Declamation on the nobility and preeminence of the female by Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Albert Rabil Jr.

By Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Albert Rabil Jr.

Originally released in 1529, the Declamation at the Preeminence and the Aristocracy of the feminine Sex argues that girls are greater than equivalent to males in all issues that actually subject, together with the general public spheres from which that they had lengthy been excluded.

Rather than without delay refuting winning knowledge, Agrippa makes use of women's superiority as a rhetorical machine and overturns the misogynistic interpretations of the feminine physique in Greek drugs, within the Bible, in Roman and canon legislations, in theology and ethical philosophy, and in politics. He raised the query of why girls have been excluded and supplied solutions dependent now not on intercourse yet on social conditioning, schooling, and the prejudices in their extra strong oppressors. His declamation, disseminated throughout the printing press, illustrated the ability of that new medium, quickly for use to generate a bigger reformation of religion.

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As notes to the translation make clear, he was intimately familiar with the major philosophical and literary texts of antiquity related to the debate about women; he ranges widely over many fields of learning in culling arguments and examples, especially the latter. Moreover, Agrippa and the Feminist Tradition he was widely traveled, living at various times in Spain, France, and Italy, where the major contemporary developments in the querelledesfemmeswere taking place. He was certainly familiar with Boccaccio's ConcerningFamousWomen,from which some of his examples are drawn.

Though he discredits accounts from the Muslim tradition, he credits the Christian account of the virgin birth, to which, in fact, he returns several times. So much for the inferiority of women based on physical attributes. Agrippa challenges the psychology as well as the physiology of Aristotle. He cites the amazing properties of women's milk as evidence of their greater piety; Aristotle had said that women are more compassionate and merciful, though he had not regarded these as necessarily positive attributes, as Agrippa does.

Munich, 1988. German translation of Declamatiode nobilitateet praecellentia foemineisexus[1529]. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Mass. References are by volume number of a particular author (if there is more than one volume) followed by page number(s). Ian Maclean, The RenaissanceNotion of Woman:A Study in theFortunesof Scholasticismand MedicalSciencein EuropeanIntellectualLife. Cambridge, 1980. Charles G. , Agrippa and the Crisis of Renaissance Thought. , 1965. A SelectLibraryof Niceneand Post-NiceneFathers,ed.

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