Theodora of Constantinople
By Elizabeth Elson
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Published: April 15, 2012
Words: 84,910 (approximate)
This novel, based on the life of Theodora, is set in the back streets of Constantinople and the vibrant court of Emperor Justinian during the waning days of the Roman Empire. Disgraced after performing a lewd act on the Hippodrome stage, Theodora begins a journey that brings her from the depths of despair to the arms of an emperor, but an ancient law forbids their royal marriage.
Theodora, a bearkeeper’s daughter, is the Hippodrome’s favorite actress. Tempted by gold, she performs a lewd act on stage before a crowd of excited spectators. Later, humiliated and struggling to gain respect, she accepts a governor’s offer of marriage and accompanies him to his villa in North Africa, lured by promises of sanctuary and status. Disillusioned and desperate, she begins a journey that brings her from the depths of despair to the arms of Emperor Justinian, but her newfound joy is short-lived. This book is the second in a series about women who defined their own lives in the shadow of powerful men. The novel is based on the life of Theodora, a sixth century empress, best known for her part in ending the Nika riots. The novel examines the events that allowed this controversial personality to reach beyond class status, deception, and political maneuvering to create her own unique destiny and carve her place in the history of the Byzantines.
This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers
17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages. For more information, see the
, romance fiction
, hagia sophia
, roman women
, 6th century
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