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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Anna Comnenus

Nicholas Zharkikh

Abstract of the chapter

Detailed argumentation in ukrainian version

Dmitri Tuptalo did not know the names of children of Emperor Alexius Comnenus. We can forgive this, because in the late 17th century yet there was no internet, and he probably had not had good reference books on the history of Byzantium.

But how can you forgive such ignorance for modern historians?

Byzantine emperor (1048? 1057? – 1118, ruled 1081 – 1118) and Irene Douka (c. 1066 – 1123? 1133?) – his only wife – had nine children. Their names were: Anna, Maria, John (the future emperor John 2nd), Andronicus, Eudokia, Isaac, Theodore, Michael, Zoya. To understand this fact, it took me 1.5 minutes (I have a good friend who knows everything, Internet by name). And what prevented our "experts" for a few keystrokes or – if they are so hard afraid internet – go to the library and look at the first available "History of Byzantium"?

It is important to emphasize – this list was established by French historian Charles du Cange (1610 – 1688) in his book "History of Byzantium" (originally published in Latin in Paris in 1680, then there were many editions). Tuptalo was a younger contemporary of du Cange and was proficient in Latin. Theoretically speaking, he could use the du Cange's work. Could it use and his followers – but nobody used. I see this as hopeless provincialism of our science.

Consequently, we have firmly established fact of Byzantine history: there was no Barbara among the five daughters of Alexis Comnenus. It would seem, here and throughout intrigue end, and this mythical Svjatopolk's wife handed over to the museum of historiographic fictions.

Another deadly for "princess Barbara" source is the book by Anna Comnenus "". This book gives us a unique insight into home of our "virtual bride".

Anna – the eldest daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius 1st Comnenus. She was born in 1083 and died in 1153 year. She had a good education and a writer talent, had wrote history of reign of her father, which covers the events of 1069 – 1118 years and known as "Alexiad".

So, if our mythical Barbara existed, she would be the younger sister of Anne and her marriage, if it really occurred, would be reflected in the "Alexiad". This book is written by contemporaries (and even party) of events, it is written in Constantinople, ie on the scene of events, it was written by the princess, that person initiated in secret affairs of the imperial court, and even more so – in the affairs of the imperial family. That is about Anna and her books, we can only repeat all that said above about Nestor and his chronicle: this source is so close to the events themselves and equally significant, as it is possible. However, against it testimonies all the other data sources lose their weight.

In all great Anne's book we have no news of marriage prince of Kyiv with her sister. Moreover – in the whole book is no mention about Rus, Kyiv, Kyiv princes.

As it is hardly surprising, no of our authors who uncritically repeated the old fiction about Princess Barbara, not only used the data of "Alexiad" in our issue, but even give no mention about the existence of this primary source. "Alexiad" was first published in Paris in 1651, so D.Tuptalo theoretically could be able to read it. But surely he did not know it, because knowledge limits the imagination.