Empress Adelheid and Countess Matilda

Medieval Female Rulership and the Foundations of European Society

  • Penelope┬áNash

Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxi
  2. Back Matter
    Pages 223-292

About this book


This book compares two successful, elite women, Empress Adelheid (931-999) and Countess Matilda (1046-1115), for their relative ability to retain their wealth and power in the midst of the profound social changes of the eleventh century. The careers of the Ottonian queen and empress Adelheid and Countess Matilda of Tuscany reveal a growth of opportunities for women to access wealth and power. These two women are analyzed under three categories: their relationships with family and friends, how they managed their property (particularly land), and how they ruled. This analysis encourages a better understanding of gender relations in both the past and the present.



building Europe foundation gender history Medieval Literature Middle Ages model social history social science society sociology spirituality transformation

Authors and affiliations

  • Penelope┬áNash
    • 1
  1. 1.Honorary Associate Medieval and Early Modern CentreThe University of SydneyAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-59088-6
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-58514-1
  • Buy this book on publisher's site