine rated it it was ok Recommends it for: I enjoyed the undercurrent of gleeful malice and all of the lurid eye-gouging, but I didn’t understand why everyone seemed to have the same name, why they had all married each other’s cousins, and why they all wanted to kill each other. The footnotes assumed I’d need help figuring out who the Gorgon was, and other references to Greek mythology, but provided no assistance with any of the Byzantine names, titles, dates, or battles.
Not even a time line. I suppose that if I had known anything whats I enjoyed the undercurrent of gleeful malice and all of the lurid eye-gouging, but I didn’t understand why everyone seemed to komnenz the same name, why they had all married each other’s cousins, and why they all wanted to kill each other.
I suppose that if I had known anything whatsoever about Byzantine history, I may have enjoyed the book more. As it was, all I learned was that they were really, really into gouging out eyes. Dec 04, Simon Jones rated it really liked it. Always feels a bit strange writing a review for something written almost a thousand years ago. I can’t imagine Anna Comnena herself would be very amused by the idea of any old konena on social media being able to pass comment upon her history.
It goes without saying that the Alexiad has tremendous value as a piece of source material but I guess the whole point of reviews on Goodreads is to comment on the book’s entertainment value for the general reader rather than its usefulness for the historian Always feels a bit strange writing a review for something written almost a thousand years ago. It goes without saying that the Alexiad has tremendous value as a piece of source material but I guess the whole point of reviews on Goodreads is to comment on the book’s entertainment value for the general reader rather than its usefulness for the historian.
The nice thing about the Apexiad is that the personality of its writer comes through and we get a real impression of the Byzantine princess who wrote this account of her komnea reign. Her pride and admiration for her father’s achievements are palpable and despite her endless protestations that she writes nothing but the unvarnished truth, she is unable to resist the urge to praise him to the heavens.
As such as a biography it has its limitations due to her extreme bias. Her bitterness at her own fate; confined to a nunnery at her brother’s hands is also conveyed in spades.
Anna delights in high-flown language and tries to fit in a Homeric phrase as often as possible. Clearly she loved her classics and spent more time reading those than the bible, since amusingly, whenever she quotes the scriptures, she inevitably gets it wrong! The chapters covering the early part of Alexius’ reign would clearly have been based on accounts set down before Anna was born and during her childhood and these are in places confused to the point that they are almost impossible to follow, particularly her accounts of military campaigns.
As it goes on however into the remit of her own experience, it gets better and the famous accounts of the First Crusaders and the wars against the wily Normans are very readable and entertaining.
All in all its a worthwhile read whether you’re a Byzantium or crusading fan and across the centuries you can feel that you’ve got to know the slightly batty, dramatic, nostalgic and fiercely loyal to her father’s memory; Anna Comnena. I fell in love with Turks here, and possibly with history. I came to this young, a lucky chance.
Anna Komnene wordt beschouwd als de eerste vrouwelijke historicus, maar ze was ook een Byzantijnse prinses en in dit boek vertelt ze over het bewind van haar eigen vader, keizer Alexios I van het Oost-Romeinse rijk. Anna doet dit op zeer eigenzinnige wijze: Want Alexios heeft nogal wat te stellen tijdens zijn bewind: Bovendien is zijn rijk zo lek als een mandje, en continu moet hij vechten tegen binnenvallende legers: