Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


Translation of the Month

February 2019 [Posted January 2020]

Meyer, Johannes. Women's History in the Age of Reformation: Johannes Meyer's Chronicle of the Dominican Observance. Translated by Claire Taylor Jones. Mediaeval Sources in Translation 58. Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2019. ISBN 9780888443083.

Woman (Gaia?) holding a basket of fruit
Dominican friar preaching to a group of nuns, illustrated initial, Johannes Meyer, Buch der Ersetzung (or the Supplement), Mödlingen, St. Marien Monastery, 1483, (Source: Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig, MS 1548, fol. 34v, public domain)

"In his work, The Book of the Reformation of the Order of Preachers, the Dominican friar Johannes Meyer (1422–1485) drew on letters, treatises, and other written records, as well as interviews, oral accounts, and his own personal experience, to record the blossoming of the Observant reform movement. The result is this sprawling, eclectic, yet curiously intimate account of the men – but mostly of the women – who devoted their lives to revitalizing the Dominican order in southern Germany. With his reliance on their accounts and archives and respect for their intellectual abilities and spiritual resolve, Meyer’s treatment of medieval Dominican women provides a model from which today’s historians stand to learn.

The introduction contextualizes Meyer’s celebratory work within a more objective historical background; it is followed by a full translation, making this remarkable history available to English-speaking readers for the first time." — [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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