Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba is a figure first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the original story, she brings a caravan of valuable gifts for King Solomon; this tale has undergone extensive Jewish and Ethiopian elaborations, has become the subject of one of the most widespread and fertile cycles of legends in the Orient. Modern historians identify Sheba with the South Arabian kingdom of Saba in present-day Yemen; the queen's existence has not been confirmed by historians. The Queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem "with a great retinue, with camels bearing spices, much gold, precious stones". "Never again came such an abundance of spices" as those she gave to Solomon. She came "to prove him with hard questions,", they exchanged gifts. The use of the term ḥiddot or'riddles', an Aramaic loanword whose shape points to a sound shift no earlier than the sixth century B. C. indicates a late origin for the text. Since there is no mention of the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, Martin Noth has held that the Book of Kings received a definitive redaction around 550 BC.
All modern scholars agree that Sheba was the South Arabian kingdom of Saba, centered around the oasis of Marib, in present-day Yemen. Sheba was quite well known in the classical world, its country was called Arabia Felix. Around the middle of the first millennium B. C. there were Sabaeans in the Horn of Africa, in the area that became the realm of Aksum. There are five places in the Bible where the writer distinguishes Sheba, i. e. the Yemenite Sabaeans, from Seba, i. e. the African Sabaeans. In Ps. 72:10 they are mentioned together: "the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts". This spelling differentiation, may be purely factitious; the alphabetic inscriptions from South Arabia furnish no evidence for women rulers, but Assyrian inscriptions mention Arab queens in the north. Queens are well attested in Arabia, though according to Kitchen, not after 690 B. C. Furthermore, Sabaean tribes knew the title of mqtwyt. Makada or Makueda, the personal name of the queen in Ethiopian legend, might be interpreted as a popular rendering of the title of mqtwyt.
This title may be derived from Ancient Egyptian m'kit "protectress, housewife". The queen's visit could have been a trade mission. Early South Arabian trade with Mesopotamia involving wood and spices transported by camels is attested in the early ninth century B. C. and may have begun as early as the tenth. The ancient Sabaic Awwām Temple, known in folklore as Maḥram Bilqīs, was excavated by archaeologists, but no trace of the Queen of Sheba has been discovered so far in the many inscriptions found there. Bible stories of the Queen of Sheba and the ships of Ophir served as a basis for legends about the Israelites traveling in the Queen of Sheba's entourage when she returned to her country to bring up her child by Solomon. Christian scriptures mention a "queen of the South", who "came from the uttermost parts of the earth", i.e. from the extremities of the known world, to hear the wisdom of Solomon. The mystical interpretation of the Canticles, felt of supplying a literal basis for the speculations of the allegorists, makes its first appearance in Origen, who wrote a voluminous commentary on the Canticles.
In his commentary, Origen identified the bride of the Canticles with the "queen of the South" of the Gospels, i. e. the Queen of Sheba, assumed to have been Ethiopian. Others have proposed either the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh's daughter, or his marriage with an Israelitish woman, the Shulamite; the former was the favorite opinion of the mystical interpreters to the end of the 18th century. The bride of the Canticles is assumed to have been black due to a passage in Cant. 1:5, which the Revised Standard Version translates as "I am dark, but comely", as does Jerome, while the New Revised Standard Version has "I am black and beautiful", as the Septuagint. One legend has it that the Queen of Sheba brought Solomon the same gifts that the Magi gave to Christ. During the Middle Ages, Christians sometimes identified the queen of Sheba with the sibyl Sabba. According to Josephus, the queen of Sheba was the queen of Egypt and Ethiopia, brought to Israel the first specimens of the balsam, which grew in the Holy Land in the historian's time.
Josephus represents Cambyses as conquering the capital of Aethiopia, changing its name from Seba to Meroe. Josephus affirms that the Queen of Sheba or Saba came from this region, that it bore the name of Saba before it was known by that of Meroe. There seems some affinity between the word Saba and the name or title of the kings of the Aethiopians, Sabaco; the Talmud insists that it was not a woman but a kingdom of Sheba that came to Jerusalem intended to discredit existing stories about the relations between Solomon and the Queen. Baba Bathra 15b: "Whoever says malkath Sheba means a woman is mistaken; this is explained to
Cloelia is a legendary woman from the early history of ancient Rome. As part of the peace treaty which ended the war between Rome and Clusium in 508 BC, Roman hostages were taken by Lars Porsena. One of the hostages, a young woman named Cloelia, fled the Clusian camp, leading away a group of Roman virgins. According to Valerius Maximus, she fled upon a horse swam across the Tiber. Porsena demanded that she be returned, the Romans consented. Upon her return, Porsena was so impressed by her bravery that he allowed her to choose half the remaining hostages to be freed, she selected the young Roman boys, so that they could continue the war. The Romans gave Cloelia an honour reserved for men: an equestrian statue, located at the top of the Via Sacra; the story of Lars Porsena and the Roman hostage Cloelia is the basis of the libretto Il trionfo di Clelia by Pietro Metastasio. Cloelia Livy, Ab urbe condita, 2.13 Valerius Maximus, Factorum ac dictorum memorabilium, 3.2.2
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops and motherly relationships. She was the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres", her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales. She was honoured in the May lustratio of the fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, during Roman marriages and funeral rites. Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Dii Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology; the Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature. Ceres' name derives from the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European root *ḱerh₃-, meaning "to satiate, to feed", the root for Latin crescere "to grow" and through it, the English words create and increase. Roman etymologists thought ceres derived from the Latin verb gerere, "to bear, bring forth, produce", because the goddess was linked to pastoral and human fertility.
Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome's neighbours in the Regal period, including the ancient Latins and Sabellians, less among the Etruscans and Umbrians. An archaic Faliscan inscription of c. 600 BC asks her to provide far, a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres' name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread. Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat, the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing and nourishing of the young seed, the gift of agriculture to humankind, she had the power to fertilise and fructify plant and animal seed, her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus, at the movable Feriae Sementivae; this was certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the entrails presented in an earthenware pot. In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a porca praecidanea.
Before the harvest, she was offered a propitiary grain sample. Ovid tells that Ceres "is content with little, provided that her offerings are casta". Ceres' main festival, was held from mid to late April, it included circus games. It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus, whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth. From c.175 BC, Cerealia included ludi scaenici through April 12 to 18. In the ancient sacrum cereale a priest the Flamen Cerialis, invoked Ceres along with twelve specialised, minor assistant-gods to secure divine help and protection at each stage of the grain cycle, beginning shortly before the Feriae Sementivae. W. H. Roscher lists these deities among the indigitamenta, names used to invoke specific divine functions. Vervactor, "He who ploughs" Reparator, "He who prepares the earth" Imporcitor, "He who ploughs with a wide furrow" Insitor, "He who plants seeds" Obarator, "He who traces the first ploughing" Occator, "He who harrows" Serritor, "He who digs" Subruncinator, "He who weeds" Messor, "He who reaps" Conuector, "He who carries the grain" Conditor, "He who stores the grain" Promitor, "He who distributes the grain" In Roman bridal processions, a young boy carried Ceres' torch to light the way.
The adult males of the wedding party waited at the groom's house. A wedding sacrifice was offered to Tellus on the bride's behalf. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as "a worthy mark of weddings" because "our women, nurses" call the female genitalia porcus. Spaeth believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is identified with Tellus and, as Ceres legifera, she "bears the laws" of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type associated with Ceres. From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres' connection with Roman ideals of female virtue; the promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater is described as alma. Several of Ceres' ancient Italic precursors are motherhood. Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws and Tribunes
In Classical Greek mythology, Hippolyta was the Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle, given to her by her father, the god of war. The girdle was a waist belt, she figures prominently in the myths of both Theseus. The myths about her are varied enough; the name Hippolyta comes from Greek roots meaning'horse' and'let loose'. In the myth of Hercules, Hippolyta's girdle was the object of his ninth labor, he was sent to retrieve it for the daughter of King Eurystheus. Most versions of the myth indicate that Hippolyta was so impressed with Hercules that she gave him the girdle without argument while visiting him on his ship. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus, the goddess Hera, making herself appear as one of the Amazons, spread a rumor among them that Hercules and his crew were abducting their queen, so the Amazons attacked the ship. In the fray that followed, Hercules slew Hippolyta, stripped her of the belt, fought off the attackers, sailed away. In the myth of Theseus, the hero joined Heracles in his expedition, or went on a separate expedition and was the one who had the encounter with Hippolyta.
Some versions say he abducted her, some that Heracles did the abducting but gave her to Theseus as spoils, others say that she fell in love with Theseus and betrayed the Amazons by willingly leaving with him. In any case, she was taken to Athens where she was wed to Theseus, being the only Amazon to marry. In some renditions the other Amazons attacked Athens; this was the Attic War, in which they were defeated by Athenian forces under Heracles. In other renditions Theseus put Hippolyta aside to marry Phaedra. So Hippolyta rallied her Amazons to attack the wedding ceremony; when the defenders closed the doors on the attackers, either Hippolyta was killed, Theseus directly killed her in the fight, she was accidentally killed by another Amazon, while fighting by Theseus’ side, or was accidentally killed by her sister Penthesilea during this battle or in a separate incident. This killer was in turn slain by Achilles; some stories paint Theseus in a more favorable light, saying that Hippolyta was dead before he and Phaedra were wed, this battle did not occur.
Further complicating the narratives, a number of ancient writers say the Amazon in question was not Hippolyta at all, but her sister Antiope, Melanippe, or Glauce. Moreover, there are combined versions of the tale in which Heracles abducts and kills Hippolyta while Theseus, assisted by Sthenelus and Telamon and marries Antiope. There are stories that Hippolyta or Antiope bore Theseus a son, Hippolytus. In William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hippolyta is engaged to Theseus, the duke of Athens. In Act I, Scene 1 she and he discuss their fast-approaching wedding, which will take place under the new moon in four days. Theseus declares to Hippolyta that, although he "wooed her with his sword," he will wed her "with pomp, with triumph, with revelling" and promises to begin a celebration that will continue until the wedding. Although Hippolyta figures only marginally through the middle of the play, she resumes a strong role in Act V, scene I. There she and Theseus discuss some preceding events, namely the magical romantic confusions that the Athenian youths report from the night before.
Theseus is skeptical about the veracity of their tale, but Hippolyta questions whether they would all have the same story if indeed, the night's adventures were imagined. She argues that the youths' agreement on the way the night's events unfolded proves that things occurred just as they say; this play is significant in its portrayal of strong women. In Elizabethan England and domestic authority rested upon the man and women were expected to be chaste and subservient, as expressed in The Taming of the Shrew. Hippolyta, queen of a tribe of empowered women, disagrees with him. In a feminist analysis, Louis Montrose contends: "The attitude toward the Amazons expressed in these Renaissance texts is a mixture of fascination and horror. Amazonian mythology seems symbolically to embody and to control a collective anxiety about the power of a female not only to dominate or reject the male but to create and destroy him."Ellen Rogers goes on to say Hippolyta overpowers Theseus with her feminine allure and that, by marrying Hippolyta, Theseus is laying down his sword, "the weapon which gave him power and authority over her," and subjugating himself.
By the end of the play, Hippolyta has added to her power, becoming the queen of Athens. The character of Hippolyta appears in The Two Noble Kinsmen, a play co-written by Shakespeare and John Fletcher. Media related to Girdle of Hippolyta at Wikimedia Commons
According to the Book of Judges, Deborah was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel and the only female judge mentioned in the Bible, the wife of Lapidoth. Deborah told Barak that God commanded him to lead an attack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera. Judges chapter 5 gives the same story in poetic form; this passage called The Song of Deborah, may date to as early as the twelfth century BC, is the earliest sample of Hebrew poetry. In the Book of Judges, it is stated that Deborah was a prophet, a judge of Israel and the wife of Lapidoth, she rendered her judgments beneath a date palm tree between Ramah in Benjamin and Bethel in the land of Ephraim. The people of Israel had been oppressed by Jabin, the king of Canaan, whose capital was Hazor, for twenty years. Stirred by the wretched condition of Israel she sends a message to Barak, the son of Abinoam, at Kedesh of Naphtali, tells him that the Lord God had commanded him to muster ten thousand troops of Naphtali and Zebulun and concentrate them upon Mount Tabor, the mountain at the northern angle of the great plain of Esdraelon.
At the same time she states that the Lord God of Israel will draw Sisera, commander of Jabin's army, to the River Kishon. Barak declines to go without the prophet. Deborah declares that the glory of the victory will therefore belong to a woman; as soon as the news of the rebellion reaches Sisera he collects nine hundred chariots of iron and a host of people. Deborah said, according to Judges 4:14: "Go! This is the day. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. As Deborah prophesied, a battle is fought, Sisera is defeated, he himself escapes on foot, while his army is pursued as far as Harosheth of the Gentiles and destroyed. Sisera comes to the tent of Jael, he asks for a drink. The Biblical account of Deborah ends with the statement that after the battle, there was peace in the land for 40 years; the Song of Deborah is found in Judges 5:2–31 and is a victory hymn, sung by Deborah and Barak, about the defeat of Canaanite adversaries by some of the tribes of Israel.
Biblical scholars have identified the Song as one of the oldest parts of the Bible, dating somewhere in the 12th century BC, based on its grammar and context. However, some scholars have argued that the song's language and content indicate that it was written no earlier than the 7th century BC; the song itself differs from the events described in Judges 4. The song mentions six participating tribes as opposed to the two tribes in Judges 4:6 and does not mention the role of Jabin. Though it is not uncommon to read a victory hymn in the Hebrew Bible, the Song of Deborah stands out as unique in that it is a hymn that celebrates a military victory helped by two women: Deborah and Jael. Michael Coogan writes that Jael being a woman "is a further sign that Yahweh is responsible for the victory: the mighty Canaanite general Sisera will be'sold' by the Lord'into the hand of a woman'". Traditional Jewish chronology places Deborah's 40 years of judging Israel from 1107 BC until her death in 1067 BC; the Dictionary of World Biography: The Ancient World claims that she might have lived in the period between 1200 BC to 1124 BC.
Based on archaeological findings, different biblical scholars have argued that Deborah's war with Sisera best fits the context of either the second half of the 12th century BC or the second half of the 11th century BC. Battle of Mount Tabor The Deborah number Handel's Deborah Book of Judges article, Jewish Encyclopedia Debbora, Catholic Encyclopedia Biblical Hebrew Poetry - Reconstructing the Original Oral and Visual Experience Song of Deborah Reconstructed
Circe is a goddess of magic or sometimes a nymph, enchantress or sorceress in Greek mythology. She is either the nymph Perse or the goddess Hecate. Circe was renowned for her vast knowledge of herbs. Through the use of these and a magic wand or staff, she would transform her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals; the best known of her legends is told in Homer's Odyssey when Odysseus visits her island of Aeaea on the way back from the Trojan War and she changes most of his crew into swine. He forces her to return them to human shape, lives with her for a year and has sons by her, including Latinus and Telegonus, her ability to change others into animals is further highlighted by the story of Picus, an Italian king whom she turns into a woodpecker for resisting her advances. Another story makes her fall in love with the sea-god Glaucus. In revenge, Circe poisoned the water where her rival turned her into a monster. Depictions in Classical times, wandered away from the detail in Homer's narrative, to be reinterpreted morally as a cautionary story against drunkenness.
Early philosophical questions were raised whether the change from a reasoning being to a beast was not preferable after all, this paradox was to have a powerful impact during the Renaissance. Circe was taken as the archetype of the predatory female. In the eyes of those from a age, this behaviour made her notorious both as a magician and as a type of the sexually free woman; as such she has been depicted in all the arts from the Renaissance down to modern times. Western paintings established a visual iconography for the figure, but went for inspiration to other stories concerning Circe that appear in Ovid's Metamorphoses; the episodes of Scylla and Picus added the vice of violent jealousy to her bad qualities and made her a figure of fear as well as of desire. Male interpretations were to take the metamorphoses she inflicted not just as reflecting a temptation to bestiality but as an emasculatory threat. Among women she has been portrayed more sympathetically. By most accounts, she was the daughter of Helios, the Titan sun god, Perse, one of the three thousand Oceanid nymphs.
Her brothers were Aeëtes, keeper of the Golden Fleece, Perses. Her sister was the wife of King Minos and mother of the Minotaur. Other accounts make her the daughter of the goddess of witchcraft, she was confused with Calypso, due to her shifts in behavior and personality, the association that both of them had with Odysseus. In Homer's Odyssey, an 8th-century BCE sequel to his Trojan War epic Iliad, Circe is described as living in a palace that stands in the middle of a clearing in a dense wood on her island of Aeaea. Around the house prowled strangely docile lions and wolves, the drugged victims of her sorcery. Circe worked at an enormous loom, she invited the hero Odysseus' crew to a feast of familiar food, a pottage of cheese and meal, sweetened with honey and laced with wine, but laced with one of her magical potions and drunk from an enchanted cup. Thus so she turned them all into swine with her magic wand or staff after they gorged themselves on it. Only Eurylochus, suspecting treachery from the outset and thus not entering the mansion of Circe, escaped to warn Odysseus and the others who had stayed behind at the ship.
Odysseus set out to rescue his men, but was intercepted by the messenger god, sent by Athena. Hermes told Odysseus to use the herb moly to protect himself from Circe's magic and, having resisted it, to draw his sword and act as if he were going to attack her. From there, Circe would ask him to bed, but Hermes advised caution, for there the goddess would be treacherous, she would take his manhood. Odysseus followed Hermes' advice, freeing his men and remained on the island for one year and drinking wine. According to Homer, Circe suggested two alternative routes to Odysseus to return to Ithaca: toward Planctae, the "Wandering Rocks", or passing between the dangerous Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, conventionally identified with the Strait of Messina, she advised Odysseus to go to the Underworld and gave him directions. Towards the end of Hesiod's Theogony, it is stated that Circe bore Odysseus three sons: Ardeas or Agrius; the Telegony, an epic now lost, relates the history of the last of these.
Circe informed him who his absent father was and, when he set out to find Odysseus, gave him a poisoned spear. With this he killed his father unknowingly. Telegonus brought back his father's corpse to Aeaea, together with Penelope and Odysseus' other son Telemachus. After burying Odysseus, Circe made the others immortal. In the 5th-century BCE epic Dionysiaca, author Nonnus mentions Phaunos, Circe's son by the sea god Poseidon. According to Lycophron's 3rd-century BCE poem Alexandra, John Tzetzes' scholia on it, Circe used magical herbs to bring Odysseus back to life after he had been killed by Telegonus. Odysseus gave Telemachus to Circe's daughter Cassiphone in marriage; some time Telemachus had a quarrel with his mother-in-law and killed her. On hearing of this, Odysseus died of grief. In his 3rd-century BCE epic, the Argonautica, Apollonius Rhodius relates that Circe purified the Argonauts for the death of Absyrtus reflecting an early tradition. In this poem, the animals that surroun
Christine de Pizan
Christine de Pizan was an Italian and French author. She is best remembered for defending women in The Book of the City of Ladies and The Treasure of the City of Ladies. Pizan was a prominent moralist and political thinker in medieval France. Pizan's patrons included Louis of Orleans, Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, she served as a court writer during the reign of Charles VI. Her books of advice to princesses and knights remained in print until the 16th century. In recent decades, Pizan's work has been returned to prominence by the efforts of scholars such as Charity Cannon Willard, Earl Jeffrey Richards and Simone de Beauvoir. Christine de Pizan was born 1364 in Italy, she was the daughter of Tommaso di Benvenuto da Pizzano. Her father became known as Thomas de Pizan, named for the family's origins in the town of Pizzano, southeast of Bologna, her father worked as court astrologer and Councillor of the Republic of Venice. Thomas de Pizan accepted an appointment to the court of Charles V of France as the king's astrologer and in 1368 Pizan moved to Paris.
In 1379 Christine de Pizan married royal secretary Etienne du Castel. She had three children, her daughter became a nun at the Dominican Abbey in Poissy in 1397 as a companion to the King's daughter Marie. Pizan's husband died of the plague in 1389, her father had died the year before. Pizan was left to support her children; when she tried to collect money from her husband's estate, she faced complicated lawsuits regarding the recovery of salary due her husband. On 4 June 1389, in a judgment concerning a lawsuit filed against her by the archbishop of Sens and François Chanteprime, councillors of the King, Christine was styled "damoiselle" and widow of "Estienne du Castel". In order to support herself and her family, Christine turned to writing. By 1393, she was writing love ballads, which caught the attention of wealthy patrons within the court. Pizan became a prolific writer, her involvement in the production of her books and her skillful use of patronage in turbulent political times has earned her the title of the first professional woman of letters in Europe.
Although Italian by birth, Pizan expressed fervent nationalism for France. Affective and financially she attached to the royal family of France, she gifted or dedicated her early ballads to members of the royal family, such as Isabeau of Bavaria, Louis I, Duke of Orléans, Marie of Berry. Of Queen Isabeau she wrote in 1402 "High, excellent crowned Queen of France redoubtable princess, powerful lady, born at a lucky hour". France was ruled by Charles VI who experienced a series of mental breakdowns, causing a crisis of leadership for the French monarchy, he was absent from court and could only make decisions with the approval of a royal council. Queen Isabeau was nominally in charge of governance when her husband was absent from court, but could not extinguish the quarrel between members of the royal family. In the past, Blanche of Castile had played a central role in the stability of the royal court and had acted as regent of France. Pizan published a series of works on the virtues of women, referencing Queen Blanche and dedicating them to Queen Isabeau.
Pizan believed that France had been founded by the descendants of the Trojans and that its governance by the royal family adhered to the Aristotelian ideal. In 1400 Pizan published L'Épistre de Othéa a Hector; when first published, the book was dedicated to Louis of Orléans, the brother of Charles VI, at court seen as potential regent of France. In L'Épistre de Othéa a Hector Hector of Troy is tutored in statecraft and the political virtues by the goddess of wisdom Othéa. Pizan produced richly illustrated luxury editions of L'Épistre de Othéa a Hector in 1400. Between 1408 and 1415 Pizan produced further editions of the book. Throughout her career she produced rededicated editions of the book with customised prologues for patrons, including an edition for Philip the Bold in 1403, editions for Jean of Berry and Henry IV of England in 1404. Patronage changed in the late Middle Ages. Texts were still produced and circulated as continuous roll manuscripts, but were replaced by the bound codex. Members of royal family became patrons of writers by commissioning books.
As materials became cheaper a book trade developed, so writers and bookmakers produced books for the French nobility, who could afford to establish their own libraries. Pizan thus had no single patron who supported her financially and became associated with the royal court and the different fractions of the royal family – the Burgundy and Berry – each having their own respective courts. Throughout her career Pizan undertook concurrent paid projects for individual patrons and subsequently published these works for dissemination among the nobility of France. In 1402 Pizan became involved in a renowned literary controversy, the "Querelle du Roman de la Rose". Pizan instigated this debate by questioning the literary merits of Jean de Meun's popular Romance of the Rose. Romance of the Rose satirizes the conventions of courtly love while critically depicting women as nothing more than seducers. In the midst of the Hundred Years' War between French and English kings, Pizan published the dream allegory Le Chemin de long estude in 1403.
In the first person narrative she and Cumaean Sibyl travel together and witness a debate on the state of the world between the four allegories – Wealth, Nobility and Wisdom. Pizan suggests that justice could be brought to earth by a single monarch who had the necessary qualities. In 1404 Pizan chronicled the life of Charles V, portraying him as the ideal king and political leader, in Le