Structure and Features of Anna Komnene’s Alexiad

Structure and Features of Anna Komnene’s Alexiad

Emergence of a Personal History

The Alexiad, written in the twelfth century by a Byzantine princess, Anna Komnene, tells the story of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of her father, offering accounts of its political and military history, including its involvement with the First Crusade. Structure and Features of Anna Komnene’s Alexiad: Emergence of a Personal History introduces new methods of research for studying the Alexiad, aiming primarily at analysing Anna Komnene’s literary expression. The book’s approach focuses mainly on the author, the subject, the structure and the inner stylistic features, as well as the genre itself. The result is a substantially new outlook on the main Byzantine historiographical work of the twelfth century.
  • Cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Behind the narrative poetics of Anna Komnene’s Alexiad
  • 1. Technē historikē
    • Discursive frame of the Alexiad
    • Political debate: Anna Komnene and John Zonaras
  • 2. Image of the Ideal Ruler
    • Refuting the invective
    • Shaping the new Iliad
    • In search of a paradigm – between a legendary hero and a legendary emperor
  • 3. Anna Komnene’s Periautologia
    • Preponderance of the Origin
    • The story of the Imperial Birth – essence of Anna’s political agenda
      • Sprout from the Porphyra
      • Likeness to her father
      • Connection to the imperial branch of the Doukai
      • Connection with the parents
  • 4. The Pain of Niobe and Cry of Electra
    • Anna’s Iliad of woes
    • Beloved husband
    • Setting of the Sun
      • Allegories of the emperor’s illness
  • 5. Doukai – Construction of an Alternative Political Discourse
    • The rise of the Komnenoi and the problem of apostasia
    • The Doukai in the Alexiad
    • Dramatis Personae
      • Caesar John Doukas
      • George Palaiologos
      • John and Michael Doukas
      • Constantine Doukas
      • Maria of Alania
      • Eirene Doukaina
  • 6. Komnenian Philia
    • Mother of the Komnenoi
      • How a hero is made
      • Where two Annas meet
      • Doulos and Despotes
      • A story without an ending
    • Orestes and Pylades
      • Isaac Komnenos – ἀπόρφυρον βασιλέα
      • The abstruse story of Adrian Komnenos
      • Conspiracy of John Komnenos
    • A thrice-beloved son
      • Timeframe of the Alexiad
      • Behind Anna’s psogos
      • John in the episode of the birth of the Porphyrogennetoi
      • The Birth of the Emperor’s Twins
      • In search of a lost hero
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index



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