Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages: A Medieval Source Documents Reader

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Perceptions about gender and sexuality have shaped the lives of men and women in every known culture and in every period of history. To study these perceptions one must delve into the underlying religious, social, philosophical and scientific influences. Understanding gender and sexuality during the Middle Ages requires an examination of the ideas, laws and institutions of the time—for example, the regulations of the Christian church, the anatomical studies of the medieval medical community, the chronicles of the time and the social criticism found in medieval literature.

This reader brings such documents from throughout the medieval world into one collection. Representing a diverse range of ethnic, geographic and religious backgrounds, documents of the late Roman, Germanic, Anglo-Norman, Mediterranean, Byzantine, Slavic, Jewish and Islamic identities are all included. The book's chapters are organized according to nine areas—the Bible; Christian thought; chronicles; law; biology, medicine and science; literature; witchcraft and heresy; Judaism; and Islam—allowing for comparative examination of different societies and periods of the Middle Ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the History of Sexuality
should be required reading for any course on medieval social is blessedly clear, provocative, informative, and the product of an author who thoroughly knows the sources, both primary and secondary, for medieval sexual history. I cannot imagine students not loving it, discussing it, arguing about it, and profiting enormously from it. I enjoyed every page of it and believe that it should be in every medieval scholar's library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786420421
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/21/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha A. Brozyna has taught courses on Latin and ancient and medieval sexuality at Rutgers University. She lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

I The Bible
1 Old Testament 7
2 New Testament 15
II Christian thought
3 Early church fathers 23
4 Reformers, scholastics, and preachers 38
5 Mysticism 62
6 Hagiography 70
III Chronicles
7 Early church and Germanic peoples 77
8 Continental Europe, the British Isles and Ireland 85
9 Russia and the Byzantine Empire 98
IV Law
10 Secular law 109
11 Canon law 123
12 A university record 137
V Biology, medicine, and science
13 Understanding male and female 141
14 Sexual activity and reproduction 147
15 Remedies 161
VI Literature
16 Poetry 173
17 Riddles, songs and stories 192
18 Advice manuals 200
19 Memoirs 204
20 Sagas 214
21 Drama 219
VII Witchcraft and heresy
22 Witchcraft 229
23 Heresy 242
VIII Judaism
24 Judaic law 253
25 Judaic thought 263
26 Jewish culture 274
IX Islam
27 Islamic religion and law 283
28 Islamic culture and history 296
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