Anna Komnene

Anna Komnene (1083-1153)

“I will wipe away the tears from my eyes, recover from my grief and continue my story, earning thereby a double share of tears, as the playwright says, for one disaster recalls another.”

  • This passage is from Anna Komnene’s Alexiad (Prologue, section 4), translated by E.R.A. Sewter (Penguin Classics, 2009). The book is a history of her father’s reign as emperor of the Byzantine Empire (Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, r. 1081-1118), but she also uses the book to infer that she, and her husband, were unjustly stripped from power after her father’s death. She wrote this book after being restrained to a convent by her brother (she was linked to a failed plot to overthrow him).


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