Procopius Ruins The Reputations Of Antonina And Theodora

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Procopius ruins the reputation of both Antonina and Theodora, because of their sexual indecency when they were young. In The Secret History, Procopius refers to Theodora as having “not an ounce of modesty in the little hussy (Procopius 37).” Antonina was accused of having a secret affair with her son, Theodosius, which vindicated others’ belief that she was filled with a great amount of “lust”. He rarely had anything positive to say about the two women, but many of their actions could have stemmed from their troubled childhoods. For example, Theodora became a young prostitute that sold her body in order to make a living, and Antonina was said to have lived a “profligate” life where she threw out “all moral restraint” before marrying Belisarius. …show more content…

The two women are often described as manipulative, particularly in the way they interact with those close to them. Theodora and Antonina both had strong influences on their husband’s decisions, especially when it came to the empire. Many of the tasks that the two women wanted completed were almost always carried out. Procopius goes on to say that, “Belisarius was persuaded by his wife to kill Constantine too (Procopius 5).” Theodora was able to manipulate her husband, Justinian, who was usually portrayed as foolish and naïve. Antonina and Theodora were both subject to harsh judgement by Procopius, who looked down on the women’s character and decisions throughout the work. The two were described by Procopius as being very “power hungry” and he argued that they would use any means to get what they wanted. Procopius criticizes Theodora for being very quick witted and sharp minded. Antonina is criticized for not being loyal to her husband, Belisarius, while they were

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