Family structures and gendered power in early medieval kingdoms : the case of Charlemagne’s mother
Janet L. Nelson
Janet L. Nelson, "Family structures and gendered power in early medieval kingdoms : the case of Charlemagne’s mother", dans Giulia Calvi (éd.), Women Rulers in Europe : Agency, Practice and the Representation of Political Powers (XII-XVIII), EUI Working Papers HEC, n° 2008/2, pp. 27-44 (http://cadmus.iue.it/dspace/handle/1814/9288).
In the past twenty years or so, the historiography of earlier medieval women has been much debated and substantially revised. The old narratives sometimes contradicted each other. One pictured women’s high status in a homogenous Germanic culture holding its own in the new barbarian kingdoms against the secular and ecclesiastic versions of Romanitas, while another suggested that the ancient status was crushed. One, looking to the longue durée, held that women’s position steadily improved through the benevolence of the Churchg, while another saw ecclesiastical pressures reinforcing patriarchy in another guise, and eventually forcing a Frauenfrage that was really a Herrenfrage. There was a story about a Golden Age followed by decline, but an alternative record was of inaudibility followed by vociferousness.