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    Received Medievalisms

    By: Cynthia J. Cyrus

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    This study examines the post-medieval reception of Vienna's women's monastic institutions as historical icons of the medieval past. Over time, the eight major women's convents of Vienna become linked in the popular mind with the broader mythology of "Alt-Wien," the old Vienna. Accounts of the city in geographical materials of the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries - maps and panoramas, topographies, travel literature, and Vienna-centric folktale collections - frequently allude to the convents' former identities at the expense of their ongoing presence as active female religious establishments. By teasing out the way people think about the physical and historical place such women's institutions held in this important urban and political center, Received Medievalisms provides a new picture of the ways in which the medieval shapes later understandings of women's role and agency within the city.

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