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Browsing by Subject "Babenberg"

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  • Sjöström, Kim (2021)
    The present study is analyzing the family background of Theodora (d 1246) from Constantinople who in 1203 by marriage became the Duchess of Austria. Chronology and the fecundity window and fertile age and kinships of the brood of children and birthing career, on one hand of Theodora’s own and on the other hand of her mother’s, are under specific scrutiny. Two chronicles written in Attic Greek (Khoniates and Akropolites) and eight written in Latin, are employed as primary sources. The study reveals clear evidence that established genealogies and research literature present mistaken information about who are Duchess Theodora’s parents. Reason for errors is the kinship term neptis having experienced a mutation of meaning between Classical Latin and some Medieval Latin usage: in Middle Ages, its most usual meaning is ‘daughter of sibling’. The study demonstrates that the two crucial medieval Latin-text chronicles employ the term in the Classical-Latin meaning. The result ensues the Duchess Theodora’s maternal grandparents are the couple Alexios III and Euphrosyne, Roman Emperor and Empress of Constantinople, and that Duchess Theodora’s mother is Anna, a later Empress. The main research question gets thus answered by the careful translation of the wording in the Latin-text chronicle that has the most precise piece of information from the days of the 1203 marriage itself. It demonstrates that Duchess Theodora’s father is Isaakios Komnenos (d 1196). Theodora, daughter of said Isaakios, is betrothed in circa 1197 to warlord Ioancu (d 1200) and in 1201 is given in marriage to the separatist leader Dobromir Khrysos, who vanishes from documented history since 1202. A wider conclusion is reached about employable methods. Systematic reconstruction of chronologies of fertile years of ladies in the family, is a tool that facilitates and solidifies prosopographical explorations with tangible frames and ground also generally. Chronologies collected as part of the present study are merely indicative about the correct answer to the research question.