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Theodora or Θεοδώρα (c. 500 – 28 June 548) was the wife of Emperor Justinian I. She ruled over the Byzantine Empire, which (at its peak) ruled over most countries around the eastern Mediterranean. She leads the Byzantines in Civilization V: Gods & Kings.


Theodora (Civ5)

Theodora in game

Theodora speaks regular Attic Greek, which was historically the preferred language of Byzantine scholars and monarchs. On her diplomacy screen, her pose, dress, and surroundings resemble the painting The Empress Theodora at the Colosseum by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, and her crown resembles one from a mosaic portraying her in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Hagia Sophia can also be seen in the background.

Capital: Constantinople

Unique Units: Cataphract, Dromon

Unique Ability: Patriarchate of Constantinople

Voice Actress: Artemis Lagopoulos

AI Traits[]

Trait Amount
Competitiveness 5 (7-3)
Wonder Competitiveness 7 (9-5)
City-State Influence Competitiveness 6 (8-4)
Boldness 4 (6-2)
Diplobalance 6 (8-4)
Hate Warmongers 6 (8-4)
Willingness to Denounce 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Declare Friendship 7 (9-5)
Loyalty 4 (6-2)
Neediness 4 (6-2)
Forgiveness 7 (9-5)
Chattiness 8 (10-6)
Meanness 5 (7-3)
Offensive Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Defensive Unit Production 8 (10-6)
Defensive Building Production 8 (10-6)
Military Training Buildings Production 5 (7-3)
Recon Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Ranged Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Mobile Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Unit Production 7 (9-5)
Naval Recon Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Air Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Growth 5 (7-3)
Naval Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Water Connections 5 (7-3)
Expansion 4 (6-2)
Growth 7 (9-5)
Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Infrastructure (Roads) 6 (8-4)
Production Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Gold Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Science Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Culture Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Happiness Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Great People Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Wonder Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Religion Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Diplomacy Victory 5 (7-3)
Spaceship Victory 4 (6-2)
Nuke Production 5 (7-3)
Use of Nukes 5 (7-3)
Use of Espionage 6 (8-4)
Anti-Air Production 5 (7-3)
Air Carrier Production 5 (7-3)
Land Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Sea Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Archaeology Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Origin Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Destination Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Airlift Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to Declare War 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Hostile 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Deceptive 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Guarded 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Afraid 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Friendly 8 (10-6)
Likeliness to be Neutral 5 (7-3)
Ignore City-States 3 (5-1)
Friendliness to City-States 5 (7-3)
Protection of City-States 6 (8-4)
Conquest of City-States 5 (7-3)
Bullying of City-States 5 (7-3)

Personality and Behavior[]

Theodora will most likely attempt either a cultural or domination victory, with a preference for the former.

Theodora's top priorities are increasing her empire's 20xPopulation5 Population and its output of Culture Culture and Faith Faith. In addition to founding and spreading a religion, she will often try to build wonders and protect city-states in her sphere of influence.

Theodora puts little emphasis on raising an offensive army. Her navy and defensive army, however, will both be rather large, and her cities will have some of the best defenses in the game.

Theodora has a very friendly and forgiving personality and rarely asks for help. She is one of the easiest leaders to befriend, but she is often disloyal and can sometimes be an untrustworthy ally.

Although Theodora is not very bold and is not a warmonger by any means, she is competitive and temperamental. She is likely to become hostile toward players who build wonders that she covets, convert her cities to their own religion, or try to win the favor of city-states that she has befriended.

Civilopedia entry[]


Theodora, wife of Justinian I and Empress of the Byzantine Empire, ruled one of history's preeminent empires during the 1st millennium AD. Known today as the most influential woman of the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Justinian named Theodora co-ruler of the empire, trusting in her wise counsel to guide his reign. Rising from humble beginnings, Theodora would become known throughout the empire - and history - as a tactful, trusted advisor to her emperor. She would be so crucial to the progress of the empire that some think it was Theodora, not Emperor Justinian, who truly guided the people of Byzantium during her lifetime.

Early Life[]

Most of our knowledge of Theodora comes from the writings of noted Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea, who extensively documented the life and times of the Byzantine Empire during Theodora's reign in the 6th century. Theodora's early life as we know it was a colorful one, her father having been a bear-keeper at the Hippodrome, her mother an acrobat. Said to have had exceptional intelligence and wit, Theodora supported herself independently as an actress for some time before catching the eye of Justinian, then heir to the throne of his uncle, Justin I.

Ascension to the Throne[]

As mistress to Justinian, Theodora's beauty and intelligence made such an impression that he elevated her to the rank of patrician, where she joined the aristocratic families of the empire. Although Byzantine law prevented members of the government from marrying entertainers such as Theodora, Justinian's devotion to her was apparently enough that he had the law repealed. In 525, Justinian and Theodora were married, and shortly after his ascension to the throne as Emperor in 527, Theodora became "Augusta," or Empress of the Byzantine Empire.

Political Influence[]

Theodora was no ordinary consort to the Emperor; Justinian ensured that she was named co-ruler, an important distinction that provided her with a much greater role in political affairs. During her reign, she was influential in the institution of numerous progressive (even by modern standards) policies. Theodora is credited with pressing Justinian to increase the rights of women within the empire, not only expanding their right to property ownership, but also reforming divorce laws that previously favored men.


Theodora was what is known as a "Monophysite Christian," meaning she believed that Jesus Christ was an entirely divine being, unlike the more prevalent Orthodox belief that Jesus had a dual nature (divine yet with an earthly body). This ideology was highly controversial at the time, and considered divisive and heretical by many members of the Orthodox Church. Despite Justinian's Orthodox beliefs, Theodora maintained her own independence as a Monophysite, and even sheltered the Monophysite leaders who were often oppressed by the Orthodox majority. Theodora is also known to have founded a Monophysite monastery in the city of Sycae near Constantinople.

The Nika Revolt[]

The fortitude of Theodora and Justinian would be tested during the Nika Revolt, an uprising led by two opposing political factions (the Greens and the Blues), who attempted to install a rival Emperor to usurp Justinian's power. As the story goes, Justinian's natural instinct was to flee the city, but Theodora encouraged him to stand fast. Imploring Justinian to remain in the city, Theodora argued that it was better to die as an Emperor than as a fugitive. Believing in the wisdom of Theodora's words, Justinian remained in Constantinople and ordered his most loyal general, Flavius Belisarius, to attack the rebels. Herding the dissidents into the Hippodrome, Belisarius and his men annihilated them, brutally killing thousands, and quashing the rebellion.

Judgment of History[]

Empress Theodora left an indelible mark on history as one of the most powerful women of her era. It's clear that her influence affected many of the decisions put forth by her husband and, many historians agree, had it not been for Theodora's wise counsel during the Nika Revolt, Justinian's rule as Emperor would likely have ended, and the integrity of the empire itself would have been at risk.


  • Both Theodora and Justinian are recognized today as saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Although Theodora was a member of the Monophysites, her work to reconcile relations between the two competing ideologies coupled with her other virtuous aspirations solidified her place as one worthy of saintly recognition.
  • Theodora and Justinian are represented in a series of famous mosaic panels at the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy.
  • The former settlement of Olbia, Libya, was at one time known as "Theodorias," named after the Empress Theodora.


Theodora's speech uses modern pronunciation with some weird modernisms and grammatical mistakes.

Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Greek) Notes
Attacked Now that riots are needed, friend, we'll teach you a lesson. Νυν, φίλε, αι ταραχαί ουν πρέπουσιν, διδάξομε σε μάθημα.
Nyn, phile, ai tarahai oun prepousin, didaxome se mathima.
Compare with the XML line "Now darling, tantrums are most unbecoming. I shall have to teach you a lesson."
Declares War It has always been a shame throwing away beauty. Thankfully, not like that. Αεί αισχύνεται απόλυσθαι το κάλος. Ευτυχώς, ουκ οιούτως.
Aei aiskhinetai apolisthai to kalos. Eftykhos, ouk ioutos.
Compare with the XML line "It is always a shame to destroy a thing of beauty. Happily, you are not one."
Defeated I hope you knew that to act (and you acted) like that. Just know that in this world nobody will aid a traitor. Ελπίζω σε οίδεσθες αυτό και ό έδρασας. Γνώθι σε μόνον ετούτο τον κόσμο μηδείς οφελήσει προδότην.
Elpizo se idesthes afto kai o edrasas. Gnothi se monon etouto ton kosmo mideis ofelisi prodotin.
Compare with the XML line "Like a child playing with toys you are. My people will never love you, nor suffer this indignation gracefully."
Hate Hello ?  ?
Hate Let's Hear It 01 Tell me. Ειπέ μοι.
Eipe mi.
Hate Let's Hear It 02 What? Τι?
Hate Let's Hear It 03 Move on. Προχώρει.
Hate No 01 That's unlikely (?). Τούτο δυσχερής.
Touto discheris.
Hate No 02 Definitely not. Ουκ ει σπουδαίως.
Ouk ei spoudaios.
Hate No 03 Excuse me?! Συν συγνώμιν έχων?!
Syn sygnomin ekhon?!
Hate Yes 01 It must be good. Μάλιστα δει τα.
Malista di ta.
Hate Yes 02 Where am I needed? Πού χρείμαι?
Pou khreimai?
Hate Yes 03 Agreed. Ομολογείται.
Intro Oh! A miracle in front of my eyes (something like that maybe). What is the name of (maybe) the good stranger? I am Theodora, friend of Byzantium. Ω μων οπίων θαύμα! Ποιον όνομα επί μοι σε ο καλός ξένος; Είμαι η Θεοδόρα, η φίλη του Βυζαντίου.
O mon opion thavma! Pion onoma epi mi se o kalos xenos. Eimai i Theodora, i fili tou Vyzantiou.
Compare with the XML line "My, isn't this a pleasant surprise - what may I call you, oh mysterious stranger? I am Theodora, beloved of Byzantium." If "φίλη" is supposed to represent "beloved," "φιλτατη" or "αγαπητη" is more accurate.
Neutral Hello Sweet. Μέλλιμα.
Neutral Let's Hear It 01 Did you want something? Έθελες τι?
Etheles ti?
Neutral Let's Hear It 02 I'm listening. Ακούω.
Neutral Let's Hear It 03 Yes, my friend? Ναι, φίλτατος?
Ne filtatos?
Bad grammar; it should be φίλτατη (filtate).
Neutral No 01 Not even with a horse. Ου δ'ίππου.
Ou th'ippou.
Modern Greeks say "not even with bullets," which means "no way."
Neutral No 02 It's needed to repel you. Δει υμάς απωθείν.
Thi imas apothin.
Neutral No 03 Reluctantly, no. Αθύμως ούκ.
Athimos ouk.
Neutral Yes 01 With a horse, my friend. Δι'ίππου, φίλε.
Thi'ippou, phile.
Modern Greeks say "with a thousand mph," which means "right away." However, it might be translated incorrectly.
Neutral Yes 02 Agreed. Ομολογείται.
Neutral Yes 03 Perfect. Άριστα.
Peaceful I'd say this was so delightful, don't you agree? I must say, winning satisfies me so much. Λέξω ότι τούτο ούτως τερπνόν ήν, ημών ομολογεί; Εγώ δει πολύ ήδομαι νικείν.
Lexo oti touto outos terpnon in, imon omologei? Ego dhei poly idomai nikein.
Request I heard nice things from you in your latest me. Ήκουσα σε πρέποντα ταις αλλοτρίας ομιλίας...Με δείξας.
Ikousa se preponta tais allotrias omilias... me deixas.
Again her sentences are so wrong grammatically that it's hard to make sense of them.


Theodora Loading Screen (Civ5)

All hail the most magnificent and magnanimous Empress Theodora, beloved of Byzantium and of Rome! From the lowly ranks of actress and courtesan you became the most powerful woman in the Roman Empire, consort to Justinian I. Starting in the late 520's AD, you joined your husband in a series of important spiritual and legal reforms, creating many laws which elevated the status of and promoted equal treatment of women in the empire. You also aided in the restoration and construction of many aqueducts, bridges and churches across Constantinople, culminating in the creation of the Hagia Sophia, one of the most splendid architectural wonders of the world.

Beautiful Empress, Byzantium is in need of your wisdom and strength - her people are lost without your light to lead them. The Byzantine Empire may have fallen once, but its spirit is still intact waiting to be reborn anew. Can you return Byzantium to the heights of glory it once enjoyed? Can you create a civilization to stand the test of time?


See also[]

External links[]

Civilization V Leaders [edit]
Ahmad al-Mansur BNW-onlyAlexanderAshurbanipal BNW-onlyAskiaAttila GodsKings5 clearAugustus CaesarBismarckBoudicca GodsKings5 clearCasimir III BNW-onlyCatherineDarius IDido GodsKings5 clearElizabethEnrico Dandolo BNW-onlyGajah Mada BNW-onlyGandhiGenghis Khan1Gustavus Adolphus GodsKings5 clearHaile Selassie GodsKings5 clearHarald Bluetooth1Harun al-RashidHiawathaIsabella1Kamehameha1Maria I BNW-onlyMaria Theresa GodsKings5 clearMontezumaNapoleonNebuchadnezzar II1Oda NobunagaPacal GodsKings5 clearPachacuti1Pedro II BNW-onlyPocatello BNW-onlyRamesses IIRamkhamhaengSejong1Shaka BNW-onlySuleimanTheodora GodsKings5 clearWashingtonWilliam GodsKings5 clearWu Zetian
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.