Dalassene, Anna

   Influential mother of Alexios I Komnenos (q.v.), whose ambition was instrumental in his rise to power. She encouraged her son's revolt against Nikephoros III (q.v.) in 1081 and, to judge from the comments of her granddaughter, Anna Komnene (q.v.), she handled all affairs of state and was the emperor's chief advisor. In fact, an imperial edict of 108l granted her powers equal to those ofAlexios I. She was the driving force in the Komneni family, an embodiment of all the family's resourcefulness, a brilliant woman who did not shrink from the necessities of power, as illustrated by her blinding of Nikephoros Diogenes in 1095 for plotting revolution. Her piety was renowned. Shortly before her death she retired to the Pantepoptes Monastery (q.v.), which she founded.

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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