Medieval queens led richly complex lives and were highly visible women active in a man's world. Linked to kings by marriage, family, and property, queens were vital to the institution of monarchy. In this comprehensive and accessible introduction to the study of queenship, Theresa Earenfight documents the lives and works of queens and empresses across Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages. The book: * introduces pivotal research and sources in queenship studies, and includes exciting and innovative new archival research * highlights four crucial moments across the full span of the Middle Ages – ca. 300, 700, 1100, and 1350 – when Christianity, education, lineage, and marriage law fundamentally altered the practice of queenship * examines theories and practices of queenship in the context of wider issues of gender, authority, and power. This is an invaluable and illuminating text for students, scholars and other readers interested in the role of royal women in medieval society.