Medieval Feminism


It shouldn’t surprise anyone that women held places of power in the ancient world. One example comes from a small, French village where in 1258 a local religious woman rose to the position equivalent to mayor. Few of her abilities were regarded more highly than her piety and wisdom. For this she was given the title “Nun the Wiser.”

She selected a young protégé from the village to whom she could impart her wisdom and skills. Of course, this young girl became known as “Nun the Less.”

And that children is your history lesson for today.

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4 Comments

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  1. I’m sure I’ve previously shared my hope with you that one day Sally Field will run for POTUS as “Nun of the Above”.

  2. also, from my August email:

    try this one…….Everyone knows that on old warships, the cannon balls were stored near the weapon, in a pyramid stack, for which the less than inspiring name is given to them as a “monkey”. So, the cannon balls were stored on the monkey, which has indentations that were used to retain the cannon balls in their place. Typically, due to the salt and humid atmosphere, the monkeys were made of brass to keep the cannon balls from corroding in place. These monkeys were very commonly used on large sailing warships. Everyone also knows that the thermal expansion coefficient of brass and iron is very different. So, on particularly cold days, the cannon balls would rattle around the monkey as the indentations and cannon balls would expand / contract at different rates. This would make the fit loose, and not as rigid. If cold enough, the cannon balls would become so loose that they would work their way free of the monkey.

    On these days, the sailors were often heard to say that it was ” cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey”

  3. Barefoot,

    I just wanted to say that I love your work! I look forward to reading your articles and your blog everyday! Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Stephanie!

  4. I learn something interesting every time I come here.

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