Sainted Women of the Dark Ages

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Jo Ann McNamara, John E. Halborg, E. Gordon Whatley
Duke University Press, Mar 30, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 340 pages
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Sainted Women of the Dark Ages makes available the lives of eighteen Frankish women of the sixth and seventh centuries, all of whom became saints. Written in Latin by contemporaries or near contemporaries, and most translated here for the first time, these biographies cover the period from the fall of the Roman Empire and the conversion of the invading Franks to the rise of Charlemagne's family.
Three of these holy women were queens who turned to religion only after a period of intense worldly activity. Others were members of the Carolingian family, deeply implicated in the political ambitions of their male relatives. Some were partners in the great Irish missions to the pagan countryside and others worked for the physical salvation of the poor. From the peril and suffering of their lives they shaped themselves as paragons of power and achievement. Beloved by their sisters and communities for their spiritual gifts, they ultimately brought forth a new model of sanctity.
These biographies are unusually authentic. At least two were written by women who knew their subjects, while others reflect the direct testimony of sisters within the cloister walls. Each biography is accompanied by an introduction and notes that clarify its historical context. This volume will be an excellent source for students and scholars of women's studies and early medieval social, religious, and political history.

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Review: Sainted Women of the Dark Ages

User Review  - Cynthia - Goodreads

Read this years ago and loved it. Great information and insight into women from the 6th and 7th centuries. Read full review


1 Genovefa Virgin of Paris 423502
2 Clothild Queen of the Franks d 544
3 Monegund Widow and Recluse of Tours d 570
4 Radegund Queen of the Franks and Abbess of Poitiers ca 525587
5 Eustadiola Widow of Bourges 594684
6 Caesaria II Abbess of Saint Jean of Arles ca 550
7 Rusticula Abbess of Arles ca 556632
11 Rictrude Abbess of Marchiennes ca 614688
12 Gertrude Abbess of Nivelles 628658
13 Aldegund Abbess of Maubeuge d ca 684 Waldetrude Abbess of Mons d ca 688
14 Balthild Queen of Neustria d ca 680
15 Bertilla Abbess of Chelles d ca 700
16 Anstrude Abbess of Laon ca 645 d before 709
17 Austreberta Abbess of Pavilly 650703

8 Glodesind Abbess in Metz ca 600
9 Burgundofara Abbess of Faremoutiers 603645
10 Sadalberga Abbess of Laon ca 605670

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About the author (1992)

JoAnn McNamara is Professor of History Emerita at Hunter College, City University of New York.

John E. Halborg is a parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Church in New York City.

Gordon Whatley is Professor of English at Queen’s College, City University of New York.

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