Women in History

The eternal femme: from the myths of the Great Goddess to concrete stories of real women who deserve never to be forgotten. This section offers the readers the opportunity to explore the role of women through time by use of literature, historical, mythological, and archeological analysis. The Assyrians worshipped Asherah, consort of Baal; the Egyptians, Isis who mothered Horus; the Phoenecians, Astarte; the Babylonians, Ishtar. These names are only a handful of the long list of goddesses linked to fertility rites and to the rebirth of nature and man.


Under the sign of Virgo

Apr 3rd, 2017 | author Antonella Bazzoli
Under the sign of Virgo

The medieval Woman, in her role as wife, is the protagonist of four different scenes out of the twelve months of the Main Fountain carved in 1278 by Giovanni and Nicola Pisano. There is no doubt of her identity as uxor (wife) because the Latin word is clearly written in letters above each of the [...]



April and Venus Verticordia

Apr 3rd, 2017 | author Antonella Bazzoli
April and Venus Verticordia

The female protagonist of the doble scene of April, carved by Giovanni and Nicola Pisano in the lower basin of the Main Fountain of Perugia, holds a floral wreath and a bouquet of flowers in her hands.
There is no doubt of her identity as uxor (wife in Latin), as it’s clearly written in stone, in [...]



Galactophorous saints and therapeutic waters

Jan 12th, 2016 | author Antonella Bazzoli
Galactophorous saints and therapeutic waters

February is the month of mother’s milk, that has always been associated with  the element water, the idea of fertility and the world of women. February is also a month of preparation, waiting for the renewal of the cosmos, which will only arrive with March and spring. Also for this reason, in ancient times, the [...]



Hairdressers and prostitutes in the Middle Ages

Jan 11th, 2016 | author Antonella Bazzoli
Hairdressers and prostitutes in the Middle Ages

The term lavatrice di capeta (hair washer)  referred to what we would now call a hairdresser for ladies and gentlemen in the Middle Ages.
It was a perfectly respectable profession that was nonetheless frowned upon by late medieval society.
Taking care of hairstyles for gentlemen was in fact considered so intimate and promiscuous as an activity, that [...]



The ideal bride through the months

Oct 1st, 2014 | author Antonella Bazzoli
The ideal bride through the months

In the cycle dedicated to the twelve months of the year  carved by Giovanni and Nicola Pisano on the lower basin of the Main Fountain of Perugia, the month of May is represented by a uxor (latin term for wife) riding a horse and followed by an elegant knight.
The lady of May holds a hawk [...]



Medieval parchments

Aug 15th, 2012 | author Antonella Bazzoli
Medieval parchments

Some scrolls found in the archives of the monasteries of Santa Giuliana (Saint Juliana) and San Domenico (Saint Dominic) in Perugia, indirectly provide some very useful information to help us understand the status of women in the late Middle Ages.
The documents found, in fact, seem to confirm that women held a relatively [...]



The Fountain of Women

Jun 18th, 2011 | author Antonella Bazzoli
The Fountain of Women

The reliefs and inscriptions that decorate the Main Fountain of Perugia catch the eye of every passer-by. In the past the reliefs of the fountain welcomed the visiting merchant for the fair, consoled the worried farmer during the harvest, lifted the spirit of those gathering in the Cathedral’s square, and made all quietly reflect, whether [...]



Isis, a mother goddess for all humanity

May 18th, 2011 | author Ambra Antonelli
Isis, a mother goddess for all humanity

Book XI of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, or “The Golden Ass,” begins in the obscure silence of the night, with the moon rising from the sea in its unabashed fullness. Thus opens a fundamental chapter for the understanding of the cult of Isis.
“…video praemicantis lunae candore nimio completum orbem commodum marinis emergentem fluctibus. Nanctusque opacae noctis silentiosa [...]