Empresses Or Empress Consorts In The Late Antiquity

826 Words4 Pages
This short story wants to highlight the important role of Empresses or Empress consorts in the Late Antiquity. Although they had no direct military power, their influence on the politics of 5th century can’t be underestimated. They had a great influence on their male family members, who often were blamed to have no back bone.
Empresses of the late antiquity gradually achieved a great deal of autonomy and exerted influence akin to co-rule, an unheard concept for women in ancient Greece and Rome or in any Western medieval state.
First, a cursory glance at the pattern of their prominence. The best known is without doubt Helena, the mother of the first Constantine, founder of the “New Rome”, the city that bears his name – Constantinople - in the fourth century. She went to Jerusalem probably to quell military unrest and organized the building of churches and charitable institutions.
During the fifth century, Galla Placidia, Pulcheria, Verina, and Ariadne took the stage. In the sixth century, the (in)famous Theodora, though raised to the throne from her role as a circus performer, found that as empress she could directly challenge her consort, Justinian, and his advisors.
Especially during the Theodosian dynasty some remarkable ladies in the Roman imperial houses played prominent roles. Most of these women were very intelligent and ambitious. Some of them were independent from the Imperial policy, others were used to strengthen the bond between the courts of the East and the

More about Empresses Or Empress Consorts In The Late Antiquity

Open Document