Anna Notaras


Anna Notaras

Anna Notaras (Greek Άννα Νοταρά) was the daughter of Loukas Notaras, the last Megas Doux of the Byzantine Empire. She left Constantinople between 1440 and 1449 and went to Rome with her two sisters, so she avoided the fall of Constantinople and the massacre of her family. [Donald M. Nicol, "“The Byzantine Lady Ten Portraits 1250—1500)“", Cambridge, 1994. ISBN 0521455316] In Italy, with the fortune her father had wisely invested abroad, she became the center of the Byzantine expatriate community in Venice. She established, with two others (Nikolaos Vlastos and Zacharias Kalliergis), one of the first printing presses for Greek books in Venice (in 1499). In their correspondence with her, the council of Siena referred to her as widow of the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI (1449—1453), but this was untrue. There is no mention of such a marriage in any other contemporary source, especially in the writings of George Sphrantzes, his chancellor.

References

*"The Immortal Emperor", by Prof. Donald M. Nicol.
*"The Fall of Constantinople 1453", by Sir James Cochran Stevenson (Steven) Runciman.
*"Short Biographical Lexicon of Byzantine Academics Immigrants to Western Europe", by Fotis Vassileiou, Barbara Saribalidou.
*"Byzantium: Decline and Fall" and "A Short History of Byzantium", by John J. Cooper, the 2nd Viscount Norwich.

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