Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Blamires, Alcuin, ed; Pratt, Karen ed.; Marx, C.W. ed., Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Text name(s): 

Number of pages of primary source text: 275


Dates: 0 - 1450

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • English - Middle English
  • French - Old French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Latin


  • Translated into English.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy


Record Types: 

  • Law - Canon Law
  • Letter
  • Literature - Prose
  • Literature - Verse
  • Memoir
  • Monastic Rule
  • Oration
  • Philosophic Work
  • Scripture
  • Sermons
  • Theology
  • Treatise - Instruction/Advice
  • Treatise - Scientific/Medical

Subject Headings: 

  • Art
  • Church Fathers
  • Classics / Humanism
  • Family / Children
  • Law - Canon
  • Literature - Comedy / Satire
  • Material Culture: Food, Clothing, Household
  • Philosophy / Theology
  • Science / Technology
  • Women / Gender


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


This anthology brings together many texts written on women during classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, addressing their social, theological, political, and philosophical implications. It provides a broad sampling of different types of text: verse, prose, legal texts, literary works, letters, scientific treatises, and it also includes images. This introductory survey of primary sources relating to is particularly useful to an ungergraduate audience for a broad sense of the roles of and attitudes towards women in the Middle Ages. It also contributes to the ongoing scholarly “debate on women” in the Middle Ages, still striving for an answer to the question of whether, or to what extent, women were in fact “defamed and defended.” Includes a bibliography of helpful primary and secondary sources.

Introduction Summary: 

The brief (16 pp) introduction discusses the classical roots of medieval misogyny and its wide ranging presence in medieval Christianity. The editor does note, however, that there were also many voices, even in the Early Middle Ages, which sought to defend women from the charges leveled against them. Each section is also accompanied by a brief introduction which provides some historical and social context.

Cataloger: MCB