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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]