Kingdom of the Franks, 714-814

Charles the Great (Charlemagne)

Invasions – Vikings, Magyars, Moslems

1050 economic development

First Crusade 1095 – capture Jerusalem 1099 – contact with Arab civilizations

Medieval church -"Age of Faith;

Paul: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ";

Women inherit, control property

– aristocratic women as patrons, known for “knowledge of letters”

- "great heiress" Melania

- Marcella – Rome, 382 AD – associated with scholar Jerome;

Jerome: "The unbelieving reader may perhaps laugh at me for dwelling so long on the praises of mere women.  He had better look on himself as conceited than on me as a fool; I judge merit by mind, not by sex."

 Asceticism – celibacy, monasticism

“double monasteries”

role of abbess;

Tertullian: "It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church, nor teach, nor to claim for herself a share in any masculine function." 

Women as "devil's gateway"

- Cardinal Peter Damian, Concerning the Celibacy of the Clergy: women as "Satan's bait, poison for men's souls”;

”The wickedness of women is greater than all the other wickedness of the world; the poison of asps and dragons is more curable & less dangerous to men than familiarity of women, we have unanimously decreeed for the safety of our souls, no less than for that of our bodies, that we will on no account receive any more sisters but will avoid them like poisonous animals." 

   - Charlemagne: "weakness of her sex & instability of her mind forbid that woman should hold the leadership over men in teaching & preaching";

 Hildegard von Bingen;

Causae et Curae – medicine, herbal cures, astrology

Liber Simplicis Medicinae – plants

Liber Divinorum Operum – nature of the universe

 Woman as Virgin Mary/Eve;

 Pope Innocent II (1200) childbirth pain - "God's punishment hangs still over all your sex."

 Menstruation superstitions

 Ricardi Anglici (1180-1225): "The purpose of the male sperm is to give form, the purpose of the female sperm is to receive that likeness.  From the male sperm, therefore, come spirit and creative power and form; from the female sperm comes material." 

 Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274): women "naturally of less strength & dignity than men";

Summa Theologica: "Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active force in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of woman comes from defect in the active force or from some material indisposition."

Men serve a noble purpose, "a vital operation nobler than generation.”

 "Good order would have been wanting in the human family if some were not governed by others wiser than themselves.  So by such a subjection woman is naturally subject to man, because naturally in man the discretion of reason predominates."

 Alchemy – 1100s on;

Transform lower state of being into higher, more perfect material;

Hermes Trismegistus – change from "white queen” to "red king”;

 Paracelsus (1493-1541): “Man is a little world, because he is an extract from all the stars, planets, earth & elements.”

"The cosmos is the greatest world, the world of man the next greatest, and that of woman the smallest & least."

Male seed "contained the nature, quality, character & essence of beings, & may be looked upon as an invisible or hidden man.” "Woman, being nearer to Nature, furnishes the soil in which the seed of man finds the conditions required for its development.  Man, although born of woman, is never derived from woman, but always from man."

- recipe: "If the sperm, enclosed in a hermetically sealed glass, is buried in manure for 40 days & properly "magnetized", it may begin to live & move.  If artificially fed with the "arcanus sanguinis hominis" [secret human blood-principle] and allowed to remain in the manure in a continually equal temperature, it will grow into a human child, such as born by a woman." 

 “quickening” -soul enters male fetus after 40 days, female after 80;

 1179 - "every cathedral church shall maintain a master";

Bologna, Padua, Oxford, Paris (cathedral school of Notre Dame);

 "The lawful mate of the philosopher is the leading lady of all delights in this life, Philosophy herself.  The true wife of each philosopher is his philosophy from which he begets books; his disciples are his sons.”

  (fellows of Oxford and Cambridge not allowed to marry until 1882)

   - Archdeacon of Oxford Walter Map 1100s: "Women journey by widely different way, but by whatever windings they may wander, there is only one outlet – wickedness.”

 Alessandra Scala: "Shall I marry or devote my life to study?"

Isotta Nogarola hesitates to arouse anger of those "who call learning in women a poison and a pest."

 Salerno medical education

 Trotula – gynecology treatises;

Paris late 1200s women as barbers; late 1300s laws against it;

 nuns in medieval hospitals

 herbals, herb shops