Researching Medieval Women

This project has been fascinating! I have thoroughly enjoyed researching noble women from Medieval France and England. I have learned so much about not only culture and customs of the time period, but how women (and ideas about women) have and have not changed over the course of hundreds of years. At first I struggled to narrow down my ideas enough to find good sources and craft a valid and feasible topic for research. I was reminded that you definitely have to do some digging before deciding on a topic, and I ended up changing my original idea for this project a few times over the last couple of weeks.

My favorite part of this project was the chance to notice the differences and similarities between modern day women and women from the past, 12th century Europe specifically. As I researched and read about these women, I briefly encountered experiences of women from other cultures and time periods which piqued my interest even more. There were so many avenues I could have explored with this topic and it became difficult for me to choose which path to follow with my research. It was also difficult to pare down the information I gathered to a blog post of 250 words…I went over every time, and still had oodles of information I would like to have added.

The topics I chose to research were:

1. The history, ‘rules’ and a bit of the psychology of courtly love

2. Medieval marriage and the differences between the marriages of noblewomen and peasants

3. How marriage contracts during Medieval times differ from modern day marriages

4. Historic women warriors and the significance of armor in 2 examples from Medieval history (the Amazon warrior Camilla and French knight Silence from Romane de Silence)

5. Property inheritance regulations regarding women as heiresses to titles and property

6. Women acting as regent rulers for underage heirs and absent (or dead) husbands

I had a ton of fun and definitely learned a lot. (Thanks for this opportunity and all your help Prof. P!)

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Filed under Final Projects -- Cohort II

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