9780521576239 / 0521576237

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About the book:

This is a lively collection of ten short, annotated and illustrated biographies of aristocratic ladies of the final years of the Byzantine empire. Some were ambitious mothers; others, unhappy wives; some were nuns or scholars; one became the wife of a Turkish sultan and the stepmother of a famous son; another the champion of the Greek refugees in Venice after the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453. Their stories demonstrate the enterprise of some Byzantine women in the male-dominated society of their time.

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