Download e-book for kindle: Abortion in the Early Middle Ages, c.500-900 by Zubin Mistry

By Zubin Mistry

Whilst a Spanish monk struggled to discover the perfect phrases to show his unjust expulsion from a monastery in a determined petition to a sixth-century king, he likened himself to an aborted fetus. Centuries later, a ninth-century queen discovered herself accused of abortion in an altogether extra fleshly feel. Abortion haunts the written checklist around the early heart a long time. but, the centuries after the autumn of Rome stay greatly the "dark a while" within the broader historical past of abortion.
This e-book, the 1st to regard the topic during this interval, tells the tale of ways contributors and groups, ecclesiastical and secular professionals, construed abortion as a social and ethical challenge throughout a few post-Roman societies, together with Visigothic Spain, Merovingian Gaul, early eire, Anglo-Saxon England and the Carolingian empire. It argues early medieval authors and readers actively deliberated on abortion and a cluster of similar questions, and that church culture on abortion used to be an evolving perform. It sheds gentle at the overlooked number of responses to abortion generated via various social and highbrow practices, together with church self-discipline, dispute payment and methods of political legitimation, and brings the heritage of abortion into dialog with key questions on gender, sexuality, Christianization, penance and legislations. Ranging throughout abortion miracles in hagiography, polemical letters during which churchmen likened opponents to fetuses flung from the womb of the church and uncomfortable imaginings of resurrected fetuses in theological hypothesis, this quantity additionally illuminates the complicated cultural importance of abortion in early medieval societies.

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Extra info for Abortion in the Early Middle Ages, c.500-900

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279–86, trans. J. L. Lightfoot, The Sibylline Oracles: With Introduction, Translation, and Commentary on the First and Second Books (Oxford, 2007), p. 320 (Greek text at p. 301). All dates in this chapter are CE rather than BCE, unless otherwise noted. 2 J. J. , ed. J. H. Charlesworth (London, 1983), I, pp. 317–24, 330–4; E. Koskenniemi, The Exposure of Infants among Jews and Christians in Antiquity (Sheffield, 2009), p. 26. 3 Sentences 184–5, translation quoted from Koskenniemi, Exposure, p. 37; for the Greek text, see W.

245–60; A. L. McClanan, ‘“Weapons to Probe the Womb”: The Material Culture of Abortion and Contraception in the Early Byzantine Period’, in The Material Culture of Sex, Procreation and Marriage in Premodern Europe, ed. A. L. McClanan and K. R. Encarnación (New York, 2002), pp. 33–58. indd 30 19/06/2015 14:12 Classical and Late Antique Society reasoned, then the fetus had been alive and animate. He also c­ onveyed some practical details. A special surgical device prised open the womb while an attached blade dissected the fetus.

It also emphasizes how different kinds of social and literary practices generated different perspectives on abortion, an emphasis which will be key in subsequent chapters. The hope of children: Attitudes to abortion in the Roman Empire An agonizing decision faced the eponymous heroine of a classical Greek romance, Chariton’s Callirhoe. By a twist and turn of events, Callirhoe found herself unjustly enslaved to one man, Dionysius, but pregnant with the child of her husband, Chaereas. She eventually decided to keep the child after seeing a vision of her husband in a dream.

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Abortion in the Early Middle Ages, c.500-900 by Zubin Mistry


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