Saints and scandals: representations of elite women in the writings of Bede and Gregory of Tours

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dc.contributor.advisor Scully, Jeremiah D en
dc.contributor.author Coughlan, Jenny
dc.date.accessioned 2018-02-13T13:16:58Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.date.submitted 2017
dc.identifier.citation Coughlan, J. 2017. Saints and scandals: representations of elite women in the writings of Bede and Gregory of Tours. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 224 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/5456
dc.description.abstract This thesis analyses and compares the representations of elite women in the writings of Bede (c.673-735) and Gregory of Tours (c.538-594), primarily in their histories: Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum and Gregory’s Decem Libri Historiarum. Bede’s and Gregory’s representations of women have never been compared in a dedicated fulllength study, but comparing their differences and similarities can provide valuable insights into the authors’ attitudes towards women and into other key, related issues in their narratives. Bede had read Gregory’s history, and this thesis, which prioritises Bede, uses Gregory’s history to better understand Bede’s concerns. It identifies and investigates common themes in their treatment of secular and religious women. In relation to secular women, the thesis examines the theme of marriage and conversion to Christianity. For religious women, the thesis explores accounts of good behaviour, virginity and religious leadership, and accounts of bad behaviour involving scandal in religious life, sin and punishment. In order to fully understand Bede’s and Gregory’s representations of women, the thesis examines the authors’ contemporary circumstances and their historiographical and exegetical contexts, with particular reference to providential and eschatological frameworks. This thesis challenges the view that Bede’s representation of women was motivated by misogyny or a degree of gendered prejudice. It argues that though writing in patriarchal societies, both Bede’s and Gregory’s representations of women were primarily driven by pastoral rather than gendered considerations. Bede and Gregory used representations of women (and men) to encourage contemporary moral reform and save souls in the last age of this world. Their message of reform was aimed at both women and men. Bede’s and Gregory’s histories are very different in tone, and depict women in different ways and in different situations, but their representations of women had a similar urgent positive pastoral function in both authors’ narratives. en
dc.description.sponsorship Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Postgraduate Scholarship); University College Cork (School of History tutorial scholarship scheme) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2017, Jenny Coughlan. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Bede en
dc.subject Gregory of Tours en
dc.subject Medieval women en
dc.subject Anglo-Saxon women en
dc.subject Merovingian women en
dc.subject Medieval historiography en
dc.title Saints and scandals: representations of elite women in the writings of Bede and Gregory of Tours en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Restricted to everyone for three years en
dc.check.date 2021-02-12T13:16:58Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences en
dc.contributor.funder University College Cork en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school History en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat E-thesis on CORA only en
ucc.workflow.supervisor d.scully@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2018 en


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© 2017, Jenny Coughlan. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017, Jenny Coughlan.
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