Speech-Theodora

May 8th, 2015
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Empress and wife of Justinian I, the courage and statesmanship of Theodora (ca. 500-548) complemented the genius of her husband and significantly contributed to the glories of his reign. Little is known about the early life of Theodora, who rose to become one of the most famous women in Western civilization.

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SpeechTheodora Empress and wife of Justinian I, the courage and statesmanship of Theodora (ca. 500-548) complemented the genius of her husband and significantly contributed to the glories of his reign. Little is known about the early life of Theodora, who rose to become one of the most famous women in Western civilization. She was born of humble origins at the beginning of the sixth centuryprobably in the year 500and died on June 28, 548. Much of what is known comes from the writings of the sixth-century Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea (d. 565), especially his seven-volume Anecdota (commonly called Secret History). Although an important primary source for the life of Theodora and the era in which she lived, Procopius's Secret History must be viewed as written on the level of a modern tabloid, at least with respect to its factual accuracy. However biased, especially in the case of Theodora, it is felt that Procopius correctly portrayed the decadent lifestyle of Constantinople during the first half of the sixth century. From Procopius and other writings of the era, including official chronicles, some outline of Theodora's early life prior to her marriage to Justinian I can be constructed. Some of the later chroniclers place her birth on the island of Cyprus, or more likely in Syria. Her father was a poor man named Acacius. Her mother's name is lost to history. Acacius was the keeper, or guardian, of the bears for the Greens at the hippodrome in Constantino

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