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Construction of Female Authority in the Byzantine Empire and Medieval Georgia: Comparative Approach to the Representation of Queen Tamar (R.1184 –1213) and Byzantine Imperial Women (2016-2017)

Field of study: History, Medieval Studies

This article concerns the construction of female authority and female power in the Byzantine Empire and Medieval Georgia. In comparative framework, I analyze various communicative mediums by means of which the image and authority of female rulers were constructed and communicated to the audience in Byzantium and Medieval Georgia. After discussing the evolution of female rulership in the Byzantium from eight up to the end of the eleventh century, I move to explore the ideology of queenship in medieval Georgia under Tamar. I try to argue that idealized image of Tamar was constructed as a result of successful court propaganda which utilized to a large extent adopted and adapted Byzantine imperial ideal and rhetorical traditions.

Keywords: Byzantium, medieval Georgia, imperial ideology, court rhetoric, female power, queenship

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