Theodora of Constantinople started as an actress and prostitute and rose to become the empress of Rome and a saint in the Orthodox Church. Roman historian Procopius publicly praised her piety and saintliness while his Secret History gave salacious details of her stage act and maligned her as ruthless and power hungry. So who was Theodora? Feisty and quick-witted, by the time she was fifteen she was both a mother and the biggest star of the Hippodrome. And that was only the beginning. A legend in her own time but forgotten by history, Theodora was a mesmerizing and extraordinary woman who quickly learned the art of survival- and went on to leave her mark as one of the ancient world's most powerful empires.--From back cover.