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Digital Subscriptions > History Revealed > January 2017 > The Extraordinary Tale of...

The Extraordinary Tale of...

“The Empress from the Brothel” is crowned along with her husband, Justinian, marking the start of a truly turbulent 20 years

527 THEODORA BECOMES EMPRESS OF THE EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE

Theodora, an ex-prostitute whose rags-to-riches tale made her arguably the most powerful woman in Byzantium

When faced with death, the Byzantine emperor Justinian was a cowardly figure. The same could not be said of his wife, eodora. During a revolt in Constantinople in the year 532, Justinian was ready to make a run for it, but the audacious empress implored him to stay to save his reign. She arose from her throne and uttered the phrase “If you wish to save yourself, my lord, there is no di culty… As for me, I agree with the saying that royal purple is the noblest shroud”.

PEARLY QUEEN This mosaic in Ravenna, Italy is one of the few contemporary images of Theodora
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The January 2017 issue of History Revealed.
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