|Publisher||Weidenfeld & Nicolson|
|Publication Date||September 13, 2001|
This is the story of three Byzantine empresses who between 780 and 856 restored the veneration of icons, thus saving the Byzantine Empire from a purely symbolic and abstract decorative art, and ensuring its influence for centuries to come. This exhilarating and fascinating account evokes the complex and deeply religious world of Constantinople - at that time the largest, finest and wealthiest metropolis of the known world - its monuments and palaces, its court ceremonies and rituals, the special role of eunuchs, the bride-shows and elaborate wedding ceremonies, as well as fanatical monks and warring patriarchs, sudden exile, assassination and murder. Women in Purple not only reshapes our understanding of an empire which lasted a thousand years, it throws fresh light on the relationship of women to power.