Woman as the devil’s temptation The Life of Bishop Maxim Branković as an example
Highly negative representation of women in medieval works are common and pervasive. Powerful misogynist literary tradition can be seen in many examples. Some stories present woman as an ordinary seductress. It is a well known fact that sexual desire was interpreted as a result of devilish intervention, of satanic eros — that is why the devil may appear in female guise, as in Vita of Maximos Kausokalybites (the hutburner), in which Maximos sees a woman sitting in front of his hut. Realizing, however, that she is the devil, he causes her to disappear by making the sign of the cross three times. Similar exaple of a woman as an temptress can be seen in The Life of Bishop Maxim Branković (short hagiography), written in XVI century. His sanctity helped him to overcome the seductress. The scene of seduction ended when he compared her to a snake and chased her away. The very unfavourable attitude of Christianity towards women can be explained by the fear of female potential and determination to keep women uder control, which is typical of medieval societies.