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Imperial Passions, The Porta Aurea, by Eileen Stephenson

Cover Reveal!

Just wanted to share the cover of my soon to be released novel, Imperial Passions, The Porta Aurea. It is the story of the life of Anna Dalassena, the mother of Alexios I Comnenus, up to the time her brother-in-law, Isaac Comnenus, takes the throne. My next novel will tell

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Anna Comnena, 12th century princess and writer

Dueling Historians

Anyone who is familiar with Byzantine history has likely heard of the . Her book, “Alexiad” is an outstanding history of the reign of her father, the Emperor Alexios I Comnenus. While definitely hagiographic, it contains tidbits of life in the Great Palace, stories about the First Crusade, as well

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The Turning Point

This is from an article I wrote for Byzantine Times magazine last year. The Eastern Roman Empire lasted for over a thousand years before finally expiring in 1453. The turning point in its history – the point at which it began its long decline – is often considered to be

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Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomachos

The Byzantine Influence in Sicily

The Byzantines had possession of Sicily off and on for hundreds of years, until they finally lost it forever during the reign of Empress Zoe and her three husbands in the 11th century. Following the Byzantines came the Moslems from North Africa, who held it for a few decades before

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Byzantine Empress Zoe

Women in the 11th Century Byzantine Empire

Medieval women had few rights anywhere, but in the 11th century and into the early 12th century, Byzantine women held positions of more consequence than elsewhere, and they had opportunities that women in the rest of Europe did not have until centuries later. The 11th century did not start out

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The Byzantine Reputation

The Byzantine Reputation

The eastern Roman empire, commonly known as the Byzantine Empire, has had the reputation of being sneaky, conniving, and downright nefarious among western Europeans for centuries. However, few western Europeans aside from Italian traders had any personal knowledge of the Byzantines prior to the Crusades, so it seems likely that

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Byzantine Empress Zoe

The Story of Zoe and Her Three Husbands

Once upon a time, in the distant city of Constantinople that was the golden capital of the Roman Empire in the 11th century, lived Princess Zoe. Unfortunately, here the story diverges from the usual fairy tales with their happy endings. Our Zoe was not a young princess when the story

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Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last emperor of the Byzantine empire

May 29th Commemorations

The day of May 29th coincides this year (2017) with several anniversaries of note. Most recently, it is the 100th anniversary of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s birth. Also, in the U.S. the Memorial Day holiday when we remember our war dead falls this year on May 29th. Although he

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