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Friday, September 22, 2023

Some of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in History

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Anna Komnene
Anna Komnene was the daughter of Alexios Komnenos, the first Byzantine emperor of the Komenian line that ruled from 1081-1118 and became on of the empires most successful rulers next to that of Herakleios, Basil II & Justinian. Anna Komnene was a incredibly important figure in the Byzantine court.

She helped her farther with political issues and continued the family line, however she is and forever will be remembered for the creation of the Alexiad, a comprehensive book on the events that surrounded the empire at the time. Anna was born in 1081 & immediately assigned to marry Constantine Doukas ( Assigned Junior Emperor under Alexios), Anna was well versed in Greek literature, History, Sciences & a variation of other topics & with this knowledge she managed to write the Alexiad.
Anna would eventually marry Nikephoros Bryennios, a soldier and historian.

The couple would have six children only to have three live to adulthood, Anna also had a significant claim on the throne, however her farther favoured her brother John, Alexios would eventually die from rheumatism and as such John would now be emperor, however according to our records Anna felt cheated and possibly plotted to assassinate John at her fathers funeral. The attempt reportedly failed as she didn’t have the required support and her plot was discovered, as punishment she was exiled to the Monastery of Kecharitomene, there in seclusion she wrote the Alexiad.


Shirin was the wife of Khosrau II or Khosrau Parvez (The victorious), Shirin was born in Khuzestan & served as the wife of Khosrau II in the Sasanian Empire around the mid 600’s, Shirin was with Khosrau when he fled to Roman Syria after he was usurped by Bahram Chobin, Maurice then aided Khosrau in retaking the Sasanian throne. Shirin was a Nestorian then Miaphysite Christian and used her position of power to benefit the Christian minority in Iran, Shirin was also notably present in the Shahnameh and portrayed as a loyal wife and pulled into political intrigue.

During Shirin’s life Persia was thrown into chaos, chiefly due to the choices of her own husband Khosrau, in 602 Roman emperor Mauricius was murdered by a political rival by the name of Phocas, apparently angered by this Khosrau declared war on the Roman state in the same year using the death of the man who helped him years ago as a pretext for war, the Sasanians immediately took Mesopotamia and swathes of Armenia within the first few years as Roman forces crumbled against the Persians armies, around 610 the Roman governor of Africa Herakleios rebelled and reached Constantinople and promptly ended the life of Phocas and immediately assumed control of the empire.

Herakleios would eventually defeat the Sasanians and Khosrau was usurped by his own son as to attain a peace with the Romans, Khosrau’s son demanded Shirin marry him but she refused and ended her own life.

Catherine Romanova

Catherine ‘the great’ was empress of Imperial Russia from 1762-1796, during her reign she extended Russian dominion over the Crimea and founding the settlements of Odessa among other settlements inspired by the late Byzantines, she also fought against of wars with both the Qajar Dynasty of Iran & the Ottoman Empire.

In 1761 Peter III ascended to the Russian throne, peter however gradually alienated most of the Russian nobility as well as Catherine, while Peter was on a vacation in Oranienbaum Catherine planned a Coup, Catherine’s plot was successfully and Peter resigned however he died a few days later by assassination at the hands of an ally of Catherine. Catherine’s coronation was held in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow, she was endowed with a Byzantine-styled crown made by diamond jeweller Jeremie Pauzie.

In 1796 the Persians invaded and removed pro-Russian forces from Georgia, in response the Empress sent her relative Valerian Zubov and successfully captured the ancient fort of Derbent (Meaning ‘Gateway’ in Persia), many cities in modern Azerbaijan were also captured.

Catherine was also notable for her administrative reforms, creating the Rzeczpospolita, Catherine also involved Russia in the partition of Poland and other diplomatic intrigues outside the empire. Catherine put much effort into developing Russia’s wilderness, this was important to Catherine as Russia was far less developed than most European nations.

Catherine also sponsored the arts as well as meet great individuals such as Voltaire and Diderot. Catherine’s reign was more than eventful and helped Russia expand and improvise with great effort and ability, the Empress would however would die of a stroke and laid to rest in Saint Petersburg.

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