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Construction of sanctity models to women in fifteenth-century Portugal

Grant number: 14/14800-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2014
Effective date (End): January 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Ancient and Medieval History
Principal Investigator:Susani Silveira Lemos Franca
Grantee:Aline Carolina de Lima Baia
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Humanas e Sociais (FCHS). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Franca. Franca , SP, Brazil


In Portugal, on the threshold of 15th century, a life story of a queen whose characteristics, especially chastity, appear in a collection of writings was propagated with the intention to register a memory with edifying purposes. The book that says about the good life of the Queen of Portugal, "Dona" Isabel, and her good deeds and miracles in life and even after her death, is the most antique copy of a narrative known, written in the 14th century, where Isabel is presented either as predestined and virtuous queen since her birth - considered essential values to sainthood until 12th century - or as a woman who struggled to redeem herself against the further problems commonly brought by life in that century - virtue valued vigorously only from the 13th century. Considering the confluence of characteristics which form two different models of sainthood in the same hagiographic register, this work proposes the reflection about the most valued virtues in this four hundred year narrative, and in a general way in the 15th century in Portugal, aiming to investigate the relationship between what was thought to be typical characteristic of a saint and how the ordinary people could behave. In short, through the comparison of the essential characteristics considered to achieve holiness, we intend to examine the relationship among memory, virtues, holiness and edification, always considering that the hagiography arises in the period as a way to organize the past events, in spite of its high level of idealization.

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