Translated from the Greek by E. R. A. Sewter. Edited, revised and with an introduction by Peter Frankopan.
'The shining light of the world, the great Alexios'
Anna Komnene (1083–1153) wrote The Alexiad as an account of the reign of her father, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I. It is also an important source of information on the Byzantine war with the Normans, and on the First Crusade in which Alexios participated, offering a startlingly different perspective to that of Western historians. Anna's character sketches are shrewd and forthright – from the Norman invader Robert Guiscard ('nourished by manifold evil') and his son Bohemond ('like a streaking thunderbolt') to Pope Gregory VII ('unworthy of a high priest'). The Alexiad is a vivid and dramatic narrative, which reveals as much about the character of its intelligent and dynamic author as it does about the fascinating period through which she lived.
For this new edition E. R. A. Sewter's renowned translation has been brought up to date and clarified to ensure it reflects the original Greek as faithfully as possible. This volume also includes an introduction by Peter Frankopan examining the importance of The Alexiad and its author, with notes, biographies, a bibliography, maps, family trees, a glossary and topography.