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HIST 245-Microtheme 3 - women are shown and that these...

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Microtheme 3 Fiona Harris Stoertz’s argues that a concern for women’s survival and suffering in childbirth is shown by the remedies that were used for obstetrical problems and the role and identity of care givers who assisted at births. The main points of her article are that family, friends, midwives and other medical attendants present offered emotional and practical aid for women’s problems during childbirth. This could be anything from herbal remedies, charms, rituals, invocation of the saints, and various other treatments. Her examples come from saints’ lives, miracle stories, and medical collections. Her examples range from men converting to Christianity to ease their wives labor pains to saints aiding a mother during her labor in the form of a miracle. I find her argument hard to believe in that she said only positive attempts to help
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Unformatted text preview: women are shown and that these texts were widely transmitted. Most of these texts would be either in Latin or Vernacular language that most people could not read. Also the surviving record could be incomplete because not everything survives. Stoertz mentions a Vernacular text that was supposedly written by a woman for women although she goes on to say that other versions of the same text appear to be written by a masculine perspective for a masculine audience. The real author of the text is a mystery; so for her to use this as evidence for me at least makes her argument not as strong. Since most of the texts at the time were written from a male perspective, Stoertz’ argument is hard to accept as true. Also, a lot of religious texts would be written in a biased manner to enhance the miracle aspect of saints....
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