Fertilität und Macht: Die Reproduktionspflicht mittelalterlicher Herrscherinnen und Herrscher

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-272123
  • Fertility was a key theme of medieval rulership. To conceive and give birth to sons – and thus to ensure the succession to the throne – was one of the foremost duties of medieval kings and queens. But what happened when a male child died in infancy, no male child was born, or no pregnancy ever came about? Barrenness could have dramatic consequences in the Middle Ages, for example expulsion, divorce or conflicts over royal succession. Against this historical background, it seems logical that the fate of the childless ruler would be recounted inFertility was a key theme of medieval rulership. To conceive and give birth to sons – and thus to ensure the succession to the throne – was one of the foremost duties of medieval kings and queens. But what happened when a male child died in infancy, no male child was born, or no pregnancy ever came about? Barrenness could have dramatic consequences in the Middle Ages, for example expulsion, divorce or conflicts over royal succession. Against this historical background, it seems logical that the fate of the childless ruler would be recounted in the form of a ‘Passion narrative’. In the German literature of the Middle Ages, however, there are also interpretative models of a contrary vein to be found. In the year 1220, for instance, Ebernand of Erfurt construed the wedded life of the imperial couple Henry and Kunigunde as a tale of resistance against the royal obligation to reproduce. In his versified legend, composed in the vernacular, the couple secretly agrees not to fulfil society’s expectations, but to lead a chaste marriage. Yet above and beyond legend, childless rulers were also subject to the impact of multifarious legal, religious, medical, narrative and discursive factors. Taking Michel Foucault as a point of departure, this contribution shows how fertility became a field of power on which hierarchies between rulers and subjects, men and women were negotiated, while also shedding light on how religious and secular ideals clashed in the assessment of infertility.show moreshow less

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2022/12/01

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Metadaten
Author: Regina ToepferORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-272123
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Faculties:Philosophische Fakultät (Histor., philolog., Kultur- und geograph. Wissensch.) / Institut für deutsche Philologie
Language:German
Parent Title (German):Geschlecht macht Herrschaft – Interdisziplinäre Studien zu vormoderner Macht und Herrschaft
Parent Title (English):Gender Powers Sovereignty – Interdisciplinary Studies on Premodern Power
ISSN:2511-0004
Year of Completion:2021
Schriftenreihe:Macht und Herrschaft; 15
ISBN:978-3-8471-1343-0
Source:Toepfer, Regina: Fertilität und Macht: Die Reproduktionspflicht mittelalterlicher Herrscherinnen und Herrscher. In: Geschlecht macht Herrschaft – Interdisziplinäre Studien zu vormoderner Macht und Herrschaft. Andrea Stieldorf, Linda Dohmen, Irina Dumitrescu, Ludwig D. Morenz (Hg.) - Göttingen: V&R univpress, Bonn University Press, S. 175–200. https://doi.org/10.14220/9783737013437.175
DOI:https://doi.org/10.14220/9783737013437.175
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 830 Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur
GND Keyword:Herrschaft; Macht; Geschlechterrolle
Tag:Fertilität; Kinderlosigkeit; Mittelalter
Release Date:2022/06/23
Embargo Date:2022/12/01
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht