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Pastor et gubernatrix: la badessa nella Sicilia medievale


In medieval Sicily abbesses had a strong spiritual and temporal power and many of them belonged to noble families. They ran the convents, guided and protected the nuns, and commissioned works of art. In the pictures abbesses were portrayed with nuns, but double in size to underline their leadership. Convents were troubled by disputes and clashes between dissident nuns and abbesses. Moreover, abbesses could not avoid dynastic logics and family power games that affected their life and limited their action.