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: 16 January 2019

Gathering Research without Leaving the House

Gathering Research without Leaving the House

(p.75) 5 Gathering Research without Leaving the House
Anna Komnene

Leonora Neville

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Anna Komnene’s efforts to substantiate her research while maintaining her persona as a modest woman. It explores the conflict between the Greek ideal of historiography that history should be written on the basis of personal observation and interrogation of witnesses, and the ideal that women should be secluded and only talk to men who were close relatives. It suggests that Anna’s practice of quoting original documents was a means of effacing her authorship while demonstrating her access to archival information. Anna’s discussion of her research methods in book 14 is spliced with expressions of pathos, isolation, and mourning. These interjections are interpreted as gestures intended to make Anna seem like a cloistered, modest, piteous widow, and so to gain the audience’s sympathy, even as the discussion of methods presents her as writing on the basis of autopsy, questioning multiple witnesses, and actively researching.

Keywords:   Anna Komnene, Greek historiography, autopsy, document quotation, historical methods, Alexiad

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 .