Women in the Middle Ages:

Women and/in Religion

These sites are in alphabetical order and do not reflect any kind of hierarchy. They are selected to complement the medieval and medieval women episodes of Dr. John Lienhard's The Engines of Our Ingenuity from the University of Houston's KUHF Public Radio station, and to assist in further research. Links to an Engines page are indicated with three blue bullets, thus: .

--Sherron Lux, Medievalist and Librarian

General/Group:

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Specific/Individual:

      Angela of Foligno (c.1248-1309):  

    Links and tidbits on the Italian mystic Angela of Foligno (c.1248-1309), from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online translations of Angela's writings and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Bartolomea Ricciboni (c.1369-1440):  

    Bartolomea Ricciboni links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, includes a brief biography as well as links to online information about this 15th-century Dominican nun, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Beatrijs of Nazareth (c.1200-1268):  

    Beatrijs of Nazareth (c.1200-1268) links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online translations of writings by Beatrijs and secondary sources about her, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Birgitta of Sweden (c.1303-1373):  

    Find links and tidbits on Birgitta of Sweden at Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, which includes a brief biography as well as links to online biographies, original Latin and English translations of Birgitta's writings, and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her, including editions and secondary sources.

    See the Bridget of Sweden Glossary entry at the ECOLE site.

    The Internet Medieval Sourcebook provides a full text of St. Bridget's Revelations to the Popes in translation, along with notes and background material.

      Catherine of Siena (1347-1380):  

    The online Catholic Encyclopedia provides a biography of St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican Tertiary.

    Catherine of Siena links and tidbits from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, includes a brief biography as well as links to online biographies, original Italian as well as translations of St. Catherine's writings, and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her, even including a possible contemporary portrait.

    Christian Classics Ethereal Library provides a translation of The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin Catherine of Siena, "dictated by her, while in a state of ecstasy, to her secretaries, and completed in the year of our Lord 1370."

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Catherine of Siena, Reformer and Spiritual Teacher", with brief biography, prayer, and appropriate Bible references. This page is part of Kiefer's Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

    Here is a page of St. Catherine of Siena Internet Links, from the Dominican Central site.

     St. Clare of Assisi (1193/4-1253)

    A short biography of Saint Clare of Assisi is provided by The Poor Clares, the Order St. Clare founded.

    Clare of Assisi links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online translations of writings by St. Clare and secondary sources about her, even to frescoes of her attributed to Giotto, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Clare of Assisi, Nun", with a short biography, prayer, and appropriate Bible references. This page is part of Kiefer's Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

    St. Clare's Prayer to Our Lord, with a very brief biography, is available through Brother John Raymond's Prayer Pages at The Monks of Adoration: A Catholic Community.

      St. Clotilde (c.474-545):  

    Find a brief entry at the ECOLE site on St. Clotilde, who converted her husband, King Clovis, to Christianity.

      St. Cuthburga (d.725):  

    ECOLE offers a tidbit on St. Cuthburga, founder and first abbess of Wimborne.

      Margareta Ebner (c.1291-1351):  

    Find links and tidbits about little-known (today) German nun and visionary Margareta Ebner at Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, including a brief biography as well as links to other online information about Margareta, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her, including translations and secondary sources.

      Elisabeth of Schonau (1128/9-1164/5):  

    Elisabeth of Schonau (1128/9-1164/5) links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online secondary sources about the Benedictine nun, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231):  

    Here's a brief biography of Elizabeth of Hungary, at the ECOLE site.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Elizabeth of Hungary, Princess and Philanthropist", with a brief biography and prayer. This page is part of Kiefer's Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

      Euphrosyne of Polotsk (d.1173):  

    From the ECOLE site, here's a brief biography of Euphrosyne of Polotsk, recluse and founder of a monastery at Seltse.

      Fateema (c.609/10-633):  

    From the ECOLE site, here's a brief biography of Fateema, Muhammed's favorite daughter and Islam's principle female figure

      Gertrud of Helfta (c.1256-1302):  

    Gertrud of Helfta links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online translations of writings by the German nun and scholar and secondary sources about her, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    Find St. Gertrud's Herald of Divine Grace in the original Latin at the Peregrina site: Legatus Divinae Pietatis, Book 1, and Legatus Divinae Pietatis, Book 2.

       Hadewijch of Antwerp (mid 1200s):  

    Hadewijch of Antwerp links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online original Middle Dutch and translated writings by "the love mystic" and secondary sources about her, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    This tidbit on Hadewijch from Early Music by Women Composers includes English translations of selections of several of her sacred poems. (It also includes a tiny tidbit on Queen Blanche of Castile.)

      Heloise (1100/01-1163/4):  

    Heloise links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online original Latin and translations of writings by Heloise and secondary sources about her and her times, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    Read the account of Heloise's lover and mentor; Peter Abelard's Historia Calamitatum, translated by Henry Bellows in 1922, is online through Paul Halsall's Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

    A letter which Heloise wrote to Abelard after having read his Historia Calamitatum is in translation at McMaster University.

      Hilda of Whitby (614-680):  

    Here's a brief biography of abbess and scholar Hilda of Whitby, from the ECOLE site.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Hilda of Whitby, Abbess and Peacemaker", a short biography with prayer, from his Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

      Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179):  

    See her biography at St. Hildegard from The Catholic Encyclopedia.

    Hildegard of Bingen links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online original Latin and translated writings by "the Sybil of the Rhine" and to some of her illuminations and secondary sources about her, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    Nancy Fierro of Mt. St. Mary's College has a fine article on the background of Hildegard's music, "Hildegard of Bingen: Symphony of the Harmony of Heaven", with a Discography following. (Note: Discography last updated 1997)

    For more information on Hildegard von Bingen, see these links from Norma Gentile on Hildegard's musical notation, artwork, chant texts, and articles.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Hildegard of Bingen, Visionary", with a short biography, brief discussion of some of her ideas, prayer, and appropriate Bible references. This page is part of Kiefer's Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

    For a few of Hildegard's manuscript illuminations, see:

    Sarah Whitworth's Early Music by Women Composers includes an annotated Hildegard Discography, which includes notes on her writings as well as some illustrations.

      Hroswitha (c.932-c.1002):  

    See the online Catholic Encyclopedia for a biography of Hroswitha.

    "Hroswitha" looks briefly at the 10th-century Saxon nun who not only wrote comedies based on saints' lives, but was also a mathematician and astronomer.

      Hypatia of Alexandria (c.370-415):  

    No. 215: "Hypatia's Mathematics" considers the brilliant 4th-century mathematician and astronomer. For the updated and corrected version, see No. 1555.

    Howard A. Landman has assembled an impressive array of links on Hypatia of Alexandria.

      St. Isabel of France (1225-1270):  

    The Catholic Encyclopedia provides a good biography of St. Isabel of France, sister of Louis IX and founder of a convent, the Monastery of the Humility of the Blessed Virgin.

    From Catholic Online Saints comes this mini-biography of St. Isabel of France.


      Joan of Arc (1412-1431):  

    For a lengthy essay and print bibliography on Joan of Arc/Jeanne la Pucelle, see "Jeanne La Pucelle and the Dying God" by James L. Matterer of CMU.

    Beth Randall includes Joan of Arc in her site Illuminating Lives. For Joan, she provides a short biography with an illumination (b&w).

    From the ORB site: Joan of Arc: An Introductory Bibliography, suggested readings by Bonnie Wheeler and Charles T. Wood. The sections include Printed Bibliography; Joan of Arc in History; Literature.

    Bonnie Wheeler and Co., the International Joan of Arc Society, have created a fine Joan of Arc site, which includes Texts Related to Joan of Arc, an email discussion group, conference sessions, bibliography, images, an interactive map, links, comments, and information about The International Joan of Arc Society/Société Internationale de l'étude de Jeanne d'Arc.

    Professor Gerhard Rempel of Western New England College has provided an interesting history lecture on Joan of Arc.

    From La Bibliothèque nationale de France comes Le roi Charles V et son temps (1338-1380), including a gorgeous collection of 1000 manuscript illuminations, often with text or embedded in text. For Joan of Arc, see especially:

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Joan of Arc, Visionary", with a brief biography and appropriate prayer.

    From the Internet Medieval Sourcebook:

    Catholic Online Saints provides a very brief biography of St. Joan of Arc.

      Julian of Norwich (c.1342-aft.1416):  

    For a brief biography and discussion of Julian's writings, see Juliana of Norwich at The Catholic Encyclopedia.

    Links and tidbits on Julian of Norwich from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices includes a brief biography as well as links to online biographies, editions and translations of Julian's writings, and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her, including editions and secondary sources.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Dame Julian of Norwich, Contemplative", a brief biography and discussion of her work, with prayer and appropriate Bible references. This page is part of Kiefer's Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past.

    CCEL provides the full text of Julian's mystical Revelations of Divine Love.

      Margery Kempe (c.1373-aft.1429):  

    Margery Kempe links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, includes a brief biography as well as links to online biographies, translations of Margery's writings, and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

    Christian history enthusiast James E. Kiefer offers "Margery Kempe, Mystic", a very brief biography.

    See Margery Kempe from the "Travelling to Jerusalem" seminar site (University of Colorado) for a brief biography, brief itinerary of her Jerusalem pilgrimage, a translation of the appropriate chapters, maps, student papers, bibliography, and links.

      Marguerite d'Oingt (d.1310):  

    Marguerite d'Oingt (d.1310) links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as a link to an online translation of part of Marguerite's writings, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Abbess Maria Gonzalez de Aguero (fl. early 1300's):  

     Abbess Maria Gonzalez de Aguero (fl. early 1300's) commissioned the copying of the Las Huelgas Codex; read a brief discographic essay from Early Music by Women Composers.

      Mechthild of Magdeburg (c.1210?-1282?):  

    Links and tidbits on the visionary and poet Mechthild of Magdeburg, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, include a brief biography as well as links to online translations of writings by Mechthild and secondary sources about her, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      Marguerite Porete (d.1310):  

    Marguerite Porete links and tidbits, from Dorothy Disse's Other Women's Voices, includes a brief biography as well as links to online biographies, translations of this Belgian mystic's writings, and secondary sources, as well as to bibliographies to print works by and about her.

      St. Olga (c.879/90-969):  

    Catholic Online Saints provides a tidbit on St. Olga.

    Read a brief biography of Olga, probably the first Russian saint. ECOLE provides the biography, as well as a link to an anonymous American icon of St. Olga.

      Radegund the Deaconess (518-587):  

    ECOLE provides a brief biography of Radegund the Deaconess, scholar and peacemaker.

    Onnie Duvall of Utah Valley State College provides biography and historical background for Radegund the Deaconess, also called Radegund of Poitiers.

      St. Scholastica (late 5th-early 6th c.?):  

     Check out this charming tale of St. Scholastica, Twin Sister of St. Benedict from The Order of Saint Benedict; her page includes Notes as well as Related Sources.

    See the thoughtful article "Saint Scholastica and Saint Benedict: A Paradox, A Paradigm" by Sister Jane Morrissey, S.S.J.

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Created April 1998 by Sherron Lux

UPDATED January 2002

sherronclg@hotmail.com

Thanks to Eos Development for graphics.