Tuscany's Noble Treasures: Conceptualizing Female Religious Life in Medieval Italy


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Book Details

Format: Paperback (229 pages)

Publisher: Sacristy Press

Date of Publication:

ISBN: 978-1-78959-201-6

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​St Catherine of Siena is the best known of Tuscany’s medieval holy women, but what about those who preceded her? Over a period of less than 150 years the Tuscan hills were home to saints such as Margaret of Cortona, Clare of Montefalco and Agnes of Montepulciano, among others, all of whom contributed in their different ways to an ideal of holiness.

This book explores the ways in which biographers, writers and artists have presented these women, and the part played in their conceptualization by the medieval Church and the great monastic Orders, as well as by politics and secular culture. It also looks back to the legendary saints of a more distant past and considers how those stories influenced the portrayal of later holy women, culminating in the representation of Catherine herself.


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