Empress Theodora: Rome’s most influential and powerful woman
Today women are given several opportunities other individuals are denied: these opportunities include but aren’t limited to divorce rights and property ownership. When asked whom to thank for the civil liberties they possess women often answer “Harriet Beecher Stowe”, “Susan B. Anthony” or even “Elizabeth Cady Stanton”. These women are very important. However, a very well-spoken, prevalent, independent, and distinct woman dates back to 527 A.D. A woman by the name of Theodora paved the way of women’s rights for women today as well as of her time period.
Early life for Theodora is somewhat of a mystery (Cesaretti 3). By the time she was born; there were two factions; the Greens and the Blues. The factions served as a supporter’s club they managed the Hippodrome and its entertainment. But they also had a certain amount of political influence. In the Hippodrome the Greens and the Blues could convey the voice of the people to the emperor. Theodora’s father, Acacius was the bear keeper for the Greens at the Hippodrome in Constantinople (Evans 13). Information about Theodora’s father is practically little to nothing. In the civilian hierchy, the personnel of the Hippodrome ranked at the bottom of the social pyramid (Evans 15). Therefore, it is evident that Theodora was not a very popular person in her childhood. According to Cesaretti, “In all actuality Theodora came from the lowest rungs of society as an actress and courtesan”. Marriage is what changed Theodora’s life and social hierchy. In 522, Theodora returned to Constantinople from living with a lover in Africa. By this time, she was a changed woman. She did not go back to her old way of impoverished life and acting: this was indeed a far cry from her earlier life as acting was seen as equal to prostitution in those days. Theodora found a simple cottage to reside in. It was there that she...
Cited: * Cesaretti, Paolo. Theodora. New York: Magowan Publishing, 2001. Print
* Evans, J. A. S. The Empress Theodora: Partner of Justinian. Austin: University of Texas, 2002. Print.
* Lewis, Jone J. "EmpressÂ Theodora." About.com Women 's History. Biography of Byzantine Empress Theodora, 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 2 Feb. 2013
Please join StudyMode to read the full document