Medieval women were considered unfit for public tasks such as governance and warfare. Nonetheless, many princesses wielded power, as a result of their dynastic position and personal ambition. Female role models of the late medieval period seem to reflect the ambiguity of their position.
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?
[Click here: naked women!] Modern advertising companies often use the female body, and breasts in particular, to attract attention. Renaissance artists and writers were rather preoccupied with the subject too.