Early life of Empress Theodora
- Born 497
- Acasius, her father was a bear keeper for the hippodrome in Constantinople, which she helped with as a mime and later an actress
- Known for her daing entertainment acts but actresses were considered prostitutes
- At 16 she traveled to Northern Africa for 4 years which an official as a companion.
- On her way back to Constantinople she stopped in Alexandria where she picked up Monophysitism (belief that Jesus was wholly divine not both human and divine.)
- Converted to Monophysitism (A non-orthodox doctrine) and later became a woolspinner
- Justinian made her his mistress for her beauty and intelligence.
The Legacy/Achievements of Empress Theodora
- Justinian appealed an old Roman law to allow Theodora and him to get marry And shares the throne with her equally
- One of the most significant events during her rule was the Nika revolt.
- 2 rival political groups started to revolt at the Hippodrome and set public buildings up in flames and claimed to be the new rulers.
- Justinian and officials weren't able to get through the crowd so Theodora spoke up and gave a speech about the significance of the life of some one who died a ruler over someone who died and lived as nothing.
- This motivated Justinian and others to attack the Hippodrome, killing 30,000 rebels.
- For the rest of her life, Justinian and her transformed Constantinople into the most wonderful city known for many centuries.
- They built aqueducts, bridges, and 25 plus churches.
- For women Theodora may well be considered a noble pioneer of women liberation.
- She helped pass the laws to help prostitutes, women wanting divorce, created a death penalty for Rape, and allowed women to have property.
- The Codex, a book containing 4,652 laws from Hadrian till Justinian was released in 534.
- When Justinian and Theodora came to power, the empire was engaged in a struggle with the East against Persia.
- Peace was soon agreed in 532 with the new Persian leader (who later broke the peace treaty in 540)
- The eastern Frontier was a distraction but actually inspired Justinian to recover the Roman Empire in the west from the Barbarians.
- With the help of Belisarius he had considerable success.
- In 533 Belisarius defeats Vandals, captures the king and takes North Africa's Coast for the taking.
- In 535 Belisarius along with his fleets, set sail to Sicily and soon recapture it and take Naples and Rome the following year.
- For 4 years the Ostrograths held them in Ravenna till 540 he claims it for Constantinople.
- A few years later Italy is under the control of the ostrograths, aside from Ravenna, Ancona, and Otranto, but Narses soon over throws them and takes it again for Constantinople