Christian, Muslim and Jewish Women in Late Medieval Iberia Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2009

start page

  • 319

end page

  • 333


  • 2-4


  • 15

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1380-7854

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1570-0674


  • Scholars have studied in depth the relations among Christian, Muslim and Jews in Medieval Iberia, but they have largely ignored Christian, Muslim and Jewish women. This essay focuses on the role of these women in Medieval Iberia. It looks at their activities in the household as well as in the society in general, and especially at relationships between women of the three communities. It analyzes whether these women contributed toward a harmonious society and whether they fostered separatism or integration. It also points out how, as well as taking care of their children and tending to other domestic tasks, these women served as defenders of the cultural identity of their communities, especially in times of persecution. Although excluded from religious activities, Muslim and Jewish women in particular helped maintain the religion and culture of their ancestors.