The concept of feminism is extremely alien, especially for the people who live in Medieval Europe. The concept of a woman having the same rights as men is not just an offensive notion but is a concept that is purely unacceptable by medieval society. Because the old society is a society where the patriarch should be followed, there are only ever a few women who were brave enough to champion the rights of feminism. One such woman is Christine de Pizan.
And the Maiden is born…
Born in Venice, Italy in 1364, Christine de Pizan came from a well-regarded family. Her father, Tommaso di Benvenutto da Pizzano was a physician, a court astrologer, and Councillor of the Republic of Venice. In 1368, the king of France, Charles V appointed Thomas de Pizan as his court astrologer. The family moved from Venice to Paris, thus Christine’s childhood consisted of exploring the beauty of Paris and longing for her hometown, Venice.
A Writer, A Poet, and a Fighter
By 1399, Christine de Pizan became a prolific writer and was celebrated as one because of her lyrical poetry. Her sense of poetry and with words was envied by other writers in Medieval France. Due to her success as a writer, she began writing for a living and had many sponsors, including Louis of Orleans, Philip the Bold, and John the Fearless. Her written topics included moral issues and are known for voicing out the need for peace and the role of women within medieval society. Christine de Pizan was also known for her articles on public affairs, the art of government rule, and an extensive biography of the late Charles V.Christine de Pizan’s most important work is the Le Livre de la Cite des Dames, which is also known as The Book of the City of Ladies.
A Champion of Women
As a champion of medieval feminism, de Pizan wanted to show her fellow women that there were also notable women in history who have done illustrious things in the field of history, medicine, religion, and the arts. In the old days, illustrious women were not showcased in books or in any other forms of literary art because most writers were male. It was Christine de Pizan’s fervent wish that these illustrious women be presented as sources of inspiration as well. She felt that the time was right for women of medieval times to stand up and become equals with men in society.