The experiences of women in the Middle Ages have been receiving growing amounts of attention, and we are only now beginning to appreciate the full extent of their contributions. Women significantly shaped medieval political, economic, and cultural life as rulers, religious leaders, wives, patrons, teachers, healers, merchants, warriors, and agricultural laborers. They also produced enduring works in historiography, literature, music, and the visual arts. Comprehensive in scope, meticulous in scholarship, and accessible in style to general readers and specialists alike, this encyclopedia offers full coverage of the myriad roles, experiences, and contributions of women in the medieval world. Written by leading scholars in a variety of fields, Women in the Middle Ages offers more than 300 alphabetically arranged entries that conclude with extensive bibliographies of both primary and secondary sources. Entries cover people and topics ranging from the third to the fifteenth centuries, and treat well-known figures, more recently discovered or re-evaluated figures, and much more.
Medieval women in the principal stages of life, both mortal and spiritual, are also covered in entries on childhood, virginity, marriage, widowhood, penitentials, hagiography, and relics. This illustrated encyclopedia also includes a general bibliography, index, and guide to related topics.