By Rosmarie Thee, ed. Morewedge
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Extra info for The Role of woman in the Middle Ages: papers of the sixth annual conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972
The slow spread of a Christian ethos also tempered violence and helped build an orderly society, which inevitably favored the physically weak. New attitudes toward warfare had a similar effect. 49 But the newer ideals of medieval chivalry virtually excluded the woman from direct involvement in the dangerous arts of fighting, and warriors were urged to defend her. The refinement of manners and morals, associated with the new courts and the new cities, probably helped relieve some women of the heavy physical tasks which earlier medieval society had imposed upon them.
Leges visigothorum, ed. Karl Zeumer, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Legum Sectio I (Hanover and Leipzig: Hahn, 1892), 1, p. 127. Leges Alamannorum, chaps. 5556, p. 112. 28. Leges Alamannorum Antiquiores, pp. 105-6. The penalty for selling a free man who later returned alive was forty solidi, and eighty solidi for a free woman. 29. Balzan, Farfa, 5:258: "De manicipiis quae bene laborant. . " 30. See, for example, the Pactus legis sahcae, p. 261: "ancilla ipsa cellarium aut genitium domini sui tenuerit.
Hopkins adds the telling comment that gravestone evidence from other periods has proved similarly unreliable. He concludes that it is entirely possible that women died sooner than men in ancient society, but that the inscriptions give no sure proof of this. His criticisms are well taken, but we may still hope that classical scholars, through heightened ingenuity and more refined methods, may yet be able to gain from this enormous fund of inscriptions reliable data concerning life and death under the Roman empire.
The Role of woman in the Middle Ages: papers of the sixth annual conference of the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6-7 May 1972 by Rosmarie Thee, ed. Morewedge