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Foot-Binding
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Foot-Binding

Foot-binding was a practice first carried out on young girls in Tang Dynasty China to restrict their normal growth and make their feet as small as possible. Considered an attractive quality, the effects of the process were painful and permanent...
Courtly Love
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Courtly Love

Courtly Love (Amour Courtois) refers to an innovative literary genre of poetry of the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE) which elevated the position of women in society and established the motifs of the romance genre recognizable in the present...
The Daily Life of Medieval Nuns
Articleby Mark Cartwright

The Daily Life of Medieval Nuns

Monasteries were an ever-present feature of the Medieval landscape and perhaps more than half were devoted solely to women. The rules and lifestyle within a nunnery were very similar to those in a male monastery. Nuns took vows of chastity...
Hetaira
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Hetaira

A hetaira (pl. hetairai) was an educated female prostitute in ancient Greece and a common participant in symposia or drinking parties in private homes. Sometimes referred to in English as a courtesan, the Greek term hetaira was a euphemism...
Tiglath Pileser I
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Tiglath Pileser I

Tiglath Pileser I (reigned 1115-1076 BCE), an Assyrian king of the period known as the Middle Empire, revitalized the economy and the military that had been suffering, more or less, since the death of the king Tukulti Ninurta I (1244-1208...
Music & Dance in Ancient Egypt
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Music & Dance in Ancient Egypt

Music and dance were highly valued in ancient Egyptian culture, but they were more important than is generally thought: they were integral to creation and communion with the gods and, further, were the human response to the gift of life and...
Sappho
Imageby John William Godward

Sappho

Sappho of Lesbos (c. 630-570 BCE). Painting by John William Godward (1904). Through her poetry which included love between women, she gave the term "lesbian" its modern meaning.
Beguinage
Imageby Charles Hutchins

Beguinage

Begijnhof, Breda, The Netherlands. The Beguines were all devoted women who lived lives of poverty, good works, and charity but were not nuns and could leave the group whenever they chose to.
Ancient Egyptian Culture
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Ancient Egyptian Culture

Ancient Egyptian culture flourished between c. 5500 BCE with the rise of technology (as evidenced in the glasswork of faience) and 30 BCE with the death of Cleopatra VII, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt. It is famous today for the great...
Cosmetics in the Ancient World
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Cosmetics in the Ancient World

The wearing of cosmetics and perfumes by both men and women goes back a very long way indeed as the ancients were just as keen as anyone to improve their appearance as quickly and as easily as possible using all manner of powders, creams...