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Basillisa Sotirisa Angelos of Rhomanion Empire by Gambargin Basillisa Sotirisa Angelos of Rhomanion Empire by Gambargin


This Drawing is Outdated - Please see the Updated version in the Gallery Folder of Women Warriors of Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited

See:Basilissa Sotirisa of Basileia Rhiomanion (Greek) by Gambargin




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) :o

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 Basilea Sotirisa Angelos of Lesbos by Gambargin

Her Husband Basileus Andronikos III of Empire of Rhomanion by Gambargin

Inspired by the Music: Andreas Waldetoft - Byzantine Empire (perfect for her cold, calculating and ruthless image)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1Biah…
Add a Comment:
 
:iconphobosassfucker:
Phobosassfucker Featured By Owner May 24, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I love the expression on her face, amazing!
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:iconnikoskap:
nikoskap Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
Amazing!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
Thank you again :D
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:iconnikoskap:
nikoskap Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014
You're welcome!
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:iconcarol-kay:
Carol-Kay Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013
Another great portrait :)
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:iconyurisc:
Yurisc Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"What is this plebeian bullshit?"
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
Lol, i like that line :D
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:iconpirraairen:
PirraAiren Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   General Artist
Какая у вас классная прорисовка!!!Love 
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:iconjoolita:
joolita Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013
I truly love her pose. She exudes power. She has power and knows it, you caught her self-confidence in this draiwng.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
Thank you very much! It's probably the most suitable depiction i can think of her, afterall, it takes someone special with great power and authority to command a huge empire like that of the byzantine
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:iconiaiusjello:
iaiusjello Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
Inspired by CK2 music, eh? Appropriate -- that's my favorite song in the whole game.

I love this piece -- I've just discovered your series, but this definitely has to be my favorite so far. I like the peacock feather helmet and the ornate looking gauntlet / cloak that she's got on. She very much appears to be a warrior empress of a prosperous and powerful empire. She looks almost bored sitting on her chair.

I know the title of the series is "historically wrong" -- though if you're basing her name on Byzantine Greek, the title should be Basilissa and her surname should be Angelina (the female form of Angelos). Minor quibbles, I suppose!

Can I make a request/suggestion for a future entry in your series? A woman warrior inspired on the famous patrician heroine of the early Roman republic: Cloelia. She was famously the first (possibly the only) Roman woman honored with a statute on the Forum Romanum, and it was an equestrian statute with her in a toga -- a garment reserved for men! -- on account of her heroism. Consequently, a drawing based on her could either have her as she would appear on that statute, togate and mounted on an armored horse, or perhaps she herself could be armored in Roman muscle armor. Either would work, I think! :)

Anyway, brilliant series and it'd make my month if you did a Cloelia, heh.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013
My apology for the late reply, but you certainly have a very good point here! I admit there's quite some errors in the drawing but your corrections certainly helps.

As for the ancient times, i'm considering to go into them as soon as i finish with the current series set in medieval. Maybe you can give me some helpful insight as to where to start apart from the Romans :D

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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing job! :heart: 
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
This is a very nice compliment from someone who can create more beautiful works than mine.

Thank you so much :)
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:iconakitku:
akitku Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your works have a wonderful quality about them - they are on one hand detailed and interesting depictions of historical costume and armour, on the other hand very original and full of character. It is a powerful blend in my opinion which makes your characters very alive. Keep up the great work! :hug:
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:iconxelianthought:
xelianthought Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
Amazing! 
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
Thank you :)
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:iconorlan-21:
ORLAN-21 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
cool! very like the details!^^ 
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
Thank you so much for the comment :)
Reply
:iconorlan-21:
ORLAN-21 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!=)
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:iconbrowncoatmando:
BrowncoatMando Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013  Hobbyist
beautiful but cold. quite fitting for a Byzantine Empress
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
Exactly, the whole thing fits nicely with her :)
Reply
:iconrogue-freighter:
rogue-freighter Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Amazing detail!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
Thank you, really appreciate the comment :)
Reply
:iconmewmewmyoo:
Mewmewmyoo Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Awesome! So much detail!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
Thank you so much :)
Reply
:iconmewmewmyoo:
Mewmewmyoo Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
You're welcome c:
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:iconschweinebeine:
Schweinebeine Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
hah! ^^ thats quite an expensive gear :D looks amazing anyways
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2013
Yeah, for emperors, anything had to be expensive. I was actually surprised that back then. horse, especially warhorse were so expensive, it's like having a luxury car nowdays. Even the finest sword could cost up to 15 Male slaves....that's a hefty price to pay :o
Reply
:iconschweinebeine:
Schweinebeine Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
yeah, axes are cheaper and better imo :D
Reply
:iconbebesdupoire:
bebesdupoire Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this is an incredible piece. from her pose to her expression to the incredible amount of detail you've put into this. i'm really impressed with how realistic the feathers look.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Thank you :D

This time i thought of trying new pose, especially to create and image for an empress.

Although, I still think that the anatomy and perspective are slightly off :P
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:iconbebesdupoire:
bebesdupoire Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i'm staring at this drawing. if the anatomy and perspective are slightly off, i don't see it! :)
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:iconbrossuno:
BrossUno Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Man, that pose... is so good. She definitely looks like someone in charge. It looks like you don't want to waste the time of that lady. As usual, I love her helmet there. The peacock feathers are an awesome touch.
Reply
:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Thank you :)

Well, it took me sometime to imagine the image of an empress, one who is ruthless. But i think the song helped alot, and yeah, i like the peacock feather as well :)
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:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013   Photographer
Empress Theodora is quite a character, I like this! I recall reading that the empress of the time and other women were the main power behind resisting the Iconoclasts, which is just as well for Byzantine art!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Ah yes, the iconoclast, havent read that much about it, but Empress Theodora really was the character inspiration for the drawing.

The song helped to give the aura as well :D
Reply
:iconartlovr59:
artlovr59 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013   Photographer
Great!
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:iconhashashin619:
Hashashin619 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
great work, and beyond that very informative!
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2013
Thank you :)
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