Gender and Sexuality in the Middle Ages

A Medieval Source Documents Reader

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

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

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Martha A. Brozyna
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 328
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2005
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2042-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction      1

I. THE BIBLE

1. OLD TESTAMENT      7

Genesis      7

Leviticus      10

Deuteronomy      11

The Song of Songs (Song of Solomon)      12

2. NEW TESTAMENT      15

The Gospel According to Matthew      15

The Gospel According to John      16

The First Epistle to the Corinthians      16

The Epistle to the Ephesians      18

The First Epistle to Timothy      18

II. CHRISTIAN THOUGHT

3. EARLY CHURCH FATHERS      23

Tertullian: On the Apparel of Women      23

St. Jerome: “Letter to Eustochium”      26

St. Augustine: The Good of Marriage and The City of God      31

4. REFORMERS, SCHOLASTICS AND PREACHERS      38

Peter Damian: The Book of Gomorrah      38

Pope Gregory VII: “Letter to Bishop Otto of Constance”      41

John of Salisbury: Policratus      43

Jacques de Vitry: Exempla from Sermones Vulgares      48

St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica      50

Alfonso Martinez de Toledo: Archpriest of Talavera or Whip      58

5. MYSTICISM      62

Bernard of Clairvaux: Sermons on the Song of Songs      62

Hadewijch: Visions of Hadewijch      64

Mechthild of Magdeburg: The owing Light of the Godhead      66

Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love      68

6. HAGIOGRAPHY      70

The Life and Conduct of the Blessed Mary Who Changed Her Name to Marinos      70

III. CHRONICLES

7. EARLY CHURCH AND GERMANIC PEOPLES      77

Tacitus: Germania      77

Eusebius: Church History      78

Gregory of Tours: History of the Franks      80

Paul the Deacon: History of the Lombards      82

8. CONTINENTAL EUROPE, THE BRITISH ISLES AND IRELAND      85

Ibn Fadlan: Risala      85

Thietmar of Merseburg: Chronicon      87

Orderic Vitalis: Ecclesiastical History      89

“Hugo Falcandus”: The History of the Tyrants of Sicily      90

Gerald of Wales: The Topography of Ireland      91

Roger de Hoveden: Annals of Roger de Hoveden      92

Salimbene de Adam: The Chronicle of Salimbene de Adam      94

Jean Froissart: The Chronicles of Jean Froissart      95

Jan Dùugosz: Annals of the Kingdom of Poland      96

9. RUSSIA AND THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE      98

Procopius of Caesarea: Secret History      98

The Russian Primary Chronicle      100

Niketas Choniates: Annals of Niketas Choniates      102

Sigmund Herberstein: Notes Upon Russia      103

Adam Olearius: The Travels of Olearius      104

IV. LAW

10. SECULAR LAW      109

Byzantine Law: The Ecloga      109

Alamannic Laws      111

Norwegian Laws      113

      The Law of Personal Rights—Gulathing      113

      The Law of Personal Rights—Frostathing      114

Serbo-Croatian Laws      115

      Vinodol Law Code      116

      Law Code of Emperor Stefan Du§an      116

London City Archives      117

      Memorials of London and London Life      117

      Liber Albus      120

11. CANON LAW      123

Penitentials      123

      The Penitential of Cummean      123

      The Penitential of Theodore      124

Church Councils      127

      First Council of Nicea      128

      Second Council of Nicea      128

      Fourth Lateran Council      129

      The Register of Eudes of Rouen      131

Consistory Courts      133

      Cases from English Records      133

      Kraków Archives      134

12. A UNIVERSITY RECORD      137

University of Kraków      137

V. BIOLOGY, MEDICINE AND SCIENCE

13. UNDERSTANDING MALE AND FEMALE      141

Galen: On the Usefulness of the Parts of the Body      141

Isidore of Seville: Etymologia      142

Medieval Woman’s Guide to Health      145

14. SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND REPRODUCTION      147

Soranus: Gynaecia      147

Constantine the African: De Coitu      150

Hildegard of Bingen: Causa et Curae      152

William of Conches: Dragmaticon      156

Pseudo-Albertus Magnus: On the Secrets of Women      158

15. REMEDIES      161

Trotula of Salerno: Writings of Trotula      161

Moses Maimonides

      Writings of Moses Maimonides      162

      Treatise on Cohabitation      163

      Medical Aphorisms      164

Peter of Spain: Thesaurus pauperum      165

VI. LITERATURE

16. POETRY      173

Lyrics      173

      “A Knight Was with His Lady Fondly Lying” (Gaucelm Faidit)      173

      “Am I, Am I, Am I Fair?” (Eustache Deschamps)      174

      “Under the Lime Tree” (Walther von der Vogelweide)      175

      “Ballade for Fat Margot” (François Villon)      176

Marie de France: Lais      177

“Laüstic”      177

Andreas Capellanus: The Art of Courtly Love      179

Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun: The Romance of the Rose      183

Dante Alighieri: The Divine Comedy      185

Same-Sex Love Poetry      188

      “The End of a Letter to Ausonius” (Paulinus of Nola)      188

      “Five Epigrams on an Adulterer and a Voluptuary” (Ennodius)      189

      “To a Hermaphrodite Girl” (Luxorius)      189

      “To a Boy of Angers” (Hilary the Englishman)      189

      Later Graffiti in a Ninth-Century Manuscript (Author unknown)      190

      Lesbian Love Letter from a German Manuscript (Author unknown)      190

17. RIDDLES, SONGS AND STORIES      192

Riddles from the Exeter Book      192

      Carmina Burana      193

      “Grates ago Veneri”      193

      “Servit aure spiritus”      194

      “Cur suspectum me tenet domina?”      195

Fabliaux      195

“The Priest Who Peeked”      196

Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales—“The Wife of Bath’s Prologue”      197

18. ADVICE MANUALS      200

Dhuoda: Handbook for William      200

Kekaumenos: Strategikon      202

19. MEMOIRS      204

St. Augustine: Confessions      204

Guibert of Nogent: Memoirs of Guibert of Nogent      206

Peter Abelard: History of My Calamities      209

Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe      212

20. SAGAS      214

Laxdaela Saga      214

Njal’s Saga      216

21. DRAMA      219

Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: Dulcitius      219

VII. WITCHCRAFT AND HERESY

22. WITCHCRAFT      229

St. Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica      229

Martin Le Franc: Defender of Ladies      231

Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger: Malleus Maleficarum      233

23. HERESY      242

St. Augustine: De Haeresibus      242

Ralph of Coggeshall: Chronicle of Ralph of Coggeshall      243

Pierre des Vaux de Cernay: Historia Albigensis      246

James Capelli: “The Protests of the Heretics That in Matrimony No One Can Be Saved”      248

VIII. JUDAISM

24. JUDAIC LAW      253

Midrash Rabbah      253

Babylonian Talmud      257

Christian Law Pertaining to Jews      259

      Laws of the Visigoths      259

      Conciliar Canons      261

      Penitential of Pseudo-Thedore      262

25. JUDAIC THOUGHT      263

Philo of Alexandria: “The Female Nature”      263

Saadia Gaon: The Book of Beliefs and Opinions      264

Moses Maimonides: The Guide of the Perplexed      268

26. JEWISH CULTURE      274

Josephus: The Jewish War      274

Jewish Poets      275

      Samuel the Nagid      275

      Moses Ibn Ezra      275

      Solomon Ibn Gabirol      277

      Judah Halevi      277

Ethical Wills      277

      Will of R. Eleazer the Great      277

      Will of Judah ibn Tibbon      278

      Will of Eleazar of Mayence      278

IX. ISLAM

27. ISLAMIC RELIGION AND LAW      283

Qur’an      283

Hadiths      288

Abu Hamid al-Ghazali: Book on the Etiquette of Marriage      292

Ibn Abdun: “The Markets of Seville”      294

28. ISLAMIC CULTURE AND HISTORY      296

Jahiz: Selections from Jahiz      296

Al-Masudi: Meadows of Gold      297

Ibn Butlan: Selections from Ibn Butlan      299

Usama ibn Munquidh: “The Franks and Marital Jealousy”       305

Imad Ad-Din: “Frankish Women of the Crusades of Peace and War”      307

Women Poets      309

      Fadl Ashsha’ira      310

      Thawab bint Abdullah al-Hanzaliyya      310

      Wallada bint al-Mustakfi      310

      Buthaina bint al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad      310

Moorish Poets      310

      Abu Hafs      311

      Abu Bahr      311

      Ibn Sa’id      311

Index      313

Book Reviews

“should be required reading for any course on medieval social history…it 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”—Journal of the History of Sexuality.