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Synopsis

This volume focuses on the paradox of motherhood in the European Middle Ages: to be a mother is at once to hold great power, and by the same token to be acutely vulnerable. The essays analyse the powers and the dangers of motherhood. Three main themes emerge: survival, agency, and institutionalization. The volume spans the Middle Ages, from late Roman North Africa through ninth-century Byzantium to late medieval Somerset, drawing in a range of historians, including textual scholars, literary critics, students of religion and economic historians.

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