Women in Medieval Italian Society 500-1200

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In this first book to explore women's lives in medieval Italy from the sixth to the thirteenth centuries, Patricia Skinner outlines the development of women's history in Italy before exploring medieval sources for their lives. She conveys the rich variety of women's lives and experiences through new readings of the source material and newly-translated excerpts. The book is arranged chronologically, and each chapter includes a brief political overview together with a focus on key female figures in Italian history, mainly rulers, who have been neglected by surveys of medieval European women. In contrast to many treatments, the book includes substantial comparisons between the northern and southern halves of the peninsula. It also challenges some of the standard historiography on medieval Italy by demonstrating that women often did not benefit from the so-called advances in Italian political and social structures.

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