Anna Maria Euphrosyne Dokeianina Syrakousina was born in 1060 on a Roman estate near Syracuse, Sicily. In 1068, her family was called to serve the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes as heads of his imperial household. After Diogenes was deposed of in 1071 following the Battle of Manzikert by partisans, Michael VII Doukas ascended the throne, and they remained in office until he was usurped by Nikophoros III Botaneiates in 1078. Fearing backlash from the Doukas, Anna’s parents returned to Sicily, despite growing opposition in the area from the occupying Norman forces. By then, Anna had already married a Doukas-loyal patrikios, and she served as a koubikoularaia (court lady) to Empress Maria of Alania. When Robert Guiscard threatened the Byzantine Empire in 1081 and defeated the Romans at Dyrrachium, General Alexios I Komnenos revolted against Botaneiates and seized the throne for himself. Empress Irene Dokeaina, a cousin to Anna’s mother, elevated her to the rank of Zoste Patrikia. However, Anna Dalassene, Alexios’ mother, was scheming and troublesome, and greatly disliked the Doukas, and their allies, the Dokeianoi. Rumor has it, that Dalassene had Anna’s husband poisoned not long after Alexios’ coronation, which resulted in his untimely death, and leaving Anna a young vulnerable widow. During capitulatory agreements with the Normans, Alexios and Irene felt it best to remove Anna to safety, and arranged for her to remarry a Norman lord by the name of Gieffrei de Toesni, cousin to Robert Guiscard and Bohemond of Taranto. This would remove her, and her dowry, from Constantinople where Anna Dalassene could not reach her. They run an estate in Calabria where their income helps pay off the Pope to keep him loyal, or at least, out of the hair of the occupying Normans. Anna greatly dislikes the Latin-speaking West and hopes to one day return to the Queen of Cities and proper civilization.
As a Roman patrikia, Anna is well educated in the Classics, and can speak Greek, Latin, and some smattering of Norman French and the local Italian dialects to get by. She spends her time reading, painting, sewing, writing correspondence to her family, managing the estate, and making sure that Gieffrei hasn’t tried to alter their marriage contract and the terms of her dowry behind her back.
In the SCA:
While her primary focus is Byzantine clothing and material culture, Anna often wears Ancient Greek, Roman, or Bronze Age clothing when the weather is less suitable for being in perfect persona, and does occasionally cross over into the clothing of the Normans to suit her husband’s tastes. In addition to sewing (a lot), she practices painting Byzantine icons, and has begun exploring vitreous enamels. She is also a brewer, a weaver, and has been authorized in both armored and rapier combat.
She is a member of the Freehold of the Riverkeep, Haus von der Insel, and Feileacan Ghiardin.
Anna lived in Trimaris until 2002, when she relocated to the East Kingdom. As a result of Gieffrei’s mundane Navy service, they departed the East in 2016 for the Kingdom of Caid, and then made a return to the shores of Trimaris in 2018. They move next to the Kingdom of Atlantia later this year.
Award of Arms – 06/2010
Order of the Burdened Tyger, East Kingdom (Autocratting a royal progress event and going above and beyond the required service.) – 06/2011
Award of the Lotus, Barony of the Bridge, East Kingdom (Arts and Sciences) – 12/2011
Seamstress to the Crown, East Kingdom (Kenric and Avelina I) – 09/2012
Pillar of the Bridge, Barony of the Bridge, East Kingdom (baronial highest order of service) – 12/2012
Order of the Lodestone, Barony of Smoking Rocks, East Kingdom (Service award given to non-baronial populace.) – 02/2014
Seamstress to the Crown, East Kingdom (Kenric and Avelina II) – 03/2014
Order of the Maunche, East Kingdom (highest kingdom award for A&S): 05/2014
Seamstress to the Crown, East Kingdom (Omega V and Etheldreda IV): 07/2015
Queen’s Esteem of Merit, East Kingdom (Etheldreda IV): 08/2015
Queen’s Order of Courtesy, East Kingdom (Ethedreda IV): 08/2015
Court Baroness with a Grant of Arms, East Kingdom (Omega V and Etheldreda IV): 08/2015
Queen’s Champion of Arts and Sciences, Kingdom of Caid (Marisa I): 08/2016
Order of the Lux Caidis, Kingdom of Caid (highest kingdom order for A&S): 11/2017
Arts and Sciences Gulf Wars Champion, Kingdom of Trimaris: 3/1/2020
Arts and Sciences Populace Acclaim, Kingdom of Trimaris: 3/1/2020
Non-Pareil, Kingdom of Trimaris (awarded for museum-like quality piece in A&S): 3/1/2020
Argent, dolphin naiant sable, a bordure gules.
Fieldless, A crocodile tergiant fesswise contourny sable gorged of an antique coronet Or.
Fieldless, a dolphin naiant sable.