Basilissa: A Tale of the Empress Theodora

Basilissa: A Tale of the Empress Theodora

Basilissa: A Tale of the Empress Theodora

Basilissa: A Tale of the Empress Theodora

Excerpt

THEODORA, the cast mistress of Hekebolos, the Governor of the Pentapolis, came through the hot September streets of Alexandria, seeking the house of the ex-bishopTimotheus, now one of the persecuted heretics. As a little girl she had been one of his flock, when he had been a parishpriest in Byzantium. Though she had not seen him for seven years, nor been his parishioner for double that, and could not expect to be remembered by him, she longed to see a familiar face, and to have his counsel, even his blame. She was in sore need of someone who would only listen.

She was dressed in black, and wept as she went. She had thought, as she sailed from Ptolemais, that she had lost all things, but on the voyage to Alexandria she had lost her last friend, her trusted, devoted, middle-aged maid Demetria, and now was desolate indeed.

Demetria had told her that Timotheus was in Alexandria, living at a sweet-meat shop "at the sign of the Golden Dragon-Fly". She had said: " Timotheus will tell you what to do." Now Demetria was suddenly dead by . . .

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