For medieval Europeans, talking openly about sex in what we might think of now as explicit detail was a very normal part of life.
Did women support crusades? Did women go on crusades? If they did, did they fight?
The presentation examines the question of agency and gender in the social and spiritual experience of conversion to Christianity in 14th and 15th century Iberia.
A team of researchers examining the remains of a woman buried around the year 1100 AD have – to their surprise – discovered dozens of tiny bits of blue stone in her teeth. They soon realized that she was likely a painter of illuminated medieval manuscripts.
In this paper I will argue that medieval sources that refer to women’s involvement in the defence of castles and the role of castles in society was based on a combination of gender stereotypes, social realities and military pragmatism that should not be take at face value.
An abbess fighting for her nuns, a scholar of humanism, and a historian of the Franciscans.
While Purim and Hanukkah in the Middle Ages already focused attention on two stellar women of Jewish history, Esther and Judith, the mode of celebration centered on the efforts of contemporary Jewish women as well!
In the medieval world it was rare for a woman to hold power. It seems incredible to read the story of Raziya of Delhi, not only because she was chosen to lead a realm, but the way she fought to keep it.
This study argues, first, that women did have the capacity in the Middle Ages to engage in combat and, second, that the men who wrote about female warriors, both in historical chronicles and in romance, viewed the women with nuance and complexity that often manifested as open admiration
Pola, who flourished in Rome at the turn of the fourteenth century, tells us three times, in three separate manuscripts, that she is the “daughter of R. Abraham the scribe.”
This thesis examines the career of Judith (819-843), the second wife of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious (814-840).
Medieval texts tell of Viking warrior women taking part in battles, but are these stories describing reality or pure fiction? What can archaeology tell us about women in the Viking Age?
The daughters of Anglo-Saxon kings included among their number faithful wives, devout saints, land magnates, military leaders, and even murderers.
In this thesis, I will investigate whether shieldmaidens’ symbolic meaning in the collective imaginary had originates in a timeless heritage or whether they are the re-elaboration of specific figures.
In its ability to produce sons, the maternal body offered one of the few means for women to attain power and influence in the medieval world. However, it is constantly depicted as being broken down in Old Norse legendary literature, a loose generic distinction taken here to encompass principally the poems of the Poetic Edda and the prosimetric narratives of the fornaldarsögur.
This thesis finds evidence that women used the manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales in an informal way, and the books were potentially kept in close proximity at home.
Ramie Targoff’s Renaissance Woman tells of the most remarkable woman of the Italian Renaissance: Vittoria Colonna, Marchesa of Pescara.
Ms. I.33 is not only the oldest of the known fencing treatises in European context, it is also the only one showing a woman fighting equally with contemporary men.
In the Old Norse literature, the term ‘shieldmaiden’ (Skjaldmær in Icelandic) tends to be used with reference to a Viking woman warrior
In the fifth in a series of features exploring the early modern women whose lives intersected in some way with that of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Natalie Anderson examines the life of Anne of Brittany.
Elizabeth stands out, though, in the sheer physical strength and flexibility shown by her ability to hold postures such as lying down with her head and shoulders elevated for an extended time – an incredible feat of core strength!
In the fourth in a series of features exploring the early modern women whose lives intersected in some way with that of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Natalie Anderson examines the life of Eleanor of Portugal.
This paper explores the writings of the anonymous, 16th-century female author of The Evangelical Pearl. Written in the Dutch vernacular and first published in 1537, the work proved to be a popular and influential one.
In the third in a series of features exploring the early modern women whose lives intersected in some way with that of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, Natalie Anderson examines the life of Margaret of Austria.