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 Theodora Comnena

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Melisende
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PostSubject: Theodora Comnena   Sat Nov 01, 2008 2:14 pm

Theodora Comnena
Queen of Jerusalem

Theodora was the niece of Emperor Manuel I Comnenus of Constantinople (d.1180). At the age of 13, Theodora was married to King Baldwin III of Jerusalem. She arrived at Acre (Sept 1158) then went to Jerusalem for the marriage ceremony. Theodora's marriage was of short duration - she was widowed aged 16 - no children (c.1162).

Theodora retired to her dower town of Acre. It was here that 21yo Theodora was visited by cousin Andronicus, aged 46 - she at height of her beauty, and it was a case of love at first sight on both sides (c.1167). Theodora and Andronicus went to Beirut and she lived there as his mistress.

But the Emperor got wind of their little love-nest, and public pressure forced the two to seperate. But they had other plans: Andronicas prepared for his return to Constantinople and Theodora went to Acre - there they abandoned all and fled to Damascus. Andronicus and Theodora visited Baghdad, and were given a castle near Paphlaganian border of Empire by the Moslem Emir. Both were excommunicated by church. To support both Theodora and himself, Andronicus lived the life of a brigand.

What happened to Theodora after this is unknown but what is known is this: Andronicus was living in retirement in Pantus (c.1180); he was forgiven by Emperor Alexius, on whose death he was put forward as a national leader by his friends in Constantinople; he marched across Anatolia (1182), and on entering Constantinople (1182); he assumed the role of regent for Emperor Alexius II, and had himself crowned co-Emperor. Andronicus initiated the killing of Alexius (1183), and there followed the mysterious deaths of Maria Comnena and her husband Ranier of Montferrat (Maria was the heir-presumptive of the young Alexius); the Empress, Maria of Antioch was condemned to be strangled. Aged 62, Andronicus married 12yo widow Agnes of France (wife of the young Alexius II), therefore we can assume that Theodora was dead prior this marriage - how and when she died is unknown.

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