Yes, I am aware that Shakespeare was talking about Bawdy Houses when he penned the lines in Romeo and Juliet wherein Juliet's father order her to a nunnery. However, this Links List is about holy orders and the places they inhabited in Medieval Europe (my kids read these Links Lists, after all :).
Please share this list wherever it will find a ready audience, and use these links to update your webpages. Summer is coming, and I'd like to solicit volunteer Linkers to help create these weekly lists. No fancy degrees or special techie knowledge needed---just a love of learning and a hankering to find out more about your favorite subjects. Please email me if you are interested.
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
Medieval Art Bibliography - Nuns
The Electronic Canterbury Tales
(in middle or modern English)
Monasteries in Medieval England
Daily life on a medieval monastery in England and Wales
(Site Excerpt) Early monasteries originated in Egypt as places where wandering hermits gathered. These early "monks" lived alone, but met in a common chapel. By the fifth century the monastic movement had spread to Ireland, where St. Patrick, the son of a Roman official, set out to convert the Irish to Christianity.
Medieval Source Book: Saint's Lives
Book: Jeffrey F. Hamburger
Nuns as Artists
The Visual Culture of a Medieval Convent
University of California Press May 1977 ISBN 0-520-20386-0
Sisters Between Gender and the Medieval Beguines by Abby Stoner
(Site Excerpt) The Beguines of northern Europe have been called the first women's movement in Christian history. This group of religiously dedicated laywomen, who took no permanent vows, followed no prescribed rule, supported themselves by manual labor, interacted with the "world," and remained celibate, flourished in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries--a time when the Church had defined two legitimate roles for pious women: cloistered nun and keeper at home. With their freedom of movement, economic independence and spiritual creativity, the Beguines carved out an unusually expansive--and controversial--niche for female religious expression.
Yamagata Univetrsity: "The Creation of a Leading Medieval Order of Nuns:
The Case of the Ritsu Sect"
A Treatise on historical Budhist Nuns
WOMAN UNDER MONASTICISM
(Site Excerpt) IN the course of the 6th and 7th centuries a number of men left England and settled abroad among the heathen Germans, partly from a wish to gain new converts to the faith, partly because a change of affairs at home made them long for a different field of labour. Through the influx of the heathen Anglo-Saxons, the British Christians had been deprived of their influence, and when Christianity was restored it was under the auspices of princes who were favourably inclined towards Rome. Men who objected to the Roman sway sought independence among the heathens abroad in preference to dependence on strangers at home, and it is owing to their efforts that Christianity was introduced into the valleys leading up from the Rhine, into the lake districts of Bavaria, and into Switzerland.
Medieval Society: The Three Orders
(Site Excerpt) By the 11th and 12th centuries, the vast majority of European men and women were peasants who were the land of their lords. We know very little about these people for the simple fact that the nobility and clergy did not keep written records about them. When the peasantry of Europe was mentioned, it was usually in relation to the obligations they owed their superiors.
The Medieval church in England
(Site Excerpt) Apart from the manor, the church was the main focus of community life. Church parishes were usually the manor villages. The parish priest was appointed by the lord of the manor and was given a house. He was obliged to carry money for alms with him, keep up the church, and provide hospitality to travellers.
ABBEY: ST. TROPHIME (Arles France)
A graphics intense image page
Life in a Medieval Monastery
A Guide to Resources in Mount Angel Abbey Library
(Site Excerpt) During the fifth and sixth centuries, monasteries were founded in Italy, Gaul, Spain, and Ireland. In Gaul, and later, England, double monasteries were common. These were establishments of monks and nuns who lived in separate quarters under the direction of an abbess. During this early stage of monastic development, there was no generally accepted rule that governed monastic life. In the West there were translations of various Eastern codes, such as the Rules of Pachomius and Basil. Another influential rule was St. Augustine's famous letter on the management of convents of nuns. However, there was nothing that could be called a working code for the management of a monastery. This changed in the eighth century with the widespread adoption of the Rule of St. Benedict.
Netserf Medieval Architecture: Abbeys and Monasteries
A List of Links on the subject