By Anna Komnene, Peter Frankopan, E. R. A. Sewter

A revised version of a medieval masterpiece-the first narrative historical past written by means of a girl Written among 1143 and 1153 via the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, The Alexiad is among the preferred and revealing basic resources within the substantial canon of medieval literature. Princess Anna Komnene, eldest baby of the imperial couple, unearths the interior workings of the court docket, profiles its many impressive personages, and provides a firsthand account of immensely major occasions akin to the 1st campaign, in addition to its effect at the courting among japanese and western Christianity. A celebrated triumph of Byzantine letters, this is often an extraordinary view of the fantastic Constantinople and the medieval global.

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Extra resources for The Alexiad (Penguin Classics)

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Roussel was in any case an extremely ambitious man, but at this crisis, when the condition of the Empire was so desperate, he was even more tempted to rebel openly. He plundered almost all the eastern provinces. The operations against him were entrusted to many generals renowned for bravery, men who had vast experience in battle as army commanders, but he was clearly master of these veterans. Sometimes he attacked in person, defeating his adversaries and falling upon them like a whirlwind; at other times, when he sought aid from the Turks, it became so impossible to withstand his onslaughts that he even took prisoner some of the greatest generals and routed their armies.

R. A. SEWTER was a well-known Byzantine scholar and editor of Greece and Rome. His translation of Michael Psellus: Fourteen Byzantine Rulers is also published in Penguin Classics. E. R. A. Sewter died in 1976. ANNA COMNENA The Alexiad Translated by E. R. A. A Sewter, 1969 All rights reserved Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser EISBN: 978–0–141–90454–2 CONTENTS Translator’s Preface Introduction Preface Map of Constantinople Map of the Balkans Map of Asia Minor THE ALEXIAD ONE: Anna’s Preface – From The Boyhood of Alexius to the last months of Botaniates’ Reign TWO: The Revolt of the Comneni THREE: The Accession of Alexius and the Struggle between the Ducas and Comnenus families FOUR: War with the Normans (1081–2) FIVE: War with the Normans (1082–3) and Alexius’ first Contest with the Heretics SIX: Norman Defeat and the Death of Robert Guiscard – The Turks SEVEN: War with the Scyths (1087–90) EIGHT: The Scythian War (1091) – Victory at Levunium (29 April 1091) – Plots against the Emperor NINE: The Turkish War and a Dalmatian Interlude (1092–4) – The Conspiracy of Nicephorus Diogenes (1094) TEN: Another Heresy – The Cuman War – The First Crusade (1094–7) ELEVEN: The First Crusade (1097–1104) TWELVE: Domestic Troubles – Second Norman Invasion (1105–7) THIRTEEN: The Conspiracy of Aaron – The Final Defeat of Bohemond – The Treaty of Devol (1107–8) FOURTEEN: Turks, Franks, Cumans and Manichaeans (1108–15) FIFTEEN: Victory over the Turks - The Orphanage - Heresy of the Bogomils - Illness and Death of Alexius (1116–18) Appendix I: Greek Fire Appendix II: The Byzantine Navy Appendix III: Titles Lists of Byzantine Rulers, Popes of Rome, Patriarchs of Constantinople The House of Ducas The House of Comnenus Bibliography Glossary Index of Events Index of Names TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE FORTY years have passed since Elizabeth Dawes produced the first English translation of the Alexiad in full.

Why are we not told of Anna Dalassena’s death? Who were the ungrateful persons Anna would dearly love to mention, but refrains from doing so? Who was the ‘third cause’ of the emperor’s gout, the mysterious somebody who never left him? What was the true story of Alexius’ last hours? More than anything else in her writing, I suppose, the modern reader misses the evidence of a sense of humour. She derives a certain grim amusement from the predicament of Bohemond in his coffin; and the tiny Scyth leading in chains a gigantic Frank perhaps caused her to smile; but she completely lacks the light, subtle humour of Psellus and many other Byzantine writers.

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