Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Anna KomneneThe Life and Work of a Medieval Historian$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Leonora Neville

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498177

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190498177.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 October 2018

Why Didn’t Greek Women Write History?

Why Didn’t Greek Women Write History?

(p.15) 1 Why Didn’t Greek Women Write History?
Anna Komnene

Leonora Neville

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the conflict between the female submissiveness expected in Anna Komnene’s culture and the authoritative masculine behaviors required for history writing. It describes Byzantine conceptions of gender that prized modesty, reticence, seclusion within the home, and deference to masculine authority for women, and notes some techniques women used to act with self-determination while upholding this dominant ideology. The tradition of Greek historiography, which involved participation in the public arena of politics and warfare, active research including the interrogation of witnesses, judgment of men’s deeds, and rhetorical education, is shown to be a masculine endeavor. The self-aggrandizement of historical authorship sparked discourses of humility for male authors. The investigation of these fundamental tensions shows us what difficulties Anna faced in writing history. Pamphile of Epidaurus is discussed as an example.

Keywords:   Anna Komnene, Byzantine gender, Greek historiography, Pamphile of Epidaurus, self-determination, seclusion, self-aggrandizement, humility

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .