Publication Date

April 2014


Oliver Holmes


History (HIST)


English (United States)


My thesis is an attempt to define late medieval masculinity in England and Normandy as understood by the people living in that era (1100-1500) using a broad range of source materials to provide a more complete picture than has been previously seen in Medieval studies. I argue that the era?s various social groups understood masculinity differently and, thus, generated several categories of medieval males. Additionally, masculinity in the later Middle Ages was preeminently focused on sex and sexuality in regards to both virility and sexual failure through impotence or sterility. Ultimately, most men could be placed (by their society) into four distinct factions, which I call the chivalric male, the Christian/religious male, the quotidian male, and the effeminate male. By assembling and analyzing the requirements for each classification, I have come a little closer to understanding medieval masculinity.



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