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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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A Room of One’s Own

A Room of One’s Own

(p.133) 8 A Room of One’s Own
Anna Komnene

Leonora Neville

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Anna Komnene was not forced to live in a monastery after an unsuccessful coup attempt against her brother John II Komnenos, as is commonly believed. It explores the evidence for Anna’s multiple apartments inside the precinct of the Kecharitomene monastery founded by her mother and shows that residence in these apartments did not entail taking monastic vows or participating in monastic discipline. It contends that occasional residence in a monastic setting afforded Anna greater freedom for interaction with men to whom she was not related and helped her cultivate an image as a woman of deep piety, which may have made her study of non-Christian literature and philosophy more acceptable.

Keywords:   Anna Komnene, Eirene Doukaina, Kecharitomene monastery, Philanthropos monastery, monastery

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