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 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 an emperor, but her newfound joy is short-lived. This 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 book 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.
About Elizabeth Elson
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Published April 14, 2012
History, Literature & Fiction.