"I, Anna, daughter of the Emperor Alexius and the Empress Irene, born and bred in the Purple. not without some acquaintance with literature - having devoted the most earnest study to the Greek language, in fact, and being not unpractised in Rhetoric and having read thoroughly the treatises of Aristotle and the dialogues of Plato, and having fortified my mind with the Quadrivium of sciences, ..... desire now by means of my writings to give an account of my father's deeds"
Take that, you barbarians. No self esteem issues here. Good for Anna. Not only is it lovely to see a confident woman writing in the 12th century but you get such a different view of historical events. I can just imagine Anna standing behind her father in the throne room at Constantinople watching the leaders of the Crusades, lesser princes, and judging them.
She was especially fascinated with Bohemond and from his description, who would not? I cannot get a picture out of my head of the emperor's daughter standing there checking out the Crusader's package as she writes about his large nostrils and gusty breathing. And she did say that nature had armed him for love and war. You would not find most historians commenting on this and yet, inquiring minds want to know. Could she even check out the package or was everything covered up?
Anna says nothing about how the Franks were dressed in the court. Perhaps they wore their armor or perhaps they wore bliauts. Bliauts were long ankle length tunics with hose underneath rather like this fellow's costume. At least she was not being dazzled by some outrageously large cod-piece. Those did not come in to fashion until the 15th century. Fortunately they are out of fashion by the end of the 17th.
It would be nice to know who started that trend and why. The word 'cod' is from the Old Teutonic 'kuddon' and most definitions refer to some type of sack or husk of seeds. Now who turned around then and named the cod fish after that?