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Mary Tudor - An Example Of Christian Virtues In The 1500's




from the book Bloody Mary by Carolly Erickson


Mary Tudor was born, February 18, 1515.


We know a good deal about what and how Mary was taught in her childhood. At Katherine's request the Spanish humanist Vives designed a plan of study for her, set out in several educational treatises. One of these prescribed a curriculum in the classics, describing how the princess was to acquire the rudiments of pronunciation and grammar and then read simple Greek and Latin stories before going on to Plato, Plutarch, Cicero and Seneca. The Christian Latin poets and the writings of the church Fathers were to be emphasized, and, of course, Mary was to read passages from the scriptures every morning and evening. For recreation she was to read stories about self-sacrificing women. Vives recommended in particular Livy''s account of the virtuous Roman matron Lucretia, who after being raped by the son of Tarquin the Proud, stabbed herself to death, and the story of the patient Griselda, whose husband put her through endless trials to assure himself of her devotion. These were to be her models, in addition to the suffering holy women whose lives she knew intimately from the legnds of the saints.


Do I have to point out how horribly sad it is for a very young girl to have to read stories like the Lucretia story for entertainment? I still remember when I was young hearing a terrible story about a woman saint of some sort that killed herself rather than let herself be raped. Guess how that makes someone who is later molested by an uncle and a stepfather feel. Yeah, like a total loser for not killing herself instead of being molested. Not healthy.


You can count on Christian values to totally screw up a person's viewpoint on sexuality, don't you think?



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