Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

Posts Tagged ‘crusades

Abandoned at Work and Home

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“Jerusalem, you do me a great wrong by taking from me that which I loved best.
Know this to be true: I’ll never love you, for this is the reason for my unhappiness…

Fair, sweet lover, how will you endure your great ache for me out on the salty sea,
When nothing that exists could ever tell the deep grief that has come into my heart?
When I think of your gentle, sparkling face that I used to kiss and caress,
It is a great miracle that I am not deranged….”


(by Anonymous singer of women’s songs)

 

Thanks to a brilliant essay from The Women’s World Curriculum,

“Women and the Crusades”,

at Medieval Sources Online, detailing women’s work and roles

at the time, more can be learned about the lesser known

phenomenon of men leaving their wives to tend to their

estates at the time of the Crusades.  The excerpt above from a French

song of lament, though anonymous, gives a voice to the feelings of

women at the mercy of the nature of those times.  Often, these

men did not return, communication would have been scant and

difficult, and absences could last years.  Before the real danger of

these crusades was known, women sometimes accompanied their

men, but after the devastating cost was known, there was a ban on

anyone but men attending the ravaging travels of crusades.

The linked essay also contains some great revelations, and details of

a noble lady, making her stand and “do or die choice” in the name of

protecting her estate when her noble husband was away.  Accounts of

women finding their administrative powers over their home and land

flourish in a time of great hardship, and present an odd boon to this troubled

age, which was the stretch in the reach of women’s perceived limits, showing

their full capabilities, at women’s work.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2008.)

 

Written by imogen88

May 17, 2008 at 8:54 am