A Reliable Historian As Shown In The Alexiad By Anna Comnena

1532 words - 7 pages

Anna's intrusions, defending her role as a historian and lamenting about how unfortunate she was, creates an image of herself as an admirable historian and dutiful daughter. Sewter's revised edition of The Alexiad places Anna within the tradition of the Byzantine Historiography to demonstrate effectively her emulation of her predecessors, subjects and her innovations. This draws from a cultural, intellectual development, which arose during the period referred to as the Byzantine humanism (Comnena 1). Anna effectively incorporates concepts, which help to create her character through intrusions. In this paper, I will effectively show that Anna's intimate relations with her subjects, make her more reliable than any other Byzantine historian source.
In the preface to The Alexiad, Anna Comnena shows the purpose of undertaking the history of her father. She says "the tale of history forms a very strong bulwark against the stream of time…As many as history has taken over; it abides together" (Comnena 1). This statement clearly shows the importance of history writing. It also shows the particular rationale that motivated Anna to write the Alexiad. She argues that, the events of the past will in many times be lost: they should be preserved for future reference by diligent historians (Dalven 2). Anna puts into records the reign of her father to ensure that its memories survive. This explicitly stated intent, gives her recorded material credibility as compared to other historians. Her intimate relationship with the recorded subjects, for example, her mother and father; make her work serve a greater and more personal goal that any other Byzantine historian (Peterson 23). In addition to explicitly asserting her reason to preserve her father's legacy, Anna clarifies a common thread that runs throughout her narrative; maintaining an authoritative personality to express her emotions.
Anna exclaims that "having written so far, dizziness overwhelms my soul, and tears blind my eyes," she continues by saying that "Now I will wipe away my tears and recover myself from sorrow and continue my task" (Comnena 2). Anna consistently includes these remarks through her test. Even though these digressions do not seem to advance the thesis statement, the use of the first person intrusion into Anna's narrative shows her consistency in the whole narrative. These facts add to her reliability as a credible historical source which is more reliable than other Byzantine recordings.
Anna's defense of her role as a historian is evident in the whole narrative. She introduces what becomes prevalent in the Alexiad; she enters the narrative as a reliable historian by commenting on different events and people. Her closeness to her subjects enables her to continuously justify her choices and actions (Hill 4). For this reason, readers are able to recognize how serious Anna was in writing the Alexiad.
Anna is primarily concerned about the possible charge that could arise from people thinking...

Find Another Essay On A Reliable Historian as Shown in The Alexiad by Anna Comnena

Theme Analysis of Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz

1142 words - 5 pages The major disputation in the story Anna in the tropics is describes the life and situations of a Cuban-Americans working in a cigar factory. The owners and employees of the factory, spend time enjoying and memory of their native Cuba, and discussing fine article. Among the themes of the play are: tradition vs. change; male perspective vs. female perspective; nature; literature; acting; and, of course, love. The title of the play alludes to

Character Analysis of Anna Close in As We Are Now by May Sarton

874 words - 4 pages When Anna Close is first introduced in the novel, As We Are Now she is referred to as Mrs. Close. From what I gather, this was to represent a sort of formality between her and Caro because they were not yet acquainted. Not only this, but it also seems that it was Harriet and Rose's way of manipulating Caro to fear the worst out of Harriet's replacement. Caro knew better than to expect someone who would actually care for her, because of this

Compare the leadership qualities shown by Caesar, Antony and Lepidus so far. How effective is each as a leader and why?

1440 words - 6 pages are/Evils enough to darken all his goodness." By doing this he comes across as being weak and unimportant in the shadow of Caesar.From the first few scenes the audience has a sense of the qualities of these three leaders. Antony, whilst he was once a very strong courageous warrior who "didst drink/The stale of horses," to survive has succumb to the opulent ways of Egypt. Therefore he is seen to be weak willed and not very ambitious. Caesar is

A teacher role of Anna Leonowens in the Siamese court

686 words - 3 pages In 1999, Anna and the King movie was banned in Thailand because of historical inaccuracies. While outside of Thailand’s boundary, the stories of Anna and the King of Siam, either in form of novel, film or TV series, is interested by some foreigners and entertain them so much. The circumstance of movie ban might be a trail of negative attitude of Thais towards her story. Most of Thais believe that Mrs.Leonowens was just an English teacher

Metacognition: A Modern Perspective on Victorian Womens’ Education as shown in Aurora Leigh

1727 words - 7 pages The history of women’s education is long and winding, and it is nearly impossible to overstate the evolution that has taken place in that time. An outdated focus on appealing to men with vapid accomplishments has been replaced by teaching critical thinking and useful skills, and nowhere is this contrast more obvious than in a college classroom, as a predominately female student body analyzes Victorian texts. In that setting, it comes as a

The American Dream as Shown in The Novels The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby

572 words - 2 pages America: a land of endless wealth, and the dream; a dream of endless opportunity, is not depicted as such in the books The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby. The Dream is instead portrayed as hypocritical in the assumption that spiritual satisfaction is always accompanied material gain.In The Great Gatsby America is shown as a land of dreams that is undeniably corrupted by materialism to such a degree that even the image of god (the blue eyes

A Comparison of the Attitudes Shown in The Man He Killed By Tomas Hardy and in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning

914 words - 4 pages A Comparison of the Attitudes Shown in The Man He Killed By Tomas Hardy and in My Last Duchess by Robert Browning The attitudes shown in the two poems “The Man he Killed” by Tomas Hardy and “My Last Duchess” Robert by Browning are very different; where as Hardy creates a modest, baffled character who feels very guilty, Browning’s Duke is a vain, proud man who has killed his wife in a premeditated manner. These

The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature

1283 words - 5 pages The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature 19th century literature reflects to a certain extent, several ways in which women were repressed in Victorian society. They were considered inferior to men, and given a stereotypical image, showing them as gentle, loyal and angelic. They were rejected of any personal opinions or independence, for

Struggles of Adolescent Mexican Girls as Shown in "The House on Mango Street"

793 words - 3 pages . The house is small and old, she descries the house as; “Bricks are crumbling in places, and the front door is so swollen you have to push hard to get in” It was not what she thought it would be. Esperanza feels that the house somewhat reflects who she is as a person, and the house is not a perfect home. She feels ashamed by her superficial identity. In the story Esperanza goes against everything she is raised to be, she wants to be different and

The Relationship between the Environment and Humans as Shown by the Native Americans and the English Settlers

821 words - 3 pages down because there are stories told of them cutting 8 to 10 down at a time to build up their civilizations. Over the centuries, Native Americans have dwindled and English immigrants have thrived, but the way of living for both has seemed to stay on the same path. English descendants are still evolving in our farming methods and our technological advances; however we are beginning to see a turnaround in the efficiency of land use. As the

The coming of age shown throughout the book "To Kill A Mocking Bird" by Harper Lee

685 words - 3 pages The coming of age of Jem, Jeremy Finch, is shown in many waysthrough out the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. He changessocially. He changes mentally. His feelings change emotionally. He alsochanges to become more of an adult figure. Another way he changes is thathe changes physically.Jem changes through out the book socially by the way he starts havingbetter feelings toward other people. There are many times when Jem startfeeling bad

Similar Essays

Difference In The Christianity And Catholicism As Shown By Una And Duessa

2041 words - 8 pages such obvious sin until it is point out directly. The house of Pride contributes to the already crumbling reputation of Duessa. Redcrosse’s short time here is non beneficial and in fact threaten to weaken him and entrap him forever; as is shown when the dwarf finds thousands of bodies in the dungeon who were trapped by pride. In likeness to Duessa, Una also takes Redcrosse to a ‘House’ in the poem. She takes Redcrosse to the house of Holinesse

Nick As A Reliable Narrator Essay

1257 words - 5 pages Nick as a Reliable NarratorMany scholars and readers have questioned if Nick Carraway is truly a reliable narrator in The Great Gatsby. To know if Nick is a reliable narrator we must first understand the definition of reliability. Reliability is when a person, machine, or system is consistent and predictable. Reliability is questioned greatly in the novel, The Great Gatsby but F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story takes place in West Egg where Nick

The Subject Of Free Will As Shown In Kafka's "The Judgement", "A Report To The Academy", And "A Country Doctor"

687 words - 3 pages , he has no control over the situation. In "A Report to the Academy", the former ape details his evolution from ape to "civilized being" by explaining that his choices were made merely because he had nothing else from which to choose, which is shown when he states, "That's what I did, I stole away secretly. I had no other way, always presupposing that I couldn't choose freedom." It wasn't as if the ape had just decided to adopt the humans

The Importance Of A Reliable Character In Jane Austen

1017 words - 4 pages frequently throughout her novels.In other novels, Austen chooses the dependable character to be the heroine's suitor. Because the reliable character is not the heroine, the implied reader is given the opportunity to judge her. Through the dependable characters, the implied reader is able to examine the heroine as she develops, eventually reaching the level of the credited character. Such as in Northanger Abbey, the implied reader observes a young naive