Episode 25- Queenship in Medieval Portugal

Episode 25 with Miriam Shadis

Prof. Miriam Shadis of Ohio University joins us to explore the powerful roles that queens had in medieval Portugal, including in territorial matters, claims of legitimacy, patronage, military affairs and diplomacy.  Beginning with the very founding of the Kingdom of Portugal, Shadis finds that in Portugal the title of queen was not reserved solely for the wife of the king but was also bestowed on other royal women who had political power such as the sisters of the monarch.  Shadis considers why the royal women of Portugal had this unique status and how that status changed over the course of the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Episode

The Guest

Miriam Shadis is an Associate Professor of History at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She is the author of Berenguela of Castile (1180-1246) and Political Women in the High Middle Ages (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009) and several articles and essays on royal and other elite women in France, and the Iberian realms in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Her current project, “Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Saints: gender and state formation in Portugal 1100-1250,” will be a monograph examining the role of queens and queenship in the formation of the medieval realm of Portugal.

Suggested Reading

  • Amaral, Luís Carlos, and Mário Jorge Barroca.  A condessa-rainha Teresa.  Lisbon: Circulo de Leitores, 2012.
  • Earenfight, Theresa.  Queenship in Medieval Europe  New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013.
  • Lay, Stephen.  The Reconquest Kings of Portugal: Political and Cultural Reorientation on the Medieval Frontier.  New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
  • Marques, Maria Alegria Fernandes, Nuno José Pizarro Pinto Dias, Bernardo de Sá-Nogueira José Varandas and António Resende de Oliveira.  As Primeiras Rainhas: Mafalda de Mouriana, Dulce de Aragão, Urraca de Castela, Mécia Lopez de Haro e Beatriz Afonso.  Lisbon: Circulo de Leitores, 2012.
  • Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100-1400:  Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate.  Edited by Heather Tanner.  New York: Palgrave Press, New Middle Ages Series, 2019: 247-270.
  • Shadis, Miriam.  “The Personal and the Political in the Testaments of the Portuguese Royal Family (Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries).”  Historical Reflections/Réflexions Historiques 43, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 77-92.

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