Manipulated Memory – the Seventeenth-Century Tale of Female Dominion and Male Servitude in Medieval Fontevrau

Müller, Annalena. (2014) Manipulated Memory – the Seventeenth-Century Tale of Female Dominion and Male Servitude in Medieval Fontevrau. L'Homme Europäische Zeitschrift für Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft,, 25 (2). pp. 33-48.

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The order of Fontevraud is well known for its particular organisational structure: in 1115, Fontevraud's founder, Robert of Arbrissel, placed a woman at the head of the mixed gender congregation. The idea of Fontevraud as a place where women ruled and men served has long taken firm roots in historiography. This article revises the notion of Fontevraud's organisation as an unusual inversion of gender hierarchy tracing its construction to the seventeenth century, when the order's Bourbon abbesses introduced undivided abbatial rule in Fontevraud. The expansion of abbatial authority led to severe internal quarrels between the monks, fighting to maintain their traditional rights of codetermination in Fontevraud, and the order's most ardent advocate of abbatial absolutism, Jeanne-Baptiste de Bourbon (1637-1670). During the almost twenty-yearconflict, the latter manipulated Fontevraud's sources and history to reflect her ideal of abbatial sovereignty. In the end, these manipulations of Fontevraud's medieval organisation were successful: not only did they justify abbatial absolutism in the seventeenth century, but they have also informed our image of Fontevraud until this day.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Ehemalige Einheiten Geschichte > Geschichte der frühen Neuzeit (Opitz-Belakhal)
UniBasel Contributors:Müller, Annalena
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Jun 2020 08:22
Deposited On:15 Jun 2020 16:15

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