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Female Founders: Exercising authority in Thirteenth-century Flanders and Hainaut

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The many houses of Cistercian nuns founded in Flanders and Hainaut by the mid thirteenth century produced large numbers of documents about their female founders and patrons. Although some of these abbeys owed their foundation to the countesses Jeanne and Marguerite of Flanders, analysis here concentrates on the lives and foundations of other noblewomen who continued to have power over property in the thirteenth century. Their religious patronage was often an aspect of their public (rather than private) authority.

Affiliations: 1: University of Northern Colorado


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