Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Myth of Pope Joan 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226067452
ISBN-10: 0226067459
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$10.49 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$34.00 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
28 New from $25.37 40 Used from $3.12
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$34.00 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Myth of Pope Joan
  • +
  • Pope Joan
  • +
  • Pope Joan: A Novel
Total price: $60.95
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fact or fiction: in the ninth century, a woman named Joan donned britches and entered the male preserve of Catholic scholarship; she was so savvy and smart that she eventually became pope, only to die giving birth two years later. This book is less concerned with the reality of Pope Joan ("Did this papacy truly exist?" Boureau asks at the outset. "Certainly not") than with the historical memory of Joan. How and why has Joan's story been told and retold? Who told it, and to what political end? The Church itself subscribed to the story until the 16th century, when Rome distanced itself from Joan because antipapist reformers used the story to discredit the Vatican. Lutheran reformer Martin Schrott, for example, illustrated his anti-Catholic pamphlet with a picture of Joan as Revelation's Whore of Babylon. She also turned up in anticlerical tracts of the French Revolution and in the writings of the 19th-century French novelist Stendhal. American readers ought to rejoice that this book, which came out 12 years ago in French, is finally available in English. This far surpasses Peter Stanford's 1999 apologia The Legend of Pope Joan, one of the few resources about Joan that has been available in English. Kudos to noted French translator Lydia Cochrane, who gives us such gems as "dabbl[ing] in the dubious tinsel of scandalmongering." The scholarship is impeccable, and the stories and the prose make this a book that a wider audience will also enjoy.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Boureau (The Lord's First Night: The Myth of the Droit de Cuissage) begins with "Did this papacy [of a female] truly exist? Certainly not." Boureau details accounts of a papal sexual verification ritual, the use of the word pontificals as a euphemism for papal testicles, and two chairs with peculiar cut-outs in the seat used in the coronation ritual. As he documents the history of the myth, from Church-supported legend to powerful Protestant anti-Roman polemical use, and then on to modern survivals of the myth, he remains convinced that artifact and legend provide no historical evidence. Peter Stanford's The Legend of Pope Joan: In Search of the Truth (LJ 1/99) investigates legend and historical document, attempting to discover any truth behind the legend. His conclusion about Joan is quite different: "that she achieved the papacy at a time when the office was hopelessly debased and corrupt, was moderately successful but...her triumph was short-lived." Stanford admits that for about 300 years after the alleged papacy there are no written records of it, but he finds oral tradition and perhaps deliberate editorial deletion sufficient to account for this lacuna. Boureau's research includes more primary historical documents, while Stanford takes folk tradition and legend more seriously as conveyors of unpopular historic truth. Both works are recommended for their different methodologies and conclusions. Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, VA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226067459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226067452
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a joy to see this finely researched volume on a topic of such mythic proportions. I have read several other books on the topic, but it is difficult to find writers who are interested in historical reality when it comes to Pope Joan. As a Roman Catholic theologian concerned with the all-male prerogative regarding clerical service and power, I would be thrilled if there were some credible evidence for this event. Alas, none can be found.

Still, many (Romans and reformers alike) believed it factual. For them it gained credence from ritual and iconic evidence such as the birthing chairs used in pontifical ceremony that were supposedly necessary because a testicular examination had to be made of newly-elected popes after the fraud perpetrated by "la popessa."

Yet, Boureau doesn't seem interested only in writing an authentic history of the legend. He seeks to get behind that legend. So he looks closely at the relationship between the increasingly imperial-minded papacy of the Middle Ages and the psychological and personal rift that developed between the Bishop of Rome and his flock.

Detailed and exact, this fascinating book will assist its readers in understanding the possible source for this persistent myth. Like all myths, it lacks historical accuracy but it is full of truthful insights about sacramental power, the nature of Christian service, ecclesiastical authority and the persistent prevalence of patriarchalism. Because of its beautiful attention to detail, it is a weighty volume and may be difficult for those who are just delving into ecclesiastical history. But for those who enjoy swimming in this particular Tiber, it will be rewarding and enjoyable.
Comment 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is not the book you want to read if you are looking for a quick or easy read. It is thoroughly researched and and reads much like a textbook - or how a textbook SHOULD read. The author paid meticulous attention to detail. I've read a few other books about "Pope Joan" and was disappointed in the lack of authenticated details and information. I'm not Catholic, in fact I'm an atheist, but I can't see how anyone could fail to be fascinated by this myth and impressed with the author's research.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A cross between DaVinci Code, and women's fiction, you find yourself researching and reading more and more on the subject.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the author is 'long winded' so to speak...by giving you a bounty of facts.. which is fine by keeps referring to other parts of the book
also is so repetitive you almost get lost... I also had to have a dictionary near by to look up many words..I read A LOT but he used words I've never heard of..that made it a really slow read...would have been so much better if told in a more strait forward simple manner
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book was published in France in 1988 and in Englich in 2001. It is very erudite, heavily footnoted, and with an extensive bibliography. The author concludes that Pope Joan is a myth, but discusses the whole question and the history at great length--I was mainly interested in the historical aspect of the question, but the book also spends much time on the literature and esoteric questions related thereto. Most of the accounts say the alleged Pope reigned about 854 but there is no time in that period when there was not a historical pope. Not till about 1260 is there any mention of Pope Joan in any writen record, and while the legend was accepted as true for many years careful historians, including non-Catholic historians, now regard Joan as a myth.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Myth of Pope Joan
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Myth of Pope Joan

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: mythology books, church history, ecclesiology