© 2012

Women in the Military Orders of the Crusades

  • Authors

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 1-6
  3. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 7-21
  4. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 23-42
  5. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 43-63
  6. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 65-75
  7. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 77-92
  8. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 93-108
  9. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 109-131
  10. Myra Miranda Bom
    Pages 133-141
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 143-230

About this book


This study of the female members of the Order or Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in the High Middle Ages analyses their presence in the context of female monasticism and compares their position to the position of women in other religious military orders. Introducing questions of gender into the history of the military orders.


crusades gender history women

About the authors

MYRA BOM is an Independent Scholar with a PhD from UNC Chapel Hill, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Myra Miranda Bom's book is a welcome addition to the literature." - The Medieval Review

"Bom studies the extent to which and the reasons why women were admitted to the military orders, focusing in particular on the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (the Hospitallers). Her study makes a number of important points, the most significant of which are, first, those orders that drew their inspiration from the Rule of St. Augustine (the Hospitallers, for example) were more accepting of women than those that drew their inspiration from the Rule of St. Benedict (the Templars, for example); secondly, in the case of the Hospitallers, the fact that the military focus of the order developed in the aftermath of its charitable focus explains the seeming contradiction of women becoming members of a "military" order. The book comprises seven chapters covering the 12th and 13th centuries and situating the Hospitallers in the context of other military orders. It is thorough and cautious in its approach and clearly written; there is a noticeable, welcome absence of the jargon that has marred many a study. This lucid book makes an important contribution to the understanding of the military orders. Summing Up: Highly recommended." -Choice

"No one who reads Bom's book will be able to remain comfortable with glib collective remarks about 'the military orders.' Specifically, in demonstrating the Hospitallers' surprising openness to the inclusion of women in their order, she shows convincingly how their attitude arose out of their very particular aims and purposes and the distinctive sources of income on which they tended to depend, fusing with their Augustinian rather than Benedictine-Cistercian orientation." - Michael McVaugh, University of North Carolina