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An Introduction to the Letter of Caesaria of Arles to Radegund of Poitiers, by Hope Williard

Dr. Hope Williard, University of Lincoln

Readings and Resources (freely available online)

Discussion Questions

  • What were the possibilities and limitations of monastic life for early medieval women?
  • What might this letter tell us about Merovingian women’s literacy?
  • What is asceticism? How is it depicted in this letter?

Bibliography (available as e-books through library subscriptions)

  • Angelo Di Berardino, ed. Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity (Downers’ Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1994-2013), pp. 1:407 (biography of Caesaria) and 3:374 (biography of Radegund).
  • Jo Ann McNarama and John E. Halborg, with E. Gordon Whately, Sainted Women of the Dark Ages (Durham: Duke University Press, 1992), pp. 112-8.

Further Reading (available online through library subscriptions)

  • Magdalena Elizabeth Carrasco, “Spirituality in Context: The Romanesque Illustrated Life of St. Radegund of Poitiers (Poitiers, Bibl. Mun., MS 250).” The Art Bulletin 72: 3 (1990), pp. 414–435. 
  • Jennifer C. Edwards, Superior Women: Medieval Female Authority in Poiters’ Abbey of Sainte-Croix (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 25-59.

To Cite This Page

Williard, Hope, “An Introduction to the Letter of Caesaria of Arles to Radegund of Poitiers,” Middle Ages for Educators, May 8, 2020. Accessed[date]. http://middleagesforeducators.com/uncategorized/an-introduction-to-the-letter-of-caesaria-of-arles-to-radegund-of-poitiers,-by-hope-williard/