- Anna Comnena
born Dec. 2, 1083died с 1153Byzantine historian.Daughter of the emperor Alexius I Comnenus, she conspired with her mother against her brother John II Comnenus; when the plot was discovered, she was forced to enter a convent. There she wrote the Alexiad, a biography of her father and a pro-Byzantine account of the early Crusades.
* * *▪ Byzantine princessComnena also spelled Komneneborn December 2, 1083died c. 1153Byzantine historian and daughter of the emperor Alexius I Comnenus. She is remembered for her Alexiad, a history of the life and reign of her father, which became a valuable source as a pro-Byzantine account of the early Crusades.Anna received a good education, studying, among other subjects, literature, philosophy, history, and geography. She married the leader of Bryennium, Nicephorus Bryennius (Bryennius, Nicephorus) (1097), and joined her mother, the empress Irene, in a vain effort to persuade her father during his last illness to disinherit his son, John II Comnenus, in favour of Nicephorus. Later conspiring to depose her brother after his accession to the throne (1118), Anna was, however, unable to obtain the support of her husband; the plot was discovered, and she forfeited her property, retiring to a convent, where she wrote the Alexiad. This work, in Greek, provides a picture of religious and intellectual activities within the empire, reflecting the Byzantine conception of the imperial office. It suffers from a defective chronology and excessive adulation of Alexius I, but it is invaluable for its character sketches of the leaders of the First Crusade as well as others with whom Anna had direct contact.
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