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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Dhuoda

Flourished circa 824–843, Septimania (modern-day France)

The earliest known fact about Dhuoda is that in 824 she married Bernard, the duke of Septimania, a Roman province in southwestern France. She had two sons, but political duties separated her from her children and husband. Anxious to provide guidance to her sons in her absence, she wrote Liber manualis (The Manual), a treatise on Christian virtues addressed to young men. As a vision of the moral obligations of the aristocratic class, Liber manualis reveals the anxieties of daily life in a treacherous political landscape. Dhuoda completed the text in 843, after which nothing is known about her life.