The main attraction of magic was its perceived power to influence things that made people anxious, because they were beyond their control. Judging by medieval literature, to a medieval husband, one of the biggest causes for anxiety was his wife’s fidelity.
Scholars have long argued about the extent of female agency in the middle ages. New research from Catalonia suggests a society ready to respect female authority on many levels. But how do these findings relate to women’s experience outside Western Europe?