Empress Theodora


Theodora reigned as empress of the Byzantine Empire alongside her husband, Emperor Justinian I, from 527 CE until her death in 548 CE. Rising from a humble background and overcoming the prejudices of her somewhat disreputable early career as an actress, Theodora would marry Justinian (r. 527-565 CE) in 525 CE and they would rule together in a golden period of Byzantine history. Portrayed by contemporary writers as scheming, unprincipled, and immoral, the Empress, nevertheless, was also seen as a valuable support to the Emperor, and her direct involvement in state affairs made her one of the most powerful women ever seen in Byzantium.

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