The Council in Trullo on Women
This chapter examines what the late seventh-century canons can tell us about “femina byzantina.” In 692 the Council in Trullo, convened by Justinian II, met in the same domed hall of the Great Palace where the Sixth Ecumenical Council had been held ten years earlier. More than two hundred bishops from most parts of the empire under secure imperial control assembled in Constantinople to fulfill their given role: to issue disciplinary canons necessary to protect and secure correct observance of the Christian faith. Ecclesiastical concern about women can be observed in three distinct but overlapping areas: church services, monastic life, and society at large. Such concern was of course constant in medieval societies. But at the end of the seventh century it was intensified by many different regulations, all directed toward the promotion of suitable Christian behavior.
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