bkwurm's Reviews > Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore

Theodora by Stella Duffy
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's review
Aug 30, 2012

it was ok

Theodora, actress and prostitute who rose to become Augusta of the Byzantium empire. This book covers her early life and concludes on her triumphant accession as Augusta.

Interesting read. It largely follows what is known about her life. The narrative of how she came to meet Justinian seems to have been the author's invention. The only other curious anomaly is why her meeting and friendship with Antonina, wife of Belisarius, does not take place during her career as actress but is postponed to after she has met Justinian.

Pity that it does not cover the Nike riots. I would have liked to see how the author handled what is Theodora's most well known role in steeling Justinian to face down the rioters instead of fleeing into exile as all his other advisers recommended.

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