Handbook of Medieval Sexuality / Edition 1

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Like specialists in other fields in humanities and social sciences, medievalists have begun to investigate and write about sex and related topics such as courtship, concubinage, divorce, marriage, prostitution, and child rearing. The scholarship in this significant volume asserts that sexual conduct formed a crucial role in the lives, thoughts, hopes and fears both of individuals and of the institutions that they created in the middle ages.

The absorbing subject of sexuality in the Middle Ages is examined in 19 original articles written specifically for this Handbook by the major authorities in their scholarly specialties. The study of medieval sexuality poses problems for the researcher: indices in standard sources rarely refer to sexual topics, and standard secondary sources often ignore the material or say little about it. Yet a vast amount of research is available, and the information is accessible to the student who knows where to look and what to look for. This volume is a valuable guide to the material and an indicator of what subjects are likely to yield fresh scholarly rewards.

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Editorial Reviews

The nineteen original articles written by medieval scholars fill a gap in the field's scholarship which has ignored sexuality as a topic. Building on the groundbreaking work of Michel Foucault's history of sexuality, the essays consider ignored research work and bring fresh insights to the culture, history, and literature of the middle ages. The writings focus on sexual norms, homosexuality, lesbianism, prostitution, and sexuality in the context of Christian, Judaic, and Islamic religious practices. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780815336624
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 460
  • Sales rank: 1,271,894
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Confession and the Study of Sex in the Middle Ages 3
Ch. 2 Sex and Canon Law 33
Ch. 3 Western Medicine and Natural Philosophy 51
Ch. 4 Gendered Sexuality 81
Ch. 5 Chaste Marriage in the Middle Ages: "It were to hire a greet merite" 103
Ch. 6 Hiding Behind the Universal Man: Male Sexuality in the Middle Ages 123
Ch. 7 Homosexuality 155
Ch. 8 Twice Marginal and Twice Invisible: Lesbians in the Middle Ages 191
Ch. 9 Cross Dressing and Gender Role Change in the Middle Ages 223
Ch. 10 Prostitution in Medieval Europe 243
Ch. 11 Contraception and Early Abortion in the Middle Ages 261
Ch. 12 Castration and Eunuchism in the Middle Ages 279
Ch. 13 A Note on Research into Jewish Sexuality in the Medieval Period 309
Ch. 14 A Research Note on Sexuality and Muslim Civilization 319
Ch. 15 Eastern Orthodox Christianity 329
Ch. 16 Sexuality in Medieval French Literature: "Separes, on est Ensemble" 345
Ch. 17 Old Norse Sexuality: Men, Women, and Beasts 369
Ch. 18 Sex Roles and the Role of Sex in Medieval English Literature 401
Contributors 427
Index 429
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