Marvellous Medieval Matriarchs

If you thought that what women did during the middle ages was... yawn...sewed and cooked a lot...  well, see what you think after this! One way or another, many women in the medieval period lived wild and fascinating lives. The links below will get you exploring the lives of women during the period of the crusades. There is amazing variation in the lives experienced. Surf to search, then answer the questions that are below each link.

The.Armoury  The.Throne.Room  Amazon.of.The.Crusaders  Queen.of.the.Egyptian.Army  

 

  • Shagrat (or Shajarat) al-Durr: Queen of the Egyptian Army - Women who were 'powers behind the throne' are always fascinating. But those who move out of the shadows to sit on the throne itself can be even more so. Read about Shagrat al-Durr, who took upon herself the title of Sultan, and regrouped the Egyptian army to take Damietta back from the Frankish Crusaders.

Question

  • Shagrat al-Durr became an Islamic Sultan and was the Queen of the Egyptian Army. However she was eventually fired from this position by the Caliph of Baghdad. What common Islamic attitude or idea was reinforced when Shagrat's was dismissed from her position of Sultan?

 

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  • Eleanor of Aquitaine: Amazon of the Crusaders - Eleanor of Aquitaine was a powerful personality in feudal Europe. It has been said that Queen Eleanor appeared at a cathedral in Vézelay (France) dressed like an Amazon galloping through the crowds on a white horse, urging them to join the crusades. She certainly went. Discover her story!

Question

  • Eleanor of Aquitaine married Louis VII, King of France at the age of 15 . I guess being the Queen of France is pretty good reason for some fame, but this alone is not why Eleanor is famous. Why is Eleanor of Aquitaine remembered? 

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  • The Throne Room - Though women were often used as pawns in the medieval political arena, not all women allowed their political abilities to go to waste. Read about those who lived a political life here!

Question

  • Women did involve themselves in politics in Medieval Europe, but generally needed to be of a certain political and social class. What class would a woman need to be from to do this? Why? What type of political activity did these women generally engage in and why this and not other types of activity? 

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  • The Armoury - Some Medieval women were soldiers. As commanders, defenders, or mercenaries, women made their mark on medieval warfare. However...there was something unique about why women warriors were feared...

Question

  • Many women fighters were included in the ranks of both mercenary and national armies. They were sometimes feared more than men. Why were they feared?

 

 

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Question Mark

What, you have completed these? Ok, try the links below: and see if you can devise your own questions and find answers for them!

 Women.In.Science   Women.in.Religion   Women.in.Trade   Women.In.Arts   Women.In.Politics   The.Matrilineal.Line

 

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