Forum:Medieval Life And Culture
Topic:Randy Monks?
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Steve-O-GerstI was reading The Canterbury Tales, and one of the stories has a lady who seems to believe that monks went about having sex with all the ladies.

I know they supposedly took a vow of chastity, but how strictly did they follow this vow?

I guess some would say that us men are all animals, and all the same. Perhaps they're right. I know that whenever I've gotten together with a bunch of men, the usual topic of discussion does tend towards getting in bed with ladies, so...

MariaConsider the fact that not all monks chosed the monastery because it was their vocation. Some did it because it was just another career choice.
Merlin...or because they were forced to. More than one king of France from the merovingian dynasty was forced to give up the throne and spend the rest of his days in a monastery. Some of them even managed to find a way back to their former position.
deborahknowlesI hope you're enjoying the Canterbury Tales, Steve. I think Chaucer's fab! As to the monks, Chaucer liked to paint a picture of the very best and the very worst in society. Look at the parson, the knight and squire and compare them with the miller, the pardoner and the monk. It (in the monk's case) was a bit like a caricature. Enjoy!


Steve-O-GerstYes, Chaucer's quite entertaining. I was tickled pink with the story about the monks, and the one with the alchemist was quite interesting as well...

Still, there has to be a little truth to get a story going, and like Maria & Merlin said, sometimes the monastic order was not a personal choice, so there might have been some bad eggs. I'm just wondering whether it was widespread or not.

SwordOfErinThe Decamaron and the Canterbury Tales were both banned for their sexual content at various times throughout history. Both inovled monks not quite faithful to their vows.
Some noblewomen would be sent to abbys if their family could not afford to give them a dowry. Many of these women weren't truly interested in a life of prayer, and some ran off. Those who stayed were not necessarily celibate.

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