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Internet Women's History Sourcebook

Editor: Paul Halsall



    "Yes, I am fond of history."

    "I wish I were too. I read it a little as a duty, but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me.  The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all -- it is very tiresome:"

      Catherine Morland, in Northhangar Abbey (1803), by Jane Austen

    How are historians to remedy the silence about women in many traditional accounts of history?

    This question has received a number of distinct answers.

    The first solution was to locate the great women of the past, following the lead of much popular historiography that focuses on "great men". The problem here is that just as the "great men" approach to history sidelines and ignores the lives of the mass of people, focusing on great women merely replicates the exclusionary historical approaches of the past.

    The next solution was to examine and expose the history of oppression of women. This approach had the merit of addressing the life histories of the mass of women, but, since it has proved to be possible to find some degree of oppression  everywhere, it tended to make women merely subjects of forces that they could not control. On the other hand, historians' focus on oppression revealed that investigating the structures of women's lives was crucial.

    In recent years, while not denying the history of oppression, historians have begun to focus on the agency of women. All human beings are subject to some degree of social forces that limit freedom, but within those limits people are able to exercise greater or lesser degrees of control over their own lives. This insight applies equally to women even in oppressive societies.

    These various approaches to the history of women are not exclusive. This sourcebook attempts to present online documents and secondary discussions which reflect the various ways of looking at the history of women within broadly defined historical periods and areas.

    ***

    This page is a subset of texts derived from the three major online Sourcebooks listed below.

Notes: In addition to direct links to documents, links are made to a number of other web resources.
2ND
Link to a secondary article, review or discussion on a given topic.
WEB
Link to a website focused on a specific issue.. These are not links to every site on a given topic, but to sites of serious educational value.

Contents

  • The Historical Study of Women
  • Human Origins
  • Ancient Egypt
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Gender Construction
  • Ancient Mesopotamia
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Gender Construction
  • Greece
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Gender Construction
  • Rome
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Gender Construction
  • Medieval Europe
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Early Modern Europe
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Modern Europe
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • North America
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Women Authors
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Latin America
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • China
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Japan
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • India
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • South East Asia
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Australasia
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Africa
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • The Islamic World
    • General
    • Great Women
    • Women's Oppression
    • The Structure of Women's Lives
    • Women's Agency
    • Apologetics
    • Feminism
    • Gender Construction
  • Further Resources in Women's History

The Historical Study of Women

Back to Index


Human Origins

Back to Index


Ancient Egypt

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Warriors

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

  • Egyptian Love Poetry c. 2000 - 1100 BCE [At this Site]
  • The Offering of Uha c. 2400 BCE [At this Site]
    Male and Female Circumcision in Egypt.
  • Princess Ahura: The Magic Book c. 1100 BCE [At this Site]
    On the brother-sister marriage of the two children of the King Merneptah.

Women's Agency

  • For Women: see WEB Diotima: Ward Texts [All now via Internet Acrhive]
    • Will of Prince Nikaure, son of King Khafre (ca. 2600 B.C.)
    • The Wills of Two Brothers and the Inheritance of One Brother's Wife (ca. 1900 B.C.)
    • Dispute over Property between a Mother and Daughter
    • Marriage Agreement between a Bridegroom and his Father-in-law
    • A Wife Wins a Dispute over Her Inheritance
    • A Woman Charges her Husband with Wife Abuse
    • A Father's Promise to his Daughter in Case of Divorce
    • A Woman Asks an Oracle to Settle a dispute over land
    • The Will of Amonkhau in Favor of His Second Wife (ca. 1100 B.C.)
    • A Daughter's Double Inheritance of Family Property (13th c. B.C.)

Gender Construction

Back to Index


Ancient Mesopotamia

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Warriors

Women Writers

Goddesses

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

  • WEB  Lilith Stories [At Jewish and Christian Lit] [Internet Archive version here]
    But see Eliezar Segal: Looking for Lilith [At U Alberta] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Book of Judith [At Bible Gateway]
    The Book of Judith is a kind of novel, and is in the RC and Orthodox Bible, bit not the Jewish or Protestant canons. The book contains an account of conversion to Judaism (Judith 14: 6-10)

Gender Construction

Back to Index


Greece

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Warriors

Women Writers and Intellectuals

Goddesses

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

  • Sophocles (496-405/6 BCE)
    The second of the great tragic poets. He wrote over 100 plays, but only seven complete ones survive. The dates here are likely but not certain. The following have female heros.
    • Antigone 442 BCE [At this Site, formerly ERIS]
      See Study Guide [Was At Brooklyn College, now Internet Archive]
    • Antigone [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Antigone 442 BCE [Was At Diotima, now Internet Archive]
      A much more modern translation, with extensive annotation.
    • Antigone translation and notes by Wm. Blake Tyrrell and Larry J. Bennett [At Diotima] [Archive version here]
  • Euripides (c.485-406 BCE)
    • Electra [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Alcestis translated by C. A. E. Luschnig [At Diotima]
    • Andromache
    • Bacchae [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • The Bacchae [At this Site, formerly ERIS] won trilogy competition, posthumously, in c.405 BCE
      See 2ND Study Guide [At Brooklyn College]
    • Electra [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Hecuba
    • Helen a modern actable translation by Andrew Wilson [At Classics Pages] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Herakleidae (Children of Herakles) [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Hippolytus [At this Site, formerly ERIS] won trilogy competition in 428 BCE.
    • Hippolytus [At this Site, formerly ERIS] won trilogy competition in 428 BCE.
    • Hippolytus [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Ion translated by C. A. E. Luschnig [At Diotima]
    • Iphigenia at Aulis won trilogy competition, posthumously, in c.405 BCE
    • Iphigenia In Tauris
    • Medea translated by C. A. E. Luschnig [At Diotima] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Medea [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
      See 2ND Study Guide [Was At Brooklyn College, now Internet Archive]
    • The Phoenissae a modern actable translation by Andrew Wilson [At Classics Pages]
    • Rhesus
    • The Suppliants
    • Trojan Women translated by C. A. E. Luschnig [At Diotima]
    • Women of Troy [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Aristophanes (c.445-c.385 BCE)
    • The Ecclesiazusae (Women in Politics)  [Was At Eserver, now Internet Archive]
    • Lysistrata 411 BCE   [Was At Eserver, now Internet Archive]
      About a sex strike.
      See 2ND Study Guide [Was At Brooklyn College, now Internet Archive]
    • Lysistrata [At Johnston Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    • Aristophanes (c.445-c.385 BCE): Lysistrata extracts, [Was At EAWC, now Internet Archive]
    • The Thesmophorizusae 411BCE  [Was At Eserver, now Internet Archive]
  • Menander (342/1-293/89 BCE)
  • Herondas (aka Herodas) (c.300-250 BCE)

Gender Construction

  • WEB The Chicago Homer [Northwestern University]
    A multilingual database that uses the search and display capabilities of electronic texts to make the distinctive features of Early Greek epic accessible to readers with and without Greek. Except for fragments, it contains all the texts of these poems in the original Greek. In addition, the Chicago Homer includes English and German translations, in particular Lattimore's Iliad, James Huddleston's Odyssey, Daryl Hine's translations of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns, and the German translations of the Iliad and Odyssey by Johan Heinrich Voss. 
  • The Iliad trans. into prose by Samuel Butler [At this Site, formerly ERIS][Full Text]
  • The Iliad trans. into prose Samuel Bulter [At MIT][Full Text]
  • The Iliad trans. Alexander Pope [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliad trans. Andrew Lang [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliad trans. William Cowper [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliad trans. Edward, Earl of Derby [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliads trans. George Chapman [Project Gutenberg] [This is the version that inspired John Keats: On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. Keats found the the standard translation by Alexander Pope uninspiring.]
  • The Iliad trans. Theodore Buckley [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliad in Ancient Greek [Project Gutenberg]
  • The Iliad trans. Ian Johnston [Internet Archive version here]
  • The Iliad, abridged trans. Ian Johnston [Internet Archive version here]
  • The Iliad trans. Robert Fagles [Internet Archive borrow facility][Recommended]
    • See 2ND Study Guide [Was At Brooklyn College, now Internet Archive]
    • Thersites
    • Achilles and Hector
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butler [At this Site, formerly ERIS][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butcher and A. Lang [At this Site]
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butcher and A. Lang [At Bartleby][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butler [At MIT][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butcher and A. Lang [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Samuel Butler [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. William Cowper [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Alexander Pope [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey in Latin [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey A in Ancient Greek [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • The Odyssey trans. Ian Johnston [Internet Archive version here]
  • The Odyssey abridged trans. Ian Johnston [Internet Archive version here]
  • The Odyssey trans. Robert Fagles [Internet Archive borrow facility][This Recommended or recent translation by Emily Wilson]
  • Homeric Fragments [At OMACL]
  • Homeric Hymns [At OMACL]
  • Hesiod: Works and Days [At OMACL]
  • Chariton (2nd Cent CE?): Chaireas and Callirhoe [Synopsis of the Plot][Was At Montclair, now Internet Archive]
  • Achilles Tatius (2nd Cent CE): Clitophon and Leucippe trans S. Gaselee 1917, Full Text. [Internet Archive]
  • Longus (2nd Century CE): Daphnis and Chloe trans. George Thornley 1657, full text [Internet Archive]
  • Heliodorus of Emesa (3rd or 4th Centr CE): The Aethiopica or Theagenes and Chariclea, trans Thomas Underdowne 1587, rev. F.A. Wright [At Elfinspell] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Heliodorus (fl. 220-250 CE): Ethiopian Story [Synopsis of the Plot][At Montclair]
  • Thucydides (c.460/-c.399 BCE): On Aristogeiton and Harmodius (Book 6) [At PWH]
  • See People with a History: Greece
  • WEB Eroticism in Antiquity [Now at Internet Archive]
  • Plato (427-347 BCE): The Symposium [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • Plato (427-347 BCE): The Symposium [At PWH][Full Text]
  • Aeschines (c.389 - c.322 BCE): Against Timarchus [At PWH][Full Text]
  • Athenaeus (2nd Century CE): Alexander's Homosexuality from  The Deipnosophists Book XIII (601-606) [At this Site]

Back to Index


Rome

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Warriors

Women Writers and Intellectuals

  • Sulpicia (Late 1st Cent. CE): Poems [Was At Diotima, now Internet Archive] or in Latin [At Latin Library]
    The only surviving Roman female poet.
  • Sulpicia (Late 1st Cent. CE): Poems [At Diotima]
  • Socrates Scholasticus (c.380-after 439): The Murder of Hypatia.
    A leading female philosopher, Hypatia was murdered by a Christian mob in Alexandria, urged on by St. Cyril.   See also The Hypatia Page. Three historical version's of Hypatia's murder are available, and useful for comparative purposes:
    • Damascius: The Life of Hypatia from the Life of Isidore, reproduced in The Suda. [Was At cosmopolis.com, now Internet Archive]
    • Socrates Scholasticus (c.380-after 439): The Life of Hypatia [Was At cosmopolis.com, now Internet Archive]
    • John of Nikiu (fl. 680-690): The Life of Hypatia. [Was At cosmopolis.com, now Internet Archive]

Goddesses

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Gender Construction

  • See People with a History: Rome
  • Juvenal (c. 55/60-127 CE): Satire 2 Latin | Satire 2 English | Satire 2 English/Latin
  • Juvenal (c. 55/60-127 CE): Satires 1,2,3,8,9. trans. N. Rudd [Was At Princeton, now Internet Archive]
  • Tacitus (b.56/57-after 117 CE): The Murder of Pedanius Secundus (Annals 14) [Was At Michigan, now Internet Archive]
    On the murder of a slave-owner by his slave, possibly because of homosexual jealousy. The senate addresses whether all the slaves in the house should be killed.
  • Petronius Arbiter (c.27-66 CE): Satyricon c.61 CE
    • The Satyricon   translated by Alfred R. Allinson, 1930. [English translation linked to Latin text][At Sacred Text Archive] [Internet Archive version here] Also in Latin [At Latin Library].
      [Note that most modern teachers would use the Arrowsmith translation (New American Library) which is considered to be very good.]
    • The Banquet of Trimalchio from the Satyricon [At this Site]
    • Trimalchio's Feast [Was At Coloraro, now Internet Archive]
      excerpt from the Satyricon.
    • 2ND The Satyricon of Petronius [ Was At Southwestern, now Internet Archive]
  • Priapea (collected 5th Cent CE) in Latin [Was At IPA, now Internet Archive]
  • Priapea (collected 5th Cent CE) in Latin and Engliosh, trans. Richard Burton [At Sacred Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
    Said by the Oxford Classical Dictionary to be "uniformly obscene".

Back to Index


Medieval Europe

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Warriors

Women Writers

Religious Women: Saints

  • Fourth Book of Maccabees: The Death of the Maccabees circa. 63 BCE-70CE [RSV] [At this Site]
    This book is in an "Appendix" of Greek Orthodox Bibles (although not part of the Latin Church's deuterocanonica). Its account of the persecution the Maccabees influenced later martyrdom accounts in many ways. The Maccabees and their mother were celebrated as saints in Orthodox churches.
  • St. Methodius of Olympus: Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna On The Day That They Met in The Temple translated in St. Pachomius Library [At this Site]
  • Acts of Paul and Thecla translated in St. Pachomius Library [At this Site]
  • Vibia Perpetua: The Passion of SS. Perpetua and Felicity. The Latin Original is available [At The Latin Library]. See also Catholic Encyclopedia: Sts. Felicitas and Perpetua; and Peter Dronke's Discussion of Perpetua [Was At Millersville, now Internet Archive]
    This text is composed, in part, of Perpetua's own account of her trial, and of her visions. It is thus among the earliest of all texts ascribed to a Christian woman. According to Thomas Heffernan [Sacred Biography, (New York: Oxford UP, 1988), 190] this text also sees the earliest use of the topos of Christ, the Bridegroom of the saint. Perpetua is "the wife (matrona) of Christ, the beloved of God" (17:2)
  • Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History: Martyrdom of St. Domnina and Daughters [From Ante-Nicene and Nicene Fathers Series]
    A text, and a story, which has always been problematic - the saint and her daughters drown themselves rather than submit to rape.
  • Acts of Xanthippe, Polyxena and Rebecca [From Ante-Nicene and Nicene Fathers Series]
  • Martyrdom of St. Pelagia of Ceasarea translated from Ge'ez [At this Site]
  • Palladius: The Lausiac History [extended excerpts] [At this Site]
    Includes lives of a number of important Late Roman saintly women, such as Melania the Elder and Melania the Younger.
  • Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-d.c.395): Life of Macrina  trans. W.K. Lowther Clarke.[At this Site]
    One of the most important lives of a female saint. This is an account of Gregory's strongminded sister, Macrina (c.327-379)
  • Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-d.c.395): Funeral Oration for the Empress Flaccilla trans Casimir McCambly [At Lectio Divina] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Gregory Nazianzus: Oration: On his Sister Gorgonia [At this Site]
  • Life of Matrona of Perge d.c. 510-515, trans Khalifa Ben Nasser, [full text of Metaphrastic Life: selections from Vita Prima] [At this Site]
    An example of a "transvestite" saint who was also a historical figure.
  • Life of Irene, Abbess of the Convent of Chrysobalanton trans. Jan Olof Rosenqvist. [At this Site]
  • Life of St. Mary of Egypt from the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete [At this Site] See also Catholic Encyclopedia: Saint Mary of Egypt
  • Life of Mary the Younger d.c. 903, trans Paul Halsall, [First five chapters, and concluding prayer] [At this Site]
  • Holy Women of Byzantium: Ten Saints' Lives in English Translation, ed. Alice-Mary Talbot [At Internet Archive] 
    Complete texts of translations of female saints lives. The texts are all in a single PDF for the enitre vook or EPUB form. The former individual PDFs are no longer available.
    • Front Matter, General Introduction, Acknowledgemets, List of Abbreviations
    • A. Nuns Disguised as Monks
      • 1. Life of St. Mary/Marinos / translated by Nicholas Constas
      • 2. Life of St. Matrona of Perge / Jeffrey Featherstone and Cyril Mango
    • B. Female Solitaries
      • 3. Life of St. Mary of Egypt / Maria Kouli
      • 4. Life of St. Theoktiste of Lesbos / Angela C. Hero
    • C. Cenobitic Nuns
      • 5. Life of St. Elisabeth the Wonderworker / Valerie Karras
      • 6. Life of St. Athanasia of Aegina / Lee Francis Sherry
      • 7. Life of St. Theodora of Thessalonike / Alice-Mary Talbot
    • D. Pious Housewives
      • 8. Life of St. Mary the Younger / Angeliki E. Laiou
      • 9. Life of St. Thomaïs of Lesbos / Paul Halsall
    • E. A Saintly Empress
      • 10. Life of St. Theodora of Arta / Alice-Mary Talbot
    • Indexes / 122 k
      Index of People and Places; General Index; Index of Notable Greek Words
  • Gregory I (DIALOGOS): Second Dialogue (Life of St. Scholastica) [From Ante-Nicene and Nicene Fathers Series]
  • Rudolf of Fulda: Life of Leoba c. 836 [At this Site]
  • The Life of Liutberga 9th Century, trans, Jo Ann McNamara. [At this Site]
  • St. Bridget of Sweden (d.1373): Revelations to the Popes Latin edition by Arne Jönsson, [and Microsoft Word Version]
  • Ancient Lives of Scottish Saints trans W.M. Metcalfe 1845 [At Internet Archive]
    St, Ninian vy Ailred of Rievaux; St Columbia by Cuimine the Fair; St. Columba by Adamnan; St. Sevanus; St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, by Turgot; St. Magnus
  • Heliga Birgittas uppenbarelser Revelations of St. Bridget, in Swedish [At Göteborg University]
  • The Life and Doctrine of Saint Catherine of Genoa [At CCEL]
    Includes a Life, The Spiritual Dialogue, and Treatise on Purgatory, all from a 1874, 1907 English version. It is unclear from the etext if this Life is a translation of the Libro de la vita mirabile e dottrina santa de la beta Caterinetta da Genoa, or a modern work.
  • Catherine of Genoa  (1447-1510): Treatise on Purgatory full text [At EWTN]
  • Jacques De Vitry: Life of Mary of Oignies in Latin [At Umilta]
  • Jacques De Vitry: Life of Mary of Oignies full text in Latin, ed. Margot King [Was At Peregrina Press's Matrologia Latina site now Internet Archive]
  • Thomas de Cantimpré: The Life of Christina Mirabilis in Latin, [Was At Peregrina Press's Matrologia Latina site, now Internet Archive]
  • Thomas de Cantimpré: Vita Lutgardis Virgine in Aquiriae Brabantia in Latin, [At Intratext] and Liber I Liber II and Liber III in Latin [Was At Peregrina Press's Matrologia Latina site now Internet Archive]
    Lutgard was born at Tongres in 1182. D, at Aywieres, 1246. Feast. June 16. She was a mystic, and, for the last eleven years of her life, blind. [DOS]
  • Jacobus de Voragine/William Caxton: The Life of Saint Cecilia. trans by Caxton (1483) from Jacobus de Voragine: Golden Legend. [Was at Catholic Forum, now Internet Archive]
    Cecilia is the Patron saint of music in the west.
  • Geoffrey Chaucer: The Life of Saint Cecilia (The Second Nun's Tale) c. 1380, [Modernized English, At Internet Archive, from Virginia Tech]. The original Middle English is also available [At University of Virginia]. Chaucer's account is based on the Golden Legend.
  • Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1298): The Golden Legend
    • Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1298):  The Golden Legend (Aurea Legenda) 1275, As englished by William Caxton, 1483 [At this Site]
      The full text of the 7 volume Temple Classics edition, available in large volume files, and individual feast/saint files.
    • Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1298):  The Golden Legend (Aurea Legenda) 1275. Same text as previous item, but with individual files for each saint. [Was at Catholic Forum, now Internet Archive]
    • Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1298): The Golden Legend: Index [At this Site]
      A list of the saints lives contained in collection.
    • Pieter van Os (September 1, 1490). Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historia.(in Latin and German). Vol. II. Archived
    • Jacobus de Voragine [AtWikipedia]
  • Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1298): The Golden Legend
    Texts in Voragine's order,numbering following William Ryan, (Princeton: 1993)
  • Life of Markella of Chios (date uncertain) [Was At Demetrios Greek Orthodox, now Internet Archive]
    It is unclear if this is a modern or old [how old] life of Markella. The sexual overtones of the text, are, however, intense.
  • A Legend of the Austrian Tyrol: St. Kümmernis [At this Site]
    A story of a saint who women grows a beard so she can become a bride of Christ.

Religious Women: Monasticism

The Cult of the Virgin Mary

Women's Oppression

Misogyny

  • Athanasius: Life of Anthony [From Ante-Nicene and Nicene Fathers Series] At this Site]. See also Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Anthony or Encyclopedia Britannica (9th ed): Athanasius
    Just as the martyrdom of Polykarp is a model text for many other martyrdom accounts, the Life of Anthony provided a model for accounts of saints - later called confessors whose sanctity was manifested by a holy - usually monastic - life rather than by a heroic death for the faith.
  • 2ND Standard Misquotation Assigned to John Chrysostom
  • Witchcraft Documents inc. the Papal Bull of 1484, Johannes Nider on witches, and extracts from the Malleus malificaram.
  • Sprenger and Kramer: The Malleus M-icarum [The Hammer of Witches] 1484, full text. [At Sacred Texts] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Witchcraft Legends Translated and/or edited by D. L. Ashliman. [At Pitt] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Ibn Fadlan. Risala 921 CE [At VikingAnswerLady] [Internet Archive version here]
    Ibn Fadlan was an Arab chronicler. In 921 C.E., the Caliph sent Ibn Fadlan with an embassy to the King of the Bulgars of the Middle Volga. Ibn Fadlan wrote an account of his journeys with the embassy, called a Risala. This Risala is of great value as a history, although it is clear in some places that inaccuracies and Ibn Fadlan's own prejudices have slanted the account to some extent. . It contains an account of a Viking version of suttee.
  • Ibn Fadlan and the Rusiyyah trans of the Risala by James E. Montgomery, Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies3 (2000) PDF. [Internet Archive version here]

Courtly Love

The Structure of Women's Lives

Marriage

Everyday Life

  • Michael Psellus (1018-after 1078): Encomium of His Mother trans Jeffrey Walker, full text. [PDF doc] [At Documenta Catholica] [Internet Archive version here]
  • Canute, King of the English: On Heriots and Reliefs c. 1016-1035 [At this Site]
  • Stephen de Bourbon: De Supersticione: On St Guinefort [At this Site].
    The basis of the film The Sorceress about a sainted dog. Based on the tradition of St. Christopher as being "dog-faced".
  • Bernardino of Siena: Sermons on Wives and Widows 1427 [At this Site].
  • Master Huen's Boke of Gode Cookery
    A compilation of Medieval recipes from period sources, with modern adaptations for the 20th c. kitchen. With diverse facts on food & feasting in the Middle Ages, and many things related historically. [At SCA site: at labs.net] [Internet Archive version here]

Everyday Life: Jewish Women

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Men's Roles

Sexualities

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Early Modern Europe

General

  • See Internet Modern History Sourcebook
  • WEB German History in Documents and Images [At GHDI] [Internet Archive version here]
    A vast and invaluable collection of online documents covering German-speaking countries from 1500 to the present. For each historical era there is a broad selection of texts (in English translation), and with each set a section on "Gender and Family."
  • John Cleland: Fanny Hill [Was At Eserver, now Internet Archive][Full Text]
  • John Cleland: Fanny Hill [Project Gutenberg][Full Text]

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Political Leaders

  • Wikipedia: List of Women Monarchs: Europe
    "Between 1300 and 1800 thirty women acquired official sovereign authority over major European states above the level of duchies." After the death of Catherine the Great of Russia in 1796, although there were reigning queens in constitutional monarchies, no woman held the chief executive power in a European state until Margaret Thatcher became British Prime Minister in 1979. The following list is taken from William Monter, The Rise of Female Kings in Europe, 1300-1800 (2012)
    • 1. (1328) Jeanne II, sixteen years old and married, is invited to become monarch of Navarre; joint coronation with husband 1329; widowed 1343; dies 1349, succeeded by son.
    • 2. (1343) Joanna I, nineteen, inherits Naples and Provence from grandfather; marries, but joint coronation canceled by husband's murder 1345; joint coronation with second husband 1352; widowed 1362; reigns alone despite two later marriages; deposed 1381; no surviving children; murdered 1382 by first of two adopted heirs.
    • 3. (1377) Maria of Sicily, seventeen, succeeds father; kidnapped by Aragonese, married 1391 to teenage prince; joint coronation 1392; dies childless 1401, succeeded by husband.
    • 4. (1382) Mary of Hungary, twelve, crowned king with mother as regent; deposed 1384, but usurper murdered 1385; mother also murdered 1385; fiancé crowned 1386; joint reign, dies childless 1395, succeeded by husband.
    • 5. (1383) Beatriz of Portugal, ten, succeeds father; married but deposed 1385 by illegitimate half brother; no children; date of death (after 1420) unknown.
    • 6. (1384) Jadwiga of Hungary, twelve, crowned in Poland and married to converted pagan Jagiello of Lithuania; joint reign until she dies 1399, a month after childbirth; succeeded by husband. Canonized 1997.
    • 7. (1386) After her son (b. 1370) dies unmarried, Margaret of Denmark, thirty-three and widowed, is created “husband” or permanent regent of both Denmark (her father's kingdom) and Norway (her husband's kingdom); also becomes regent of Sweden 1396; with the power to name her successor, she adopts and renames a great-nephew who succeeds her in 1412.
    • 8. (1415) Joanna II, forty-five, a childless widow, succeeds brother Ladislas as king of Naples; remarries but removes husband 1419; crowned 1421; dies 1435; succession disputed by two adopted heirs.
    • 9. (1425) Blanca, thirty and remarried, inherits Navarre; joint coronation 1429; dies 1441; husband (who lives until 1479) prevents son (b. 1421) from claiming throne.
    • 10. (1458) Charlotte, fourteen, inherits kingdom of Cyprus; marries 1459, joint coronation; deposed 1460 by illegitimate half brother through an Egyptian jihad; dies at Rome 1487.
    • 11. (1474) Catherine Cornaro, nineteen, king's widow, legally adopted by Venetian Republic; after infant son dies, Venetians proclaim her monarch but depose her 1489; dies in Italy 1510.
    • 12. (1474) Isabel the Catholic of Castile, twenty-three and married, claims brother's kingdom and defeats her thirteen-year-old niece Juana in lengthy civil war; reigns jointly with husband until her death in 1504; succeeded by second daughter (b. 1478).
    • 13. (1477) Mary of Burgundy, nineteen, inherits Europe's most powerful nonroyal state; marries eighteen-year-old heir of emperor; dies in hunting accident 1482, succeeded by son (b. 1478).
    • 14. (1494) Catalina de Foix, twenty-four and married, inherited Navarre from brother 1483; joint coronation with cousin at Pamplona; after kingdom invaded and conquered by Spain 1512, they flee to Béarn; succeeded 1516 by son (b. 1503).
    • 15. (1504) Juana of Aragon, twenty-six, “and her legitimate husband” (the phrase used by her mother in 1474) jointly inherit Castile. Abdicates all responsibilities 1506, immediately widowed; legal status creates confusion for forty-nine years; dies 1555 as her son (b. 1500) abdicates.
    • 16. (1553) Mary Tudor, thirty-six, inherits England, marries younger cousin (already with royal status), who becomes coruler without coronation or defined political responsibilities; dies childless 1558, succeeded by half sister.
    • 17. (1555) Jeanne III, twenty-eight, inherits Navarre; dual coronation with husband; repudiates his authority shortly before his death in 1562; governs alone until her death in 1572; succeeded by son (b. 1553).
    • 18. (1558) Mary Stuart, sixteen, sovereign of Scotland since birth, becomes legal adult by marrying French dauphin, giving him crown matrimonial; both her mother, who had governed her kingdom as regent, and her husband die in 1560; returns to govern Scotland 1561; remarries 1565; husband murdered 1566; remarries again but forced to abdicate in 1567 in favor of son (b. 1566); flees to England; beheaded 1587.
    • 19. (1558) Elizabeth I of England, twenty-five, Europe's first female monarch who never married; dies 1603, succeeded by son of Mary Stuart.
    • 20. (1598) Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, thirty-two, and husband jointly created sovereign archdukes of Habsburg Netherlands by her father, Philip II; childless; loses sovereign status after husband's death 1621 but remains as regional governor until her death in 1633.
    • 21. (1644) Christina of Sweden, inherits father's kingdom at the age of six (1632) and governs by presiding over Council of State at eighteen; coronation 1650; refuses to marry but arranges succession before abdicating 1654; becomes Catholic; dies at Rome, 1690.
    • 22. (1689) Mary II, twenty-seven, crowned as joint ruler of England with usurper husband, William III of Orange; dies childless 1694, succeeded by husband.
    • 23. (1702) Anne, thirty-seven, Mary II's younger sister, inherits England; married to first prince consort without royal honors; no surviving children; dies 1714, succeeded by nearest Protestant relative.
    • 24. (1718) Ulrika Eleonora, thirty and married, acquires Swedish throne over nephew; resigns in favor of husband in 1720 after kingdom refuses joint monarchy; childless; husband outlives her.
    • 25. (1725) Catherine, forty-one, widow of Peter I, crowned 1724, Russia's first official female empress; dies 1727, naming stepgrandson (b. 1716) as heir.
    • 26. (1730) Anna, thirty-four, childless widowed niece of Peter the Great, becomes Russian autocrat by tearing up signed constitution; dies 1740, succeeded by infant son of her niece.
    • 27. (1741) Maria Theresa, twenty-four and married, crowned as king of Hungary under Pragmatic Sanction; also crowned king of Bohemia 1743 (husband holds no legal rank in either kingdom); dies 1780, succeeded by son (b. 1740), her official coregent after husband's death in 1765.
    • 28. (1741) Elisabeth, thirty-two, daughter of Peter I and Catherine (see no. 25 above), becomes Russian autocrat after coup d'état; never marries; dies 1762, succeeded by nephew (b. 1728).
    • 29. (1762) Catherine II, thirty-three, becomes Russian autocrat after overthrowing husband in coup d'état; dies 1796, succeeded by son (b. 1754).
    • 30. (1777) Maria I, forty-two, inherits Portuguese throne; husband (her paternal uncle) receives auxiliary coronation; widowed 1786; incapacitated by illness 1792; son (b. 1766) becomes regent 1799; taken to Brazil, where she dies in 1816.
  • Christopher Columbus  (1451-1506): Letter to King and Queen of Spain prob. 1494 [At this Site]
  • Queen Elizabeth I: Against the Spanish Armada 1588 [At this Site]
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England (b.1533, r. 1558-1603): Selected Writing and Speeches   [At this Site]
  • A Visit to the Wife of Suleiman the Magnificent (Translated from a Genoese Letter), c. 1550 [At this Site]
  • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762): Dining With The Sultana 1718 [At this Site]
  • Catherine the Great of Russia: Various Documents on Enlightenment and Government excerpts [At this Site]
  • Wikipedia: Catherine the Great
  • The Division of Poland 1772, 1793, 1795 [At this Site]
    The very different attitudes of Catherine II and Maria Theresa.
  • Luise Gottsched: Description of the Empress Maria Theresa 1749 [At this Site]
  • Marie Antoinette: Letter to Her Mother 1773 [At this Site]
  • Madame Campan: Memoirs of the Private Life of Marie Antoinette 1818 [At this Site]

Women Writers

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

  • Baldesar Castiglione (1478-1529): The Book of the Courtier translated by Sir Thomas Hoby (1561), full text [Was At Oregon, now Internet Acrhive] [The English is too archaic for classroom use.]
  • Baldesar Castiglione (1478-1529): The Book of the Courtier translated by Leonard Eckstein Opdike (1901), full text PDF [Internet Archive]

Back to Index


Modern Europe

General

Great Women

Queens, Noblewomen, Political Leaders

  • Margaret Thatcher: Christianity and Wealth Speech made to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, May 21, 1988 [At this Site] 

Women Writers

  • WEB Victorian Women Writers Project Library [Internet Archive back up here]
    The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) began in 1995 at Indiana University and is primarily concerned with the exposure of lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century. The collection represents an array of genres - poetry, novels, children's books, political pamphlets, religious tracts, histories, and more. VWWP contains scores of authors, both prolific and rare.
  • Madame de Staël (Anne Louise Germaine Necker) (1766-1817): On Romanticism from Germany [At this Site]
  • Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797): Maria 1795-97 [At Project Gutenberg] [Full Text]
    [The attribution in the text to Mary Shelley must be wrong, since Mary W. died giving birth to Mary Godwin (later Shelley) in 1797.]
  • Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797): Maria 1795-97 [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • Mary Shelley (1797-1851): Frankenstein 1818 [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • WEB The Gaskell Page[At Victorian Studies][Internet Archive version here]
    A Comprehensive web page dedicated to the works of Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65). It includes ALL of Mrs. Gaskell's writings as etexts, as well as a lot of ancillary material about 19th-century England.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South 1855, excerpts [Was At Clinch Valley College, now Internet Archive]
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: Mary Barton - A tale of Manchester life [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: Cranford [At Project Gutenberg][Full Text]
  • Rosa Luxemburg: Martinique Written after the May 1902 volcanic eruption at the port of St. Pierre. [At Marxists.org]
  • Vera Brittain: Testament of Youth excerpts [Was At Virginia, now Internet Archive]

Women Leaders in Professions

  • Florence Nightingale (1820-1910): Rural Hygiene [At this Site]
    Life on the farm was not that much of an improvement over a factory. But, eventually, the social activists turned their eyes on the countryside as well.
  • WEB Florence Nightingale: Selected Correspondence [Was at KUMC, now Internet Archive version]
  • Marie Curie (1867-1934): On the Discovery of Radium [At this Site]

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Religious Women

Feminism

Gender Construction

Back to Index


North America

General

Great Women

Political Leaders/ Social Activists

Women Writers

Women Leaders in Professions

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Back to Index


Latin America

General

Great Women

Women Political Leaders/Social Activists

Women Writers

  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695): Poems [Was At Sappho, now Internet Archive]
  • Silvia Fernández: The Needle and the Pen 1913 [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
  • Gabriela Mistral: Poems 1922 [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]
  • Juana de Ibarbarou: The Hour 1918 [Was At WSU, now Internet Archive]

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

  • Antonio Valerian: Nican Mopohua, (or Huei Tlamahuitzoltica) [At Sancta.org]. [Internet Archive version here]
    The story of Our Lady of Guadaloupe, who is said to have appeared in 1531. Written in Nahuatl, the Aztec language, around the middle of the sixteenth century. This copy published in Nahuatl by Luis Lasso de la Vega in 1649.

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Back to Index


China

General

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Back to Index


Japan

General

  • See WEB Internet East Asia History Sourcebook
  • Ruth Benedict: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture (1946), full text] [At Faded Page] [Internet Archive backup here]
    The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture is a 1946 study of Japan by American anthropologist Ruth Benedict. It was written at the invitation of the U.S. Office of War Information in order to understand and predict the behavior of the Japanese in World War II. . . The book was influential in shaping American ideas about Japanese culture during the occupation of Japan, and popularized the distinction between guilt cultures and shame cultures.

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Back to Index


India

General

Great Women

Women's Oppression

It is important to note that, while I in no way, wish to  minimize the implications of the sati/suttee, a number of the readings here must be understood as western colonialist texts, and be addressed from that perspective.

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

  • 2ND Richard Burton: Terminal Essay from his edition of the Arabian Nights. [At this Site]
    Burton' compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.

South East Asia

General

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction


Australasia

General

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction


Africa

General

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Feminism

Gender Construction

Gender and Sexualities in Modern Africa

Back to Index


The Islamic World

General

  • See Internet Islamic History Sourcebook
  • WEB  Women in Islam [At Answering Islam]
    The website is a site devoted to arguments with Muslims. This web page contains links to explanations, defences, and attacks on the subject of women in Islam.
  • The Qur'an: The Women [Was At CCNY, now Internet Archive]
    From Surah's 2 and 4.
  • Ibn Battuta (1307-1377 CE): Malian Women [Was At CCNY, now Internet Archive]

Great Women

Women's Oppression

The Structure of Women's Lives

Women's Agency

Apologetics

Feminism

Gender Construction

  • The Qur'an on Homosexuality [At this Site]
  • Edward Carpenter (1884-1929): Iolaus: An Anthology of Friendship [chapter on Arabia and Persia], with extracts from Rumi, Hafiz and Saadi. [At this Site]
  • The Tale of Nur Al-Din Ali and his Son Badr Al-Din Hasan [At this Site]
    from The Arabian Nights, translated Sir. Richard Francis Burton.
  • Abu Nawas (c.756-810): Poetry
  • Sadi: Gulistan 13th Century CE, Full text of Persian prose/poetry text with significant homoerotic content. [At this Site]
  • Rumi: Poetry
  • Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522 - 1592): Lesbian Love in A Turkish Bath 1560  [Was At Letters Magazine, now Internet Archive]
  • 2ND Richard Burton: Terminal Essay from his edition of the Arabian Nights.
    Burton' compilation of data on variety of societies was meant to explain some of the stories in The Nights. In doing so, he provided first overview of Islamic homosexuality.

Back to Index


Further Resources in Women's History
  • Web Guides
  • Academic Sites

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NOTES:

The Internet Women's History Sourcebook is part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project. The date of inception was 4/8/1998. Links to files at other site are indicated by [At some indication of the site name or location]. WEB indicates a link to one of small number of high quality web sites which provide either more texts or an especially valuable overview.



The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is located at the History Department of  Fordham University, New York. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, and other medieval components of the project, are located at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies.The IHSP recognizes the contribution of Fordham University, the Fordham University History Department, and the Fordham Center for Medieval Studies in providing web space and server support for the project. The IHSP is a project independent of Fordham University.  Although the IHSP seeks to follow all applicable copyright law, Fordham University is not the institutional owner, and is not liable as the result of any legal action.

© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 12 July 2024 [CV]