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Anna Comnena

1083-after 1148. Byzantine historian. Eldest daughter of Emperor Alexius Comnenus, she sought to commemorate “with truth dear and sacred” the excellences of her father's reign in the Alexiad. He had saved the empire against hostile tribes, participated in the First Crusade (he later became antagonistic toward it as a threat to his rule), and was zealous in persecuting the Bogomiles.* Aided by her mother, Empress Irene, Anna sought in vain to persuade her father during his last illness to appoint her husband, Nicephorus Bryennius, his successor in place of her brother John. Failing in a conspiracy to overthrow her brother, she was retired in 1118 to a convent where she used her considerable literary skill in eulogizing the exploits of her father's reign. The Alexiad is an ex parte and uncritical statement of the Byzantine conception of government and the religious and intellectual outlook of the period.

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