Catalan Review

FRANCESC EIXIMENIS ON WOMEN: COMPLIMENTARY OR CONFLICTING VIEWS

Catalan Review (2003), 17, (2), 193–204.

Abstract

The medieval Franciscan author, Francesc Eiximenis, wrote on the subject of woman in several treatises. In his early works, especially the Segon and Terç del Crestià, he underlined negative attitudes towards women, often recalling classical, patristic, and medieval authors. From the late 1380s to the end of the century, he began to describe women in a positive light and to emphasize Mary’s role in the Church not only as the mother of Jesus, but also as a sacred person free of sin from the time of her conception.

This study contrasts Eiximenis’ view o woman from his early works (Segon and Terç del Crestià) to the Dotzè, Llibre de les dones, and Llibre dels àngels. In the early works, more specifically the “Tractat de luxúria,” which is contained in the Terç, Eiximenis discussed mundane topics such as rape, marriage, jealousy, infidelity, separation, divorce, widowhood, literacy among women, menstruation, and prostitution, among the realities of the time.

Despite repetitious discussions of these topics previously contained in the “Tractat de luxúria,” the Llibre de les dones conveys a more positive perception of woman, especially its social context, by going beyond the strictly moral theology and moral-didactic content of the “Tractat de luxúria.”

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Author details

Viera, David J.