An Exploration of Conformity to Medieval Male and Female Roles in the Chronicle of Alfonso X

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura R. Stoss (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Purificación Martínez

Abstract: Gender is constructed by the society in which one lives and due to this notion it is essential to research and analyze the implications of being male or female during specific time periods. The Middle Ages is often labeled as a patriarchal society because of the rigid roles that assigned men to the public sphere and women to the private. Males dominated feudal society which was defined by the three orders of society (those who pray fight and work). Men were expected to exude dominance in order to be considered masculine in terms of women war and authority. Though we know that women intervened within these orders of society they were undoubtedly restricted to the private sphere and left out of the hierarchy. Instead women were confined to the roles of mother widow or virgin. My project focuses on the royal sphere of medieval society exploring whether or not kings and queens were restricted to the same stringent roles that the Middle Ages was centered around. By analyzing the Chronicle of Alfonso X I look at how male and female identities are represented. In order to portray these historical figures as an ideal male or female the chronicler explores what signified the archetypical mold of each gender to determine whether or not Alfonso X and Queen Violante did in fact conform to the traditional norms of medieval masculinity and femininity. Most importantly it is vital to my research to look at the bias of the narrator of the chronicle and how his status and purpose in writing Alfonso's chronicle affected how the characters are delineated.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Date: 2013
Middle Ages, Alfonso X, Violante of Aragon, Gender roles, Gender roles, Chronicle

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