Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


Translation of the Month

May 2017 [Posted July 2018]

Visions of Sainthood in Medieval Rome: The Lives of Margherita Colonna by Giovanni Colonna and Stefania. Translated by Larry F. Field. Edited and Introduced by Lezlie S. Knox and Sean L. Field. University of Notre Dame Press, 2017. ISBN 9780268102012.

Coronation of the Virgin, apse mosaic by Jacopo Torriti
Coronation of the Virgin, apse mosaic by Jacopo Torriti, Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome, 1295. (Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

"Margherita Colonna (1255–1280) was born into one of the great baronial families that dominated Rome politically and culturally in the thirteenth century. After the death of her father and mother, Margherita was raised by her brothers, including Cardinal Giacomo Colonna. The two extant contemporary accounts of her short life offer a daring model of mystical lay piety forged in imitation of St. Francis but worked out in the vibrant world of medieval Rome.

In Visions of Sainthood in Medieval Rome, Larry F. Field, Lezlie S. Knox, and Sean L. Field present the first English translations of Margherita Colonna's two "lives" and a dossier of associated texts, along with thoroughly researched contextualization and scholarly examination. The first of the two lives was written by a layman, the Roman Senator Giovanni Colonna, one of Margherita Colonna's brothers. The second was written by a woman named Stefania, who had been a close follower of Margherita Colonna and assumed leadership of her Franciscan community after Margherita's death. These intriguing texts open up new perspectives on numerous historical questions. How did authorial gender and status influence hagiographic perspective? How fluid was the nature of female Franciscan identity during the era in which the papacy was creating the Order of St. Clare? What were the experiences and influences of female visionaries? And what was the process of saint-making at the heart of an aristocratic Roman family? These texts add rich new texture to our overall picture of medieval visionary culture and will interest students and scholars of medieval and renaissance history, literature, religion, and women's studies." —Description reproduced from the publisher's website.

Ikone der Heiligen Eudokia, Einlegearbeit in Stein und Elfenbein, 10. Jh.Indexers select a translation each month that is significant in the ideas it presents.  This gives users an opportunity to see a range of newly translated medieval works of importance for women's and gender studies.  It also will build an archive of references to translations that will be useful as classroom readings.

Depending upon the content, an entire work may be indexed as a single title like the vita of a saint or the collected cartularies of a countess.  But in many cases the translation deals only in part with issues involving women and gender.  In those instances, indexing goes to a deeper level, identifying and describing specific sections within a text.  For example, there are 93 records for pertinent sections in the Siete Partidas.

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There are currently over 1800 records for translations in Feminae.  There are also over 300 records for editions in original languages.

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