Olympia, by Édouard Manet, 1863. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France. 


Volume II, Number 1 | winter 2009

Empress Theodora and retinue, mosaic panel from the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy, sixth century.

Affairs of State

By William Rosen

How the improbable marriage of an actress, courtesan, and daughter of an animal trainer to a Byzantine emperor dramatically changed the course of European history.


Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

—Pablo Neruda, 1924