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.
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?