Anna Esposito

Female Voluntary Reclusion in Rome and Lazio in the Middle Ages: A First Investigation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Roma, Lazio, Recluses

This article explores female voluntary reclusion in Rome and Lazio in the Middle Ages, studied above all through last wills and testaments. At present, only sporadic evidence for recluses has been found in southern Lazio, while the evidence for Rome is more substantial. Whereas in the early fourteenth century the total number of recluses amounted to as many as 260 (compared to 470 nuns), thereafter their numbers fell drastically. The information about these women, who were concentrated above all in the great basilicas, increases above all for the early 1500s. From the dossier of evidence collected, it does not appear that voluntary reclusion on the part of murate changed their lay status as women without vows while adhering to an “eremiticµ and religious ideal, although a few can be documented as Franciscan tertiaries. Moreover, the experiences of these women varied (from solitary reclusion, to living with a companion or a wider group) and, for the most part, they seem to have enjoyed fairly comfortable socio-economic circumstances

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat

Article first page

Article first page