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  • 1. Women in the Middle Ages
    • Index
  • Women and the Clergy in The Middle Ages
  • Women in the Inquisition
  • The Minstrels and women in The Middle Ages
  • Healers and witches in The Middle Ages


  • Women and the Clergy in The Middle Ages
  • Women held a difficult position in the
  • middle ages society. They were limited
  • to household tasks such as cooking,
  • cleaning, baking, bread, weaving,
  • spinning and sewing. The women were
  • the centre of the family and the houses.


  • In The Middle Ages there were schools for
  • children and for girls, separated. In them,
  • the girls were learning Latin, to read, to
  • write and principally the Holy Writ.


  • When the girls become women a regular
  • day in their life is like this:
  • .They quickly get dressed in their long
  • tunics and wash their faces and hands.
  • .Then they put on a
  • breakfast with bread
  • and water.


  • . They are in charge of:
  • .embroidery, and
  • carding wool
  • .dinner-bread, water, and
  • fried goose eggs
  • .walking over to help with the sheep
  • .working in the fields of wheat


  • . praying at the church
  • .delivering cloth goods
  • to the castle
  • .supper-fried fish, fried goose
  • eggs,
  • bread and water
  • .preparing for bed
  • .prayers before bed then
  • retiring


  • In the Middle Ages, men and common women, had the same offices or labours. There was no difference. There were women blacksmiths, merchants, and apothecaries.


  • Others were midwives, worked in the fields, or were engaged in creative endeavours such as writing, playing musical instruments, dancing, and painting.
  • The women had many offices, though the only that were exclusively feminine, were those where one was working with silk


  • Being a famous woman in The Middle Ages was difficult.
  • However we can find some of them, such as Christine de Pisan and Joan of Arc


  • Christine de Pisan
  • Christine was Italian, the daughter of an astrologer. Her father wanted her to be educated, so she learned French, Latin, Arithmetic, and Geometry.


  • At the age of 15, she married Etienne du
  • Castel, who was twenty-four. He died
  • two years later, leaving her with
  • three children and numerous relatives to
  • support. She used her skill as a writer and
  • poetess to earn a living.
  • She was one of the few
  • true feminists before
  • the modern era.


  • Joan of Arc
  • As a teenager, Joan believed she heard the
  • voices of angels telling her to help the
  • future Charles VII, who
  • had been deprived
  • of his inheritance
  • by the English and
  • the Burgundians,
  • to regain his throne.


  • Impressed, Charles sent her to raise the
  • siege at Orlans, which she did
  • successfully, driving the English from the
  • city and allowing Charles VII to be
  • crowned at Rheims


  • She was soon captured by Burgundians
  • and sold to the English, who found her
  • guilty of witchcraft and wearing a man's
  • clothes.
  • She was burned
  • at the stake in 1431
  • and canonized
  • in 1920.


  • The church was very powerful in The
  • Middle Ages.
  • They ruled everybody
  • including the kings and
  • emperors.
  • The church at this time
  • was the Roman Catholic
  • Church which was headed
  • by the Pope .


  • All the Pope had to do was tell a king,
  • "Do this or I will excommunicate you
  • and all your people.
  • Excommunication was the biggest threat,
  • it meant that the king and
  • his people would not be
  • able to do the holy
  • sacraments and therefore
  • (according to the Catholics)
  • they would go to Hell instead of Heavens .


  • During the middle ages, the Church was a major part of everyday life. The Church served to give people spiritual guidance and it served as their government as well.
  • Now, in the 21th century, the churchs role has diminished. It no longer has the power that it used to have.


  • Women in the Inquisition
  • The Inquisition was a
  • Roman Catholic tribunal
  • for discovery and punishment
  • of heresy .


  • The role of women was very different from the role they have nowadays. In those days, women were submissive to men, we mean they didnt take part in any issue. During the inquisition,they were blamed for everything and accused of witchcraft .


  • T hese prejudices against women made
  • them a major victim of the Inquisition and
  • women were considered prone to evil.


  • If they had some knowledge or cured
  • diseases, they were humiliated and
  • everyone said their work was the work of
  • evil .


  • Women could not even make decisions about their life, they didnt decide whether they wanted to marry or not, since everything depended on their parents and husband. In exceptional cases in which women were emancipated, they were persecuted by society.


  • We can say that during the Inquisition in the Middle Ages,exchanges of cultures between different people from Europe were broken. The persecution of Jews and Arabs and all people who werent Christians, produced a decline in the world of culture .


  • The Minstrels and women in The Middle Ages
  • Their social function was one of the
  • most singular and extravagant of the
  • medieval days.


  • They were instrumentalists, right-handed
  • jugglers and acute poets. They also were
  • adventurous people without job neither
  • profit, that alternated their musical
  • exhibitions with the thefts in squares .


  • However, above all, the minstrels were
  • transmisors of fundamental culture during
  • the Middle Ages: they transmitted music
  • poetry, news, social events in a world of
  • illiterate people and impregnated of oral
  • tradition.


  • Women were active as menestrelles and
  • joglereusses. Permorfers themselves, they
  • travelled as part of small groups of
  • entertainers.


  • Entertainment for rich people centred
  • around the spectacles of jousting and feasts or banquets. The role of women
  • in the medieval parties
  • was that to prepare all the
  • necessary things for the
  • banquets and also
  • to entertain men.


  • Women's involvemente with medievalmusic took a variety of forms; they served at times as audience, as participant like singers and dancers, as sponsor, and as creator.


  • Perhaps the most famous of the medieval
  • women composers is Hildegard of Bingen.
  • She was a re markable woman, at a time
  • when few women wrote, she produced
  • many works of theology and visionary
  • writings.


  • Hildegard had a vision that changed the course of her life. A vision of god gave her instant understanding of the meaning of the religious texts, and commanded her to write down everything she would observe in her visions.


  • Hildegard was able to finish her first
  • visionary workScivias("Know the Ways
  • of the Lord") and her fame began to
  • spread through Germany and beyond.


  • In addition toSciviasshe wrote two other
  • works of visionary writing:
  • - Liber vitae meritorum(1150-63) (Book of
  • Life's Merits)
  • -Liber divinorum operum (1163) ("Book of
  • Divine Works"), in which she wrote about