HSTAM 111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Double Monastery, Consecration, Leoba

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Lecture Notes 3
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Abbesses and holy women
- Few options as a woman
o Enter convent or monastery
o Get married and raise family
- To join a monastery, must generally be of noble status
o Oblation giving children to a monastery or convent
- Benefits
o Safety from political violence
o Access to education could follow their intellectual interests
o Longer lifespan b/c no childbearing
o Very powerful
o Revered by society around them
- Non-convent noblewomen taught social conventions, housekeeping, knitting/sewing;
not reading or writing, necessarily
- Women in cloister (“contained” within monastery) – often assumed roles of men; became
near equals to male counterparts
In 4th c. women were pushed out of official church position b/c Constantinople declares
Christianity as Europe (?)’s official religion
Scriptoria rooms in monasteries for writing and copying manuscripts
- Nobility found and grant property to monasteries
- The person running it very powerful political player (abbot or abbess)
- Double monastery house for women and house for men; segregated
o Abbess usually in charge of both houses
o Example: Fulda
- Often used as a political prison
- Laybrother(sister) do the manual labor in monasteries; commoners who join monastery
Synod of Whitby (664) Hilda convenes council to decide when to hold Easter
- Storm
o Community seeks safety at monastery
o Leoba leads community in prayer to the holy mother Mary
o Community looks toward Leoba to do something
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