An Insight of Aristocratic Women in Medieval Europe
The culture of Europe dates back centuries. Europe in the middle ages had a culture that was unique globally then. Among the many things that were there in Medieval Europe, there was one thing that is the topic of this essay and it is about the position of women in society.
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In this context, it is important to mention that the lives of the women in Medieval Europe were set on by the aristocracy and the church. The church in Medieval Europe played a crucial role in providing people the meaning of their lives, people‘s duties in their lives.
The aristocracy in Medieval Europe made sure that the people stayed in their respective positions that were set by the feudal system of governance. According to the feudal system of governance, the society is segregated into three classes and they were the nobility, clergy, and serfs.
The position of women in the clergy was very much restricted. Women in Medieval Europe can mostly apply for the position of nunnery. The position of aristocratic women was decided by the amount of land they brought during their marriage.
The rights of women in Europe during the middle ages were not uniform. This essay provides an insight into the aristocratic women in Medieval Europe.
Women’s rights in Medieval Europe
Scholars and researchers have divided the middle ages into 3 periods. They are the early, high, and late middle ages. The rights of women in the middle ages were not uniform. However, the rights of women including that of aristocratic women grew significantly in the late Middle Ages.
This is mainly because of two significant factors and they were the 1) enhancing the popularity of the Virgin Mary cult, 2) birth of concepts and ideologies like chivalry and courtly love. Researches revealed that women’s rights and privileges rose to a very exalted position by the end of the late middle ages.
At one point in time in Medieval Europe, the husband of an aristocratic woman controlled the interests of his wife. The aristocratic woman’s task was to take care of various household activities, love her husband and help him in doing work and produce kids.
The economic and legal status of women
There emerged the medieval guild with enhanced trading and that provided opportunities for the women in the middle ages, mostly the women from the aristocrat sections of the society. The medieval guild was very much responsible for the emergence of the middle class among the women population in Medieval Europe.
This paved the way for aristocratic women to work along with their husbands in a particular trade. Many women in Medieval Europe succeeded their husbands as business heads after the latter’s death. There was a time in the early middle ages in Europe when the husband of a woman was charged for his woman’s trespassing.
But in the late middle ages, particularly when the women became important members of the society, women were directly named and accused if they are found to do trespassing.
The aristocrat women had high mobility during the late middle ages. Yet the aristocrat women remained in the socially accepted niches and they executed the duties that are related to their positions.
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Roles of aristocratic women in society
The aristocratic women in Medieval Europe found freedoms in expression very much like the middle-class women in the society then. Then, the women were paid less and hence women professionals were much cheap compared to their male counterparts.
Hence, most businesses preferred to hire a female workforce as such practice was very much cost-effective and economical. The aristocrat ladies of the Middle Ages participated in their respective husband’s businesses, they cared about their respective husband’s businesses. After the death of their husband the women often took over the control of their husband’s business.
From 1347 CE to 1352 CE the Black Death pandemic occurred and during this pandemic more women took control of their husband’s business after the death of their husbands. Aristocrat women who used to manage the business of their husband whenever he was away doing business or attending wars, now were very much responsible for transactions and operations following the death of their sons and husbands.
It was understood that aristocrat women in Medieval Europe were known to find out ways in their path whenever there was a challenge. Many instances suggest that the women proved to be successful running their husband’s enterprises. The women in Medieval Europe were known to work in guilds and they were known to form their guilds.
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