Tag: Cathars


Herb-workers and Heretics: Beguines, Bakhtin and the Basques

During the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, the word beguine was used by women to identify themselves as members of a wide-spread and influential women’s movement. The same term was used by their detractors and overt opponents, with the highly charged negative meaning of “heretic.” The etymology of the term “beguine” and ultimate origins of the movement have never been satisfactorily explained.


Bogomils, Cathars, Lollards, and the High Social Position of Women During the Middle Ages

During the 12th century, if not slightly earlier, Western Europe lived through a period of economic and social upheaval termed by many historians the 12th c. Renaissance. One of its aspects is related to the considerable emancipation of women mostly in Southern France, a development which spread over to Italy, Flanders, and later, England. One can even detect social zones where real emancipation was achieved.