Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


Translation of the Month

April 2017 [Posted June 2018]

"The Saintly Life of the Blessed Lady Rickeldey, Named Gertrude, and the Great Wonders that Our Dear Lord Accomplished with Her." Translated by Gertrud Jaron Lewis and Tillman Lewis. Edited and annotated by Michael Hopf, Freimut Löser, and Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker. The Dedicated Spiritual Life of Upper Rhine Noble Women: A Study and Translation of a Fourteenth-Century Spiritual Biography of Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg and Heilke of Staufenberg. By Anneke B. Mulder-Bakke. Sanctimoniales: Religious Women series, 2. Brepols, 2017. Pages 111-250. ISBN 9782503574318.

Crowned woman (likely Eleanor of Woodstock) at Mass
Crowned woman (likely Eleanor of Woodstock) at Mass, Taymouth Hours, 14th century, more information. (Source: British Library, public domain)

" Lady Gertrude Rickeldey of Ortenberg (d. 1335) was a noble widow who lived a spiritual, but secular life in her own household, first in Offenburg and later in Strasbourg, the economic and cultural heart of southern Germany. Her life story was written by a lay woman from Gertrude's entourage and was based on numerous stories told by Gertrude's lifelong companion, Heilke of Staufenberg (d. after 1335). The biographer gives us a view of the aristocratic household, reports the many conversations that the women held with fellow believers and learned mendicants, and shows how they led a life of devotion in their own home while also being full citizens of the city, taking part in both the civic and religious politics of Strasbourg. The details of her account reveal that the women did not take vows or renounce their possessions. They did not abandon their own decision-making power. Instead, they were mistresses of their own lives and developed into ethicae of stature." — 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.

Feminae welcomes unpublished translations and editions that authors may wish to make available.