n.1.A sultaness.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Constance's story, part of the evil is obviously the treachery of the two mothers-in-law, the Sowdanesse and Donegild (with the latent theme of incest exploited in the two mother-son relationships), but the greater evil may be poetic, that is, in the Man of Law's attempt to represent providence as the guarantor of Constance's apparent innocence and virtue.
Thus, the imprecations of the Man of Law against the Sowdanesse (358) and his condemnation of Eve (368), like Custance's own questionable comments on the subjection of women in the face of providence's design, reveal a presumption in characterizing the causes of good and evil that may well be the object of Chaucer's ironic scrutiny.
Why did the Sowdanesse not murder Custance with the rest of the Christians?