Many Pious Women. Edition and Translation

De Gruyter, Berlin

This work is of importance to anyone with an interest in whether women, especially Jewish Ashkenazic women, had a Renaissance. It details the participation in the Querelle des Femmes and Power of Women topos as expressed in this hagiographic work on the lives of biblical women including the apocryphal Judith. The Power of Women topos is discussed in the context of the reception of the Amazon myth in Jewish literature and the domestication of powerful female figures. In the Querelle our author pleads with husbands for generosity and respect for their wives’ piety. Whether women living in the Renaissance experienced a renaissance is a debate raging since Joan Kelly raised the possibility that this historic phenomenon essentially did not affect women. The question is raised with reference to the women depicted in Many Pious Women. These topics find their expression in a richly annotated translation with extensive introductory essays of a unique 16th–century manuscript in Western Yiddish (Judeo–German) written in Italy. The text will also be useful to scholars of the history of Yiddish and theorists of its development. Women everywhere, gender and Renaissance scholars, Yiddishists and linguists will all welcome this work now available for the very first time in the original text with an English translation.


Publication Type