Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 14288
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Hennessey , Cecily.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Visibility/Invisibility: Young Male Byzantine Saints
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Byzantium Hagiography Male Adolescents Masculinity
  • Geographic Area: Eastern Mediterranean
  • Century: 7- 8- 9- 10- 11- 12- 13- 14
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  • Abstract: This paper will look at the portrayal of certain male Byzantine saints and martyrs who are consistently depicted as apparently youthful and attractive. The visual material will include icons, mosaics, wall paintings and miniatures from the seventh to fourteenth centuries. I will examine how the saints’ youth or adolescence can be identified and question why the saints were seemingly portrayed as young. I will also explore the presence of sexuality in the representations: should the apparent physical appeal of the youths be associated with spiritual or physical allure or both, and how evident were these aspects to the medieval viewer? In what sense is the maleness of the saints portrayed, or is the appearance of adolescence a denial of maleness? I will use hagiographies about both male and female saints to draw textual comparisons and contrast the depiction of male saints with that of female saints. Female saints are not generally portrayed as youthful, but as womanly, a fact which coincides with the apparent lack of a cultural period of adolescence for Byzantine girls and is a key marker of gender distinctions. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
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