The concept of sexuality in the Middle Ages

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:2815634 239 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Ευρωπαϊκή ιστορία
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
Polydora Stavroula
Supervisors info:
Μαρία Ντούρου - Ηλιοπούλου, Ομότιμη Καθηγήτρια Ιστορίας Μέσων και Νεωτέρων Χρόνων, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Κώστας Γαγανάκης, Αναπληρωτής Καθηγητής Νεότερης Ευρωπαϊκής Ιστορίας (16ος-18ος αι.), Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Γιαντσή-Μελετιάδη Νικολέττα, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια Μεσαιωνικής Ιστορίας της Δύσεως, Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή, ΕΚΠΑ
Original Title:
Η έννοια της σεξουαλικότητας στο Μεσαίωνα
Translated title:
The concept of sexuality in the Middle Ages
The medieval period is still consolidated in people's minds as a ten-century period of regression, explosion of fanaticism, especially religious fanaticism, stagnation and a superstition boom. However, this belief has been slowly fading out and the term “dark ages” is rightfully believed to fit only in a few parts of the Middle Ages. During that time, the consolidation of the Roman Catholic Church and its omnipotence dominated every aspect of human life, since it was the only stable structure in a chaotic and constantly changing world. Sexuality was heavily criticized by the Canon Law, since it was the only aspect that separated the newly established Christianity from the pagan past of Europe. This dissertation studies the definition of the concept of sexuality by the Catholic Church as well as the way the believers experienced it. We examine the sexual and racial identities and the differences that they had both in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and in extramarital relationships. Moreover, two forms of sexuality, homosexuality and bestiality, as well as the controversial role of prostitution and the involvement of sexuality in witchcraft are studied. The goal of this study is to provide an as realistic as possible point of view of the events of a misunderstood historical period.
Main subject category:
Sexuality, Middle Ages, Marriage, Extramarital relationships, Homosexuality, Bestiality, Prostitution, Witchcraft
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