Queen of the World – 3

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy historycentral.com

While they waited, Theodora and Justinian connived to upset the political and economic well-being of Constantinople.  They were both members of a liberal-extremist group called the Blue Faction.  The Blue Faction was made up of young anarchists who despised everyone but other Blue Factionists, because everyone else was stupid, and unsophisticated.  Therefore the Blue Faction should be the power elite, not these other bumpkins.

Theodora and Justinian urged the Blue Faction to wreak notorious acts, acts which would unsettle the government, proving that Emperor Justin and Empress Lupicina were too old, too feeble, and incapable of continuing to rule.  Then Justinian could step-in, take over, and provide needed stability and decisiveness.

 Justinian, because of his position of power – that of Patrician and heir-apparent – would provide protection from the city magistrates for the Blue Faction’s help.  And not only protection, but also financial support and, after his goal was achieved, cash payoffs to those of great boldness.

Violence became the means that justified the end.  Urban muggings, robberies, and murders occurred all over the city.  The magistrates looked the other way, because they knew who was behind it, and who their protector was.  So they did what was politically and personally prudent – nothing.

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Queen of the World – 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy mayfairgames.com-

Back in the glimmering city, the Emperor Justin ruled over the empire.  Justin’s nephew, Justinian, lived in the royal palace of his uncle.  Justinian functioned as his uncle’s most trusted political advisor.  Most people saw Justinian as the next Emperor.

There is no record of how Theodora met Justinian, or of how she seduced him.  Whatever the means, she soon moved into the palace as a Patrician, living openly with Justinian.  Her promotion to the rank of Patrician came courtesy of Justinian.  The new ‘royal’ couple attended many religious ceremonies, as the appearance of purity, piety and probity was important to Justinian’s political future.  Because although he expected to be Emperor one day, still, even Emperors have to play by certain rules.  One of those rules in the Roman Empire was looking like a good, clean Christian. 

Besides which Theodora’s reputation had never been higher than now, at least in the eyes of respectable society.  So it didn’t hurt that her scintillating beauty found a spontaneous and proper showcase in churches and basilicas, a new stage for the exhibition of a new human goddess.  And Theodora felt at home in the limelight.  Wealth and property embraced her, and she them.  Everywhere she went her entourage went with her.  Friends, advisors, designers, maids, and the eunuchs, who formed her bodyguard.  As Theodora moved through the city her retinue flowed before and behind her, announcing her presence and ensuring her status.

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