I am interested in important feasts of the upper classes (nobility), e.g., Easter or the baptism of important heirs, in the Eastern Frankish kingdom around 900 AD, specifically the Duchy of Saxony.

Different sources and my own considerations do not allow for a conclusion on whether men and women were together or in different rooms at these occasions:

  • Wikipedia says that the genders feasted separately in the early Middle Ages and only in the High Middle Ages with their courtly culture, they came together again.

  • On the other hand, Saxony was culturally closer to its Northern neighbors and considerably more “barbaric” than the rest of the Frankish sphere of influence.

  • 1
    Beda has a comment about that for the English Angles (gemanic tribe) some centuries before your target period. A Celtic princess married an Angle king. Beda complained that their different calendars for easter were causing difficulties and akwardness for all involved in the court. She was feasting and merry-making with her celtic companions and priest for Easter while he was still fasting for Lent at the Angle court. This would not be a problem if they were supposed to feast separately. Heck, imagine fasting while your wife and her friends from her place feast and party! – Luiz May 10 '19 at 13:40
  • @Luiz That is outside of the target setting though, which is c. 900 AD Saxony as opposed to c. 700 AD England. – called2voyage May 10 '19 at 13:46
  • ... So, the real issue could be what kind of feasts (ritualised feasts related to religion, royalty, etc that by necessity has to project power as opposed to private ones) and, ultimately, a judgement, whether it is necessary to be this precise. Only OP can guide us (HSE) on the level of detail required. – J Asia May 10 '19 at 14:53
  • 1
    Saxony proper, or the Saxon Eastern March? – Spencer May 10 '19 at 16:22
  • 2
    It is extremely likely that powerful women like Gerberga of Saxony or Matilda of Quedlinburg were present in the same rooms as their male relatives at the baptisms of important heirs born into their dynasty. – JRB May 10 '19 at 22:20

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