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In the genre of "Julian" by Gore Vidal, Frederic Harrison's "Theophano" is compelling history telling. Less indiscriminate than Messalina, more promiscuous than Theodora, Empress Theophano left her indelible stamp on Byzantine history as the mother of Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, one of the most important rulers of the East Roman Empire. Perhaps his mother's deeds was the reason the future king never trusted a woman enough to marry her. Frederic Harrison's historic novel is a masterful epic that details a pivotal era scholars misunderstood for centuries. Harrison has taken the time to research his subject thoroughly and develop legendary figures into real people we can understand. For example, in a subplot to the story, this is how he portrayed the legendary "bi racial" hero "Digenes" Akritas's motives: "That can never be," replied Basil Digenes, with an air of deep conviction and thought, "my birth has made it impossible, inconceivable, almost a sacrilege to contemplate. My very name reminds the Romans that I am but half a Roman, and bear in my blood and skin the color of the Prophet. My noble father, Mousur, Emir of Edessa as he was, born a Syed of the sacred stock of Islam, and from early youth a hostage at the court of the Governor of Cappadocia, the illustrious Ducas, forsook his people and his faith for the love of my mother... My father made me a soldier of Christ and of Rome, and such I will live and die. But the blood of the Emirs of Edessa stirs in my veins today, even when I am leading the charge upon their ranks. And I have seen in the armies of the Prophet courage as high and hearts as pure as any who worship the Cross. Never will I stoop to join in the insults that your craven mobs in the city delight to cast at the children of Hagar. I trust in Christ: but I will not revile the Prophet or his servants. And now tell me, most illustrious and most politic Lord of the Purple Chamber, do you think the Patriarch and his priests and acolytes will ever consecrate under the dome of the Holy Wisdom me, Digenes the Half-Breed, the son of the Saracen, with the blood of the Prophet of Mecca darkening my very cheek? ...No! my Lord Theodore, tempt me not with these Palace intrigues. I am proud to serve our Basileus as the Warden of the Marches. I will fight—I will sweat and die for Rome and for Christ. But I am not of the mould in which your Cubicular conspirators are cast." The updated publishing and printing of this classic literary work is based on an exclusive combination of hi-tech text conversion and data processing. Unlike other methods that simply photocopy pages from century old or older editions, this method recreates and makes the book more appealing to today's reader. It eliminates stains, blurs, marks and deterioration that old prints always have. But there is a trade off. Sometimes the process introduces unintended results such as errors in punctuation and rarely, irregular characters. However, to complete the process, this version has been examined for typos, which often existed in old publications, and spell checked to minimize errors. In addition, antiquated forms of words have been updated and some light editing has been introduced. For example, to facilitate reading, certain footnotes may have been integrated in the main text, provided such action did not alter the meaning of a sentence. This unique process of publishing is not fault-free and some errors may still persist. Yet, overall the unbeatable value of this edition surpasses other reprints. Further, as a new version, it is protected under the law. For more information, email email@example.com. Enjoy your book.
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Frederic Harrison (1831-1923) was a British historian, jurist, author and philosopher. He became a dominant force in positivism. As a radical and fiercely independent scholar with a polemic penmanship, he was the perfect candidate to turn the story of Empress Theophano into a compelling novel. Theophano was Basil II's mother, one of the foremost Byzantines kings that repelled the Bulgarian threat and Christianized the Russians. His "Theophano," a forgotten masterpiece compares with Gore Vidal's similarly themed "Julian."
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