Epistolae: Letters of Medieval Women


As the “Ladies of Force and Fire” also known as the US GL Women’s Conference fast approaches, I thought that it would be appropriate to share a wonderful collection of letters that is on-line free to explore.  The Epistolae are a collection of letters in Latin from the Medieval times that have been translated into English and all of the letters were written by women.   Where as the history according to men is so plentiful, these letters give insight to world of women in Medieval times.   Some of these women are spectacularly famous queens like Eleanor of Aquitaine, Blanche of Castile, and Berengaria of Navarre.   Other letters are to and from high-ranking nuns, like Hildegard of Bingen and Hrosvit of Gandersheim.  But not everyone on Epistolae is famous or necessarily noble. One letter is from Anselm of Canterbury to a nun named Mabilia, who (evidently) had written to him with a request to visit her family. (Anselm very eloquently says no.) Another letter is from Pope Gregory I to a priest’s servant, Montana, granting her freedom, Roman citizenship, and a partial inheritance so that she may enter a monastery.   These letters are an interesting look into our history.



Ixel Balamke

Ixel Balamke was one of the two founding members of Sekhet-Bast-Ra in Oklahoma City. Currently living in the Twin Cities, she is currently the LBM of Leaping Laughter Lodge. She also is a Meanad and lover of fine wines. Her life long partner Hunahpu and she are well known for their Wine Tastings at NOTOCON. Together they have a small wine cellar that currently holds over 300 bottles.

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