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Archive for August 17th, 2006

Tasso continues his poem, and Godfrey meets with ambassadors from Saracen-ruled Egypt.

Book 2 (cont.)

20:38.

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Tasso continues his story, and we meet two brave and admirable maidens: Sophronia, a Christian native of Jerusalem, and Clorinda, a Muslim knight errant from a far country.

There really were some Muslim women who fought in battles, probably as part of Arab traditions of clan warfare. (For example, Fatima, one of Mohammed’s many wives, rode out in battle with her sword while heavily pregnant.) However, it is likely that European poets’ dreams of exciting exotic women were a big factor here — particularly the lady fighters of the Orlando Furioso and the Arthurian romances. Spenser’s Fairy Queen does the same.

Book 2, Part 1

28:20.

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