The Book of Knighthood



Christine de Pizan wrote Othea's Epistle to Hector (the Book of Knighthood) around the beginning of the 15th century. She is considered to be the first female professional writer. In 1460, a manuscript of the Book of Knighthood was commissioned, written in Middle French and illustrated with miniatures. Sixteen of those miniatures are reproduced for your pleasure at BibliOdyssey. Link

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Oh man, that image of the woman rolling the men around on the wheel is pretty much the epitome of medeival chivalry. Woman was imagined as some kind of divine presence, hence her descending out of the sky. Of course, it has long been commented on by philosophers that woman loves nothing more than to be treated like a Goddess, and this desire is what makes her a superior egotist and consequently unfit for leadership. That is a subject that could be debated, or even demonstrated to be false, but it won't be satisfied simply by complaining about it. Insubstantial whining is exactly what that sort of woman is expected to do. Then again, its exactly that sort of thing that rules the roost nowadays. "Woman" in this sense is an archetype, with modern men becoming more "womanly" or "effeminate" in their ability to ignore substance for pomp and pizzazz. I prefer to think of this duality of masculine-feminine as pure convention and not necessarily an epistemic claim about the whole female "sub-species". But one doesn't have to look far to see that by-and-large women are preoccupied with appearances.

"The whirlpool is the vanity of water, and its circle-egoism." - Otto Weininger, Sex and Character
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