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Abbess Emma of Sant Joan de les Abadesses, post-Visigothic Catalonia's first known nunnery, left a sufficient documentary record to permit in-depth study of her method of rule, which included taking her comital brothers to court for her rights. Closer study of these acts suggests that her rule was part of a family strategy, whose change by a younger generation was to undo many of her efforts to secure Sant Joan's independence. Her rule included not only aggressive territorial aggrandizement but the reshaping of the locality's history in a way which has endured until this day.