Theodora, a Byzantine empress from the 6th century, is quite a character. First, her portrait in mosaic from the walls of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy:
And here, I imagined what she might look like in profile:
There is a fantastic description of her in The Secret History by Procopius.
Princess Anna, the oldest daughter of Emperor Alexios I & Empress Irene, has to get dressed for her betrothal, and a dalmatic or over-tunic with patterns and jewels, is a must.
As a side note to these Byzantine characters, I am so excited to be attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair this coming Monday, March 30 – April 2, 2015 and will also go to Ravenna, a Byzantine art mecca. I look forward to sharing the art & inspiration of the mosaics of San Vitale.
Anna Dalassene was the grandmother of Anna Komnene, one of the most famous women historians of all time, author of the Alexiad. As a little girl, Anna K loved hearing her father’s stories about how strong and smart her grandma was. In this story, Anna Dalassene outfoxes two envoys sent by her enemy, Emperor Botaneiates, who wants to bring her and her ladies in for questioning.