Aside from a few famous queens, warriors and religious leaders, little information is available about the many extraordinary women of the medieval and Renaissance world. This resource brings together engagingly written biographical profiles of 70 women, most of whom are "unsung," but all of whom are remarkable for their courage, initiative, and accomplishments in a world where the conventional wisdom was for women to be "chaste, silent, and obedient." The women profiled here represent 18 countries and excelled in 19 fields of endeavor. They include artists, builders, mystics, political leaders, religious activists, diarists and dramatists, poets and writers, and scholars. In a world where women were taught to prefer silence to speech and self-expression, and where an assertive woman was considered an abnormal one, these women did speak out and assert themselves. This often required the courage to refute the moral dictates of the time, to put themselves at risk for their beliefs, or to take political power for themselves. Some women succeeded and some were destroyed in their efforts. These profiles, prepared by specialists in women's history, are based on the latest scholarship and offer a wealth of information not available elsewhere. Each profile features biographical data, an engagingly written biographical essay that discusses the woman's life in the context of her society, and bibliographic sources for further research. This work makes the lives of these extraordinary women accessible to the wide audience of students and interested readers and is ideal for student research.