Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

  • Title: Isidore of Seville presents his work to Florentine (or Florentina), his sister
  • Creator:
  • Description: In this Carolingian frontispiece illustration, Isidore of Seville sits on a high chair or throne. He presents his book, De fide catholica to Florentine, his sister who was a nun. He wrote the text for her as the inscription above them attests. Another brother, Leander, also the archbishop of Seville, wrote De institutione virginum et contemptu mundi for Florentine and her community of nuns. The text includes a 31-chapter rule of life for the women in the monastery. As a child Florentine and her parents fled Spain for the safety of Carthage in North Africa. Years later Isidore brought her back to Spain where she founded a monastery, Santa Maria de Valle near Seville in Écija, in which she served as the abbess.
  • Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Rights: Public domain
  • Subject (See Also): Books Donor Portraits Family Florentine, Saint Isidore of Seville, Theologian Monasticism Nuns Sisters
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 9
  • Date: ca. 800
  • Related Work: Isidore of Seville, De fide catholica contra Iudaeos. See the digitized Bibliothèque nationale manuscript: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8426784k
  • Current Location: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France BnF, Latin 13396 fol. 1v
  • Original Location: Abbey of Corbie (?)
  • Artistic Type (Category): Digital images; Manuscript illuminations
  • Artistic Type (Material/Technique): Vellum (parchment)
  • Donor:
  • Height/Width/Length(cm): 27 cm/18 cm/
  • Inscription: Soror mea Floren/tine accipie codicem/Quem tibi compo/sui feliciter/ amen [“My sister Florentine, accept the codex that I have happily composed for you. Amen.”]
  • Related Resources: Leander, Saint, Archbishop of Seville, and John R. C. Martyn, ed. and trans. A Book on the Teaching of Nuns; and, A Homily in Praise of the Church. Lexington Books, 2009;
    Woods, Jamie. "A Family Affair: Leander, Isidore and the Legacy of Gregory the Great in Spain." In Isidore of Seville and His Reception in the Early Middle Ages. Edited by Andrew Fear and Jamie Wood. Amsterdam University Press, 2016. Pages 31-56.