Abstract

Abstract:

This article is an historian's engagement with Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and its portrayal of Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem. It demonstrates that the film presents a myth of medieval women's lack of agency, especially in the spheres of warfare and politics, and that it also projects modern misogynist and Orientalist tropes onto the medieval past. In addition to critiquing the film's historical claims, it draws on medieval sources to reconstruct what the historical Sibylla's roles were likely to have been, and to demonstrate the prevalence of women's involvement in allegedly "masculine" spheres of activity. Finally, it calls on historians to expose the dangerous uses of "medieval" imagery in contemporary popular culture and right-wing ideologies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2377-3553
Print ISSN
2377-3561
Pages
pp. 109-130
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-18
Open Access
No
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