Oh, Theodora. Either a great, early figure in feminism and the last great ruler of the Roman Empire or, if we go by Procopius, the biggest slutty slut in slut-town who, arm in arm with the hopelessly corrupt Justinian, went about systematically destroying everything that made the Romans a force to be reckoned with.
She was the daughter of a bearward, which I’m writing not so much to shed light on her character as that I find the word “bearward” resonates pleasingly in my soul. She then turned to the theater and its inevitable but more legitimate companion, prostitution. According to Procopius:
“Never was anyone so completely given up to unlimited self-indulgence. Often she would go to a bring-your-own-food dinner-party with ten young men or more, all at the peak of their physical powers and with fornication as their chief object in life, and would lie with all her fellow-diners in turn the whole night long: when she had reduced them all to a state of exhaustion she would go to their menials, as many as thirty on occasions, and copulate with every one of them.” – Procopius, The Secret History, 9.15ish
Maybe, maybe not, but where even Procopius has to give the lady mad props is on the handling of the Nika Rebellion, when Justinian went totally to pieces and was about to flee the capital while Theodora more or less ran the situation to its successful, though perhaps a shade over-bloody, end.
– Count Dolby von Luckner