A hermaphrodite in the Archives nationales: Paris, AN X1A 14

The endlessly rich but also endlessly daunting records of the Paris Parlement have become increasingly user-friendly with the arrival of some search aids and databases provided by the wonderful Institut d’Histoire du Droit:  http://www.ihd.cnrs.fr/spip.php?rubrique3&lang=fr

A word search in one of their databases, the “Parlement civil (1347-1363 and (1381-1391), for the term “succession” yielded the following all too brief account of a sex change:


Paris, Archives nationales X1A 14, fol. 33r (14 July 1352)

Hermofroditum (…) magis tamen sexu muliebrem participentem, in baptismo prius Claram deinde Franciscum nominatum”. INCAPABLE MAJEUR : “dictum Franciscum hermofroditum indiscretum statum et extra bonam mentem positum.

This is obviously a fascinating case with so much to interest scholars. First, the baptismal name of Claire switched to Francis, a lovely Franciscan continuity, and then the so-interesting possibilities for what precisely was done to provide for this child in terms of inheritance.

(Names, like clothing, as a rule were highly gendered in premodern Europe, and thus name changes are a common feature in reports on hermaphrodites. Literary accounts of ‘women turned men’ would often pun on the similarity of male and female names like Yde and Ydé: https://intersex.hypotheses.org/3888. Canon lawyers like Hostiensis asserted that if a male name was given to a girl in baptism this did not affect the validity of the sacrament: https://intersex.hypotheses.org/5289.)

This author has yet to get back to Paris and the microfilm room where the entirety of this case hopefully awaits but promises to make every effort!

Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
saramcdougall (2018, 17. März). A hermaphrodite in the Archives nationales: Paris, AN X1A 14. Männlich-weiblich-zwischen. Abgerufen am 14. Juni 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/qdqv

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