Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Byzantine Lament for a Lost Wife

Dimiter Angelov posted this article in Medievalist dot net:
It is rare to find a work from the Middle Ages where a man writes about the loss of his wife – even more rare that these words are written by a Byzantine emperor. However, this is the case of Emperor Theodore II Laskaris and the heartfelt lament for his wife Elena.
Seal of Theodore II Lascaris
Theodore succeeded his father John III Vatatzes as Byzantine Emperor in 1254 - ruling for only 4 years. He was seen as a capable leader and general - his reign dominated by struggles against the Bulgarians for territory and his attempts at the reunification of the Latin and Greek Orthodox Churches. He was married (c.1235) to Elena, daughter of Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria, by whom he had several children, including his heir, son John IV.
The teenagers grew up together, and from all indications were very much in love. They would have six children, but in the year 1252 Elena passed away at the age of 28. Theodore, who was now ruling as co-emperor along with his father, was devastated at his wife’s death, and turned to writing to express his sadness.
read entire article here @ Medievalists

Further reading:
  • The Journal of Medieval Military History edited by Clifford J. Rogers, Kelly DeVries, John France
  • Warfare in Late Byzantium, 1204-1453 By Savvas Kyriakidis
  • The Fourth Crusade: Event and Context By Michael J Angold
  • Byzantium and the Turks in the Thirteenth Century By Dimitri Korobeinikov
  • History of the Byzantine State by Georgije Ostrogorski
  • Theodore II lascaris, Empereur de Nicee by Jean B. Pappadopoulos
  • A Byzantine Government in Exile: Government and Society Under the Laskarids of Nicaea, 1204-1261 by Michael Angold
  • Imperial Ideology and Political Thought in Byzantium, 1204-1330 By Dimiter Angelov

See also: 

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