Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

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1. Record Number: 5000
Author(s): Medici, Maria Teresa Guerra.
Title : Sulla giurisdizione temporale e spirituale della abbadessa First recorded in the West in the sixth century, abbesses had considerable power over their nuns and over any estates owned by the monastery. Beginning with the time of Charlemagne, legislators tried to prohibit abbesses from performing certain ritual acts, like vesting their new nuns, prohibitions that entered the canon law. Gregory IX did concede an abbess the power to censure critics who disobeyed them. Canonists described this as a customary power, involving a command to ordained clergy to censure the disobedient. Baldus de Ubaldus and other jurists defended the immunity of abbesses from imprisonment because of the debts of their monasteries].
Source: Il monachesimo femminile in Italia dall' Alto Medioevo al secolo XVII a confronto con l' oggi.   Edited by Gabriella Zarri .   San Pietro in Cariano: Il Segno dei Gabrielli editori, 1997.  Pages 75 - 86.
Year of Publication: 1997.