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Anna KomneneThe Life and Work of a Medieval Historian$
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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

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Unbiased Historian and Devoted Daughter

Unbiased Historian and Devoted Daughter

(p.43) 3 Unbiased Historian and Devoted Daughter
Anna Komnene

Leonora Neville

Oxford University Press

In Anna Komnene’s case, the historical ideal of writing without favoritism or bias was at odds with the cultural ideal of a woman’s devotion to her parents. This chapter focuses on Anna’s handling of this tension in the Alexiad in presenting herself as both devoted to her father and willing to criticize him. It explores passages in which she addresses this problematic directly and her various methods for substantiating her appropriate love for her parents while claiming historical dispassion. Anna does present information that reflects badly on Alexios but tries to display both respect and lack of bias by discussing Alexios’s losses in heroic terms.

Keywords:   Anna Komnene, Alexios Komnenos, Alexiad, impartiality, favoritism, familial devotion, flattery, loyalty, daughter

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