Gillian Clark, Women in Late
Antiquity: Pagan and Christian Lifestyles (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1994). This may be the first book
to examine what social life was like for women once Christianity
became the dominant religion. It examines the full range of issues
and social facts: clothing and housing, marriage and divorce,
child-bearing and celibacy, legal restraints and medical views.
Antti Arjava, Women and Law in Late
Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (New York: Oxford University
Kate Cooper, The Virgin and the
Bride: Idealized Womanhood in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1996).
Georges Duby, Michelle Perot, Pauline
Schmitt Pantel, eds., History of Women in the West: From Ancient
Goddesses to Christian Saints (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley,
Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, eds., Women in the
Classical World: Image and Text (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1994). A very important sourcebook with both
texts & artwork, with valuable commentary.
Ian McAuslan & Peter Walcot, eds.,
Women in Antiquity, Greece and Rome Studies 3 (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1996).
Geoffrey Nathan, The Family in Late
Antiquity: The Rise of Christianity and the Endurance of Tradition
(New York: Routledge, 2000).
Sarah B. Pomeroy, Goddesses,
Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity (New
York: Schocken, 1975).
Susan Treggiari, Roman Marriage:
Iusti Coniuges from the Time of Cicero to the Time of Ulpian
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
Paul Veyne, ed., A History of
Private Life: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1987). Contains a fine
overview of marriage in the Roman world.
Kraemer, “Women and Gender,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early
Christian Studies, ed. Susan Ashbrook Harvey & David G. Hunter
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 465-492. A fine
overview of the state of the question.
Susanna Elm, Virgins of God: The
Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, Oxford Classical
Monographs (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). A path-breaking study of the way that households of ascetic
women became gradually institutionalized by some of the leaders of
orthodoxy, Athanasius and Basil of Caesarea. This will reshape how
historians understand the origins and development of monasticism.
D.L. Balch and C.
Osiek, eds., Early Christian Families in Context: An
Interdisciplinary Dialogue (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003).
David Brakke, Athanasius and
Asceticism (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1998). This
has a valuable chapter on ascetic women in Alexandria and includes translations of some rare Athanasian texts.
Jan N. Bremmer and
Marco Formisano, eds., Perpetua’s Passions: Multidisciplinary
Approaches to the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2012) hardcover, $150. NEW.
Peter Brown, The Body and Society:
Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New
York: Columbia University Press, 1988).
R.D. Butler, The New Prophecy and
'New Visions': Evidence of Montanism in the Passion of Perpetua and
Felicitas (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press,
Susan A. Calef,
“Thecla ‘Tried and True’ and the Inversion of Romance,” in A
Feminist Companion to the New Testament Apocrypha, ed. Amy-Jill
Levine (London: T&T Clark, 2006), 163-185.
Campbell, Phoebe: Patron and Emissary, series: Paul's Social
Network: Brothers and Sisters in Faith (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical
Elizabeth A. Clark, Ascetic Piety
and Women’s Faith: Essays on Late Ancient Christianity, Studies
in Women and Religion, vol. 20 (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1986).
Elizabeth A. Clark, Jerome,
Chrysostom, and Friends: Essays and Translations, 2nd
ed. (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1982).
Elizabeth A. Clark, “Holy Women, Holy
Words: Early Christian Women, Social History, and the ‘Linguistic
Turn,’” Journal of Early Christian Studies 6 (1998) 413-430.
Elizabeth A. Clark, “Ascetic
Renunciation and Feminine Advancement: A Paradox of Late Ancient
Christianity,” Anglican Theological Review 63 (1981) 240-257;
reprinted in Ascetic Piety and Women’s Faith.
Elizabeth A. Clark, “Ideology,
History, and the Construction of ‘Woman’ in Late Ancient
Christianity,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 2 (1994)
Gillian Clark, “Women and Asceticism
in Late Antiquity,” in Asceticism, ed. Vincent L. Wimbush
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1995) 33-48.
Gillian Cloke, This Female Man of
God: Women and Spiritual Power in the Patristic Age, AD 350-450
(New York: Routledge, 1995).
Cobb, Dying to
be Men: Gender and Language in Early Christian Martyr Texts (New
York: Columbia University Press, 2008).
Lynda L. Coon, Sacred Fictions:
Holy Women and Hagiography in Late Antiquity, Middle Ages Series
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997).
Stephen J. Davis, Cult of St.
Thecla, Oxford Early Christian Studies (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2001).
Stephen J. Davis, “Pilgrimage and the
Cult of Saint Thecla in Late Antique Egypt,” in David Frankfurter,
ed., Pilgrimage and Holy Space in Late Antique Egypt (Leiden:
Brill, 1998), pp. 303-340.
Susanna Elm, “Evagrius Ponticus’ Sententiae ad Virginem,”
Dumbarton Oaks Papers 45 (1991): 97-120.
Graham Gould, “Women in the Writings
of the Fathers: Language, Belief and Reality,” in Women and the
Church, ed. W.J. Sheils and D. Woods, Studies in Church History
27 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990).
The Gendered Palimpsest: Women, Writing, and Representation in
Early Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)
William Harmless, "Women in the Early
Church: A Portrait Gallery," in Women and the Shaping of
Catholicism: Women Through the Ages, ed. Richard W. Miller (Ligouri,
Susan Ashbrook Harvey, "Women and
Words: Texts by and about Women," in Cambridge History of Early
Christian Literature, eds. Lewis Ayres, Andrew Louth, and
Frances M. Young (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004),
Heffernan, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2012) hardcover, $99. NEW.
David G. Hunter, Marriage, Celibacy, and Heresy in
Ancient Christianity: The Jovianist Controversy, Oxford Early
Christian Studies series (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).
David G. Hunter, "Clerical
Celibacy and the Veiling of Virgins: New Boundaries in Late Ancient
Christianity," in Limits of Ancient Christianity: Essays on Lat
Antique Thought and Culture in Honor of R.A. Markus, ed. William
Klingshirn and Mark Vessey (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press,
E.D. Hunt, Holy Land Pilgrimage in
the Later Roman Empire, AD 312-460 (Oxford: Clarendon Press,
Scott F. Johnson, The Life and
Miracles of Thekla: A Literary Study (Washington, DC: Center for
Hellenic Studies, 2006).
Rebecca Krawiec, Shenoute and the
Women of the White Monastery: Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).
Amy-Jill Levine & Maria Mayo Robbins,
eds., Feminist Companion to Patristic Literature (New York:
T&T Clark, 2008).
Arnaldo Momigliano, “The Life of St.
Macrina by Gregory of Nyssa,” in The Craft of the Ancient
Historian: Essays in Honor of Chester G. Starr, ed. John W.
Eadie & Josiah Ober (Landham, MD: University Press of America,
Joyce E. Salisbury, Perpetua’s
Passion: The Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman (New York:
David M. Scholer, ed., Women in
Early Christianity, Studies in the Early Church, vol. 17 (New
York: Garland Publishing, 1993). Reprints of major essays over the
last 20 years. See especially:
Anne Yarbrough, “Christianization in
the Fourth Century: The Example of Roman Women,” 319-335; reprint
from Church History 45 (1976) 149-165.
J. Kevin Coyle, “The Fathers
on Women and Women’s Ordination,” 117-167; reprint from
Église et Théologie 9 (1978) 51-101.
Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological
Reconstruction of Christian Origins (New York: Crossroad Books,
“Macrina, Tamer of Horses and Healer of Souls: Grief and the Therapy
of Hope in Gregory of Nyssa’s De Anima et Resurrectione,”
Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 52 (2001) 37-60.
Women in the New Testament: Questions and Commentary,
Companions to the New Testament (New York: Crossroad Publishing,
“Apophthegmata Matrum,” Studia Patristica 16, ed. Elizabeth
A. Livingstone (Berlin: TU, 1985): 63-66; reprint in Signs and
Wonders (London: Variorum Reprints, 1992).
Egeria’s Travels (reprint: Aris & Phillips, 1999).
Patricia Cox Miller, ed., Women in
Early Christianity: Translations from Greek Texts (Washington,
DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2005).
A comprehensive anthology of key texts, including
excerpts from Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Macrina, Palladius'
portrait of Melania the Elder, and the anonymous Life of Olympias;
rules for widows, catechumens, and deaconesses; accounts of women
martyrs (e.g. Blandina) and of Montanist prophetesses; treatises on
virginity (by Methodius, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom);
panegyrics by Gregory of Nazianzus (on his mother and sister) and
John Chrysostom) and denunciations of subintroductae and
transvestites; theological materials on Eve and the Virgin Mary.
Ross Shepherd Kraemer, ed., Women’s
Religions in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2004).
Sebastian Brock & Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Holy Women of the Syrian
Orient, Transformation of the Classical Heritage 13 (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1987).
Elizabeth A. Clark, ed., Women in
the Early Church, Message of the Fathers of the Church 13
(Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1983).
Elizabeth A. Clark, St. Augustine
on Marriage and Sexuality, Selections from the Fathers of the
(Washington, DC: Catholic University Press of America, 1997).
Elizabeth A. Clark & Diane F. Hatch,
ed., The Golden Bough, The Oaken Cross: The Virgilian Cento of
Faltonia Betitia Proba (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981).
Bart D. Ehrman, After the New
Testament: A Reader in Early Christianity (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1998). Contains the Passio
Perpetuae and the Acts of Paul & Thecla.
Ross Kraemer & Mary Rose D'Angelo,
eds., Women and Christian Origins (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1999).
Mary R. Lefkowitz & Maureen B. Fant,
Women’s Life in Greece & Rome: A Sourcebook in Translation,
3rd ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2005).
Joan M. Petersen, ed., Handmaids of
the Lord: Contemporary Descriptions of Feminine Asceticism in the
First Six Christian Centuries, Cistercian Studies 143
(Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1996).
Benedicta Ward, Harlots of the
Desert: A Study of Repentance in Early Monastic Sources,
Cistercian Studies (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1987).
Vincent L. Wimbush, ed., Ascetic
Behavior in Greco-Roman Antiquity: A Sourcebook (Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 1990). Translations of valuable but
hard-to-find sources, including some which deal with women
(Ps-Athanasius’ Life of Blessed Syncletica, the Acts of
Karen A. Winstead,
trans., John Capgrave:
The Life of Saint Katherine of Alexandria, Notre Dame
Texts in Medieval Culture (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame
Press, 2011) paperback, $25. NEW.