A very inaccurate and anachronistic depiction of Greek Women Warrior in Historically Wrong Sketch Series based on the Byzantine Empire. This is dedicated to my Greek friend who has just gone back to his hometown in Athens for good.
Basillisa Sotirisa Angelos is actually inspired from reading the history of Emperor Justinian1 "the Great" and Empress Theodora. While most of the women warriors I have drawn depicts female nobles with their own respective titles, Basillisa Sotirisa by far, has the highest status and title held by comparison to others. Afterall, she is depicted as the Empress of a great Empire based on the glory days of Byzantium, and a wife to a very powerful emperor.
As such, she would have held tremendous wealth and power beyond that imagination. Her stylized scale armor and gauntlets would have been decorated with highly ornamented works by the finest blacksmith the empire can offer. On the other hand, her helmet is adorned with many precious gems and jewelries to symbolize her richness and high status. If i were to imagine how much the entire armor, headgear and weapons would cost in today's money, it would be somewhere between $20,000 - $35.000 or even more depending on how fancy they are ornamented (Her helmet could easily cost as much as $10,000)
Indeed, as an empress, she not only had to have the best and the most expensive attires, but she would also had to be very cunning, intelligent and ruthless in the games of imperial politics. She may not be as skilled as compare to the other warrior women, it may even possible to defeat her easily in combat. Nevertheless, her strength is not about winning combat or fight, but winning at war. This means ruthless diplomacy, political intrigue and mastery in grand strategy. You can be the most powerful warlord/lady in the land with no equal, but with your family plotting to kill you, your ex-allies and neighbors declaring war on you and no food/gold to support your army, it's just a matter of time before your head is paraded and brought to her knee.
Historically speaking, the women in the byzantine empire enjoyed many privileges and power that was copied and developed from the Roman lae. They could hold property under their name, file a divorce, attend educational institute or even participate in running a business. Although, in terms of historical studies, these privileges only applied to those who belonged in the aristocracy. There were no records of women in the ranks of Byzantine armies, but certainly their elite Varangian guards might have included women in their rank (very unlikely).
Her original sketch
Inspired by the Music: Andreas Waldetoft - Byzantine Empire (perfect for her cold, calculating and ruthless image)www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1Biah…