WHY THE MEDIEVAL TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC IS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST TODAY
THE TRIAL OF JOAN OF ARC, Harvard University Press (2005)
Joan of Arc was a courageous and combative woman, a resistance fighter who lived in a man’s world during the Middle Ages. The official records of her infamous trial in 1431 reveal peculiar traits of the medieval legal system and of the women who lived in an era when religion was a major preoccupation of the people and a significant influence in the courts. Small, pious, and unaccustomed to the art of combat, Joan of Arc continuously claimed she was driven by voices sent to her directly from God to save France from English rule during the Hundred Year’s War. Despite her unimpeachable piety, virginity and moral purity, her sacrificial loyalty to France, and her miraculous bravery in combat, she was burned alive at the stake for wearing men’s clothing and for heresy! In fact, Joan of Arc was tried and unjustly convicted in France by the very same Frenchmen whom she saved from the dreaded English. No one came to her aid, not even the French King Charles VII, whom Joan saved from the clutches of the English and the apathy of the French and whom she brought to power through her own vision and military leadership.