fathers maternent in the Middle Ages

DanièleAlexandre Cage, ” Images of the father of the family in the Middle Ages “, Cahiers de recherches médiévales, n°4, 19971

At the beginning of this article, the desire to fill a gap, and a bias in the family studies medieval : the absence of fathers. Danièle Alexandre-Bogus shows how much the fathers have been excluded from the family stories medieval, or confined to a role of ” bogeyman “. Even in theHistory of Fathers and fatherhood , published in 1990 (by Jean Delumeau and Daniel Roche), the role of fathers does not know a better fate, as we can read there that ” to tell the truth, the father appears to be relatively little “[1] This book is in this respect very revealing of the vision of the father of the medieval predominates, and the weak place in him.

However, we now know ” that the fathers and medieval were taught to walk with their children for a year and a half, took the temperature every day of their sick children, bathed the children, or watched their games in the consoling and defending it when another kid had stolen their toys, and even bought baby clothes, as the noble Paston. “The fathers” maternent ” so in the Middle Ages. It is therefore necessary to enhance the character of the emotional relationship between father and children, and the iconographic sources are proving to be a material very useful, as demonstrated by Danièle Alexandre-Bogus. Joseph appears in the iconography as a father maternant. This article makes an inventory of the images of the father : father, initiator and educator, affectionate, anxious…


[1] S. Melchior-Bonnet, ” From Gerson to Montaigne, the Power and the love “, p. 56

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