Victoria University

AIDŌS did not prevent her: An intertextual approach to Komnene's depictions of women in positions of power

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dc.contributor.advisor Masterson, Mark Jardine, Claudia 2020-10-19T02:22:11Z 2020-10-19T02:22:11Z 2020 2020
dc.description.abstract Anna Komnene depicts several women in positions of power in the Alexiad, the earliest extant historiographical text written by a woman from the Byzantine period. The intertextual qualities of these depictions of women, however, have not received much attention and indeed the impact of the gender of the author on the text is a topic which skews much of the scholarship. This thesis aims to show that several signposted quotations of earlier source texts reveal an author in the act of contemplating the expectations of gendered behaviour for her narrative subjects, including her own authorial persona. The chapters in this thesis focus on the depictions of four women and the roles they play in the Alexiad: Anna Dalassene, Gaita of Salerno, Emma of Hauteville and Anna Komnene. First, the construction of one or more of these characters is broken down and the evidence in the text concerning the positions of power held by the woman is analysed. Second, an intertextual reading of a passage related to the characterisation of each woman is posed in order to discuss what is similar or different concerning the source text or texts and the target text. The rhetorical goals behind the depictions of the women are also considered, and their actions in relation to the societal expectations of appropriate gendered behaviour for women and men during the Byzantine Empire. The four case studies demonstrate that Komnene depicted these women using their power in the service of the family unit while showing due deference to their fathers, husbands or adult sons. Furthermore, the “double consciousness” of Komnene, as revealed in these depictions, shows her commitment to the contemplation of the power of women and the ways in which women could utilise their self-control to manipulate expectations of gendered behaviour and thus protect their family units, and therefore the means by which they came to hold power. The outcome of this research contributes to efforts to better understand representations of gender in the literature of the Byzantine empire, deepens the discussions of Komnene’s use of source texts and expands on the insights of earlier scholarship. en_NZ
dc.language.iso other en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Anna Komnene en_NZ
dc.subject Historiography en_NZ
dc.subject Byzantine Empire en_NZ
dc.subject Gender en_NZ
dc.subject Intertextuality en_NZ
dc.subject Allusion en_NZ
dc.subject History of Women en_NZ
dc.subject Anna Dalassene en_NZ
dc.subject Emma of Hauteville en_NZ
dc.subject Gaita en_NZ
dc.title AIDŌS did not prevent her: An intertextual approach to Komnene's depictions of women in positions of power en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Languages and Cultures en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ Classics en_NZ Gender and Women’s Studies en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Masters en_NZ Master of Arts en_NZ
dc.rights.license Author Retains Copyright en_NZ 2020-10-18T23:42:08Z
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 200305 Latin and Classical Greek Languages en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 200510 Latin and Classical Greek Literature en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman) en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 950203 Languages and Literature en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 950504 Understanding Europe's Past en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrctoa 3 APPLIED RESEARCH en_NZ

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