Zach – So, Anna, may I call you Anna?
Anna – No. Address me as Your Royal Highness and Pophyroginita, Anna Komnena..just kidding. Call me Anna.
Zach – Thanks. I don’t know how long it would take me to get that…er..potpierre, photogenic..er..
Anna – Pophyroginita. It means “Born in the Purple,” which of course refers to the Purple Chamber in the Imperial palace where all true heirs of the Emperor are born.
Zach – Yes, of course. So, is purple your favorite color?
Anna – Of course! It’s the Imperial color after all! Only those of the Royal Family may wear it. Though I do confess that I also like green quite a bit.
Zach – So, tell me Anna, what was it like growing up a Princess of the Roman Empire?
Anna – Well, as a member of the Royal Family and as a Citizen of the Roman Empire, I took it as my duty and privilege to study as much as I could.
Zach – So I hear. You had quite an education; not just for a woman but for ANYONE.
Anna – What are we if not our minds?
Zach – I think you’d get along great with Descartes.
Anna – A Frank? I think not. I have nothing to learn from those barbarians.
Zach – Oh, well…um…I see. How many siblings do you have?
Anna – I am the eldest of seven. I don’t get along well with them. They’re so…annoying. So young and uneducated. If I can’t hold a conversation about the role of Kleos in the Aeneid, then I won’t bother speaking with that person. You have read it I assume.
Zach – Yes! Yes I have. Of course. Um, yes, Kleos was Achillies’ Achillies’ heel. It’s a Hubris I don’t detect in your father, Alexios I.
Anna – Of course not! My father was a great man and he single handily arrested the decline of the Roman Empire. (leans forward) Why do you modern people keep calling it “Byzantine?”
Zach – Well, this German historian didn’t want…well, that’s a topic for another time.
Anna – It seems that your American Empire could do with a man such as my father. I know decline when I see it.
Zach – Oh, I suppose so. Well, did your parents encourage your learning?
Anna – My parents thought that every proper Roman should be educated and know how to think for themselves. I remember my lovely mother as always having a book in her hand. When she ate breakfast she had a book she was reading. It was a great example to me and now I can’t seem to put books down either. Everyone should learn as much as their situation permits. I don’t think the Lord put us here to be ignorant of the world. When we meet him in heaven he won’t want to see a bunch of dolts.
Zach – Of course not.
Anna – There are practical reasons as well. After all, we can’t fix the Empire’s problems if we don’t understand them, can we?
Zach – Of course not. So, you’ve learned Greek rhetoric, science, literature, philosophy and even metaphysics! That’s quite accomplished of you.
Anna – I surrounded myself with learned people and we talked about important things, not useless things like this so called “reality TV” I saw in my hotel room. What drivel. Almost as bad as those boring chariot races the people are so infatuated with back in Constantinople.
Zach – Anna, if I understand correctly, you were engaged to another man before you were married, correct?
Anna – (sighs) That is correct. I was engaged at a very young age to Constantine Doukas, a charming, lovely boy. I shall never forget him. But, as good things do, it ended and instead I ended up with Ceasar Nikophoros Byrinnios. He was a truly great man. He was a scholar, historian, warrior and diplomat. A man almost my equal. I was fourteen at the time and he was a bit older. (smiles to herself)
Zach – Do you have any hobbies?
Anna – Besides reading? Writing poetry? Philosophy? History and debate?
Zach – Oh, I suppose.
Anna – I really like astronomy and medicine. I love looking at the stars.
Zach – I have a book about that, that you might like. “A brief history of time.”
Anna – I’ve read it already.
Zach – But you’ve only been in my time for two days.
Anna – So? I’ve read five books since arriving. This Dan Brown should be locked away in your dungeons and have his nose cut off. He is truly awful. Larry Correia on the other hand is quite charming. I find his “Hard Magic” series in particular to be most entertaining. I understand you’re an author as well.
Zach – Yes, I have a few books. Speaking of which, I’ve read your book and have found it most intriguing. You really know how to get your reader to understand the importance of the matter. Your verse is beautiful and your passion shows through.
Anna – Why thank you.
Zach – Anna will be here all week. If you have any questions, write in and we’ll discuss further. Her book has been out for a while and its called “The Alexiad.” Pick it up wherever fine books are sold.