WOMEN SCIENTISTS OF THE MIDDLE AGES
An excellent article recommended me by an old friend. It is well worth your read and it has superb gaming applications for female characters in Medieval and fantasy games. As well as for fiction writings. You can read the entire article by following the link.
Alana Merritt Mahaffey, M.L.A. Candidate
Mentors: Drs. Marck L. Beggs, Bill Gentry, and Gary Simmons
Until the women‟s movements of the 1800s and 1900s, the limitations set by society for women
in the West hardly evolved since the Middle Ages. It is well known that most women in the
Middle Ages were restricted in their roles as citizens, limited by social status, by economic
constraints, and by a well established and unquestioned sexism prevalent in church, politics, and
family. A woman was defined, especially during the Middle Ages, by how the men with whom
she associated defined her. These men were most often her husband or her father. As Christaine
Klapisch Zuber points out in Medieval Callings, “Men of the middle ages long conceived of „the
woman‟ as a category, but only late in the period did they distinguish variations in the behavior
expected of women by applying criteria such as professional activities to their model. Before she
was seen as a peasant, the lady of a castle, or a saint, ‘the woman’ was defined by her body, her
gender, and her relations with family groups. Wife, widow, or maid, her juridical persona and
the ethic by which she lived in her daily life were portrayed in relation to a man or group of man” (285).
By this standard, the average Medieval woman had as much chance of acquiring independent
wealth, receiving a well rounded education, or making significant contributions to society as her
husband‟s cattle. Therefore, it is all the more remarkable that history yields to us several
outstanding women of the Middle Ages and 1600s whose accomplishments in the fields of
science and writing are still recognized today as valid and significant.
The status of the woman living in the Middle Ages broadened only by necessity. Many men
needed the help of their wives to sustain the family, and so men began bringing their wives into
the same trade guilds of which the men were already members. Women in these guilds were
expected to learn their husbands‟ trades and, in many cases, were given “masters status” in these
trades. (Gies 180). In the event of her husband‟s death, the widow was able to take an apprentice
herself. The natural evolution of allowing wives into guilds was the emergence of all female
guilds, which usually catered to women in the tapestry and candle trades…
Posted on September 7, 2014, in Archaeology, Character/Character Development, Commentary, Discovery, Fantasy, Game Design, History, Information, Media, Non-Fiction, Paper, Real World, Role Play, RPG, Uncategorized and tagged article, blog, characters, game design, history, Medieval, women, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.