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The Military Leadership of Matilda of Canossa, 1046-1115
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The Military Leadership of Matilda of Canossa, 1046-1115

4.8 of 5 stars 4.80  ·  rating details  ·  5 ratings  ·  2 reviews
The Military Leadership of Matilda of Canossa adopts an interdisciplinary perspective towards the abundant and diverse sources for her life, reading the narrative sources against the letters, polemics, diplomas, and canonical collections. This is the first account in English of the entire, 40-year military career of one of the most powerful women of the Middle Ages. Challe ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by Manchester University Press (first published August 19th 2008)
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Janice Liedl
An excellent, if carefully limited, study of Matilda's pre-eminence as countess of Tuscany. Hay is careful to focus on her time as military leader, particularly in regards to the Investiture Controversy that set the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire at odds. Matilda emerges as a powerful force on the papal side, not just a supporter but a powerbroker. Hay shows how she acted quite independently of her two husbands (but with great support during her lifetime from her mother). This scholarly work o ...more
This is an interesting study of Matilda of Canossa as a military leader during the Investiture Conflict and her campaigns afterward, which then switches in the last chapter to discussion on her gender, and how her enemies and supporters attacked and defended her as a female military leader.

It is very much a scholarly work (you can tell by the chapter endnotes!), but I found it an enjoyable read. It never gets bogged down, and the writing never gets dry. It would help to have some knowledge alre
Jennifer Pournelle
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May 31, 2014
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