This is a substantially expanded and completely revised edition of a book originally published in 1988 as Maenads, Martyrs, Matrons, Monastics. The book is a collection of translations of primary texts relevant to women's religion in Western antiquity, from the fourth century BCE to the fifth century CE. The selections are taken from the plethora of ancient religions, including Judaism and Christianity, and are translated from the six major languages of the Greco-Roman world: Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, and Coptic. The texts are grouped thematically in six sections: Observances, Rituals, and Festivals; Researching Real Women: Documents to, from and by Women; Religious Office; New Religious Affiliation and Conversion; Holy, Pious, and Exemplary Women; and The Feminine Divine. Women's Religions in the Greco-Roman World provides a unique and invaluable resource for scholars of classical antiquity, early Christianity and Judaism, and women's religion more generally.
Women's Religions among Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Greco-Roman World
Author: Ross Shepard Kraemer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In this pathbreaking volume, Ross Shepard Kraemer provides the first comprehensive look at women's religions in Greco-Roman antiquity. She vividly recreates the religious lives of early Christian, Jewish, and pagan women, with many fascinating examples: Greek women's devotion to goddesses, rites of Roman matrons, Jewish women in rabbinic and diaspora communities, Christian women's struggles to exercise authority and autonomy, and women's roles as leaders in the full spectrum of Greco-Roman religions. In every case, Kraemer reveals the connections between the social constraints under which women lived, and their religious beliefs and practices. The relationship among female autonomy, sexuality, and religion emerges as a persistent theme. Analyzing the monastic Jewish Therapeutae and various Christian communities, Kraemer demonstrates the paradoxical liberation which women achieved by rejection of sexuality, the body, and the female. In the epilogue, Kraemer pursues the disturbing implications such findings have for contemporary women. Based on an astonishing variety of primary sources, Her Share of the Blessings is an insightful work that goes beyond the limitations of previous scholarship to provide a more accurate portrait of women in the Greco-Roman world.
The study of women in the ancient Mediterranean world is a topic of growing interest among classicists and ancient historians, and also students of history, sociology and women's studies. This volume is an essential resource supplying a compilation of source material in translation, with suggestions for further reading, a general bibliography, and an index of ancient authors and works. Texts come from literary, rhetorical, philosophical and legal sources, as well as papyri and inscriptions, and each text will be placed into the cultural mosaic to which it belongs. Ranging geographically from the Greek mainland and the communities along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, to Egypt and the Greek West (modern day southern Italy and Sicily), the volume follows a clear chronological structure. Beginning in the eighth century BCE the coverage continues through Archaic and Classical Athens concluding with the Hellenistic era.
When Paul came to Corinth he found a culture emerging from the ashes of Roman power. As Julius Caesar rebuilt the fallen city he brought Roman culture to this Greek community. Likewise, Paul's message of salvation in Jesus rebuilt the fallen lives of people dominated by a culture of power. This power was displayed in violence, discrimination, sexuality, and spirituality. As this city emerged from the ashes of humiliation the church emerged, by God's hand, from of the humiliation of Jesus and the cross. Today the church emerges in a culture of power, humiliation, and fear. Paul's challenge for the church is to be mature and practice unconditional love. This love is permanent. This love develops and empowers others. This love causes us to be in relationship with God and others. Through this love God's people see face to face. The church can emerge to radiate love, peace, and empowerment.
The role of women in Roman culture and society was a paradoxical one. On the one hand they enjoyed social, material and financial independence and on the other hand they were denied basic constitutional rights. Roman history is not short of powerful female figures, such as Agrippina and Livia, yet their power stemmed from their associations with great men and was not officially recognised. Ariadne Staples' book examines how women in Rome were perceived both by themselves and by men through women's participation in Roman religion, as Roman religious ritual provided the single public arena where women played a significant formal role. From Good Goddess to Vestal Virgins argues that the ritual roles played out by women were vital in defining them sexually and that these sexually defined categories spilled over into other aspects of Roman culture, including political activity. Ariadne Staples provides an arresting and original analysis of the role of women in Roman society, which challenges traditionally held views and provokes further questions.
This ebook is a selective guide designed to help scholars and students of the ancient world find reliable sources of information by directing them to the best available scholarly materials in whatever form or format they appear from books, chapters, and journal articles to online archives, electronic data sets, and blogs. Written by a leading international authority on the subject, the ebook provides bibliographic information supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult and editorial commentary to make it clear how the cited sources are interrelated. A reader will discover, for instance, the most reliable introductions and overviews to the topic, and the most important publications on various areas of scholarly interest within this topic. In classics, as in other disciplines, researchers at all levels are drowning in potentially useful scholarly information, and this guide has been created as a tool for cutting through that material to find the exact source you need. This ebook is just one of many articles from Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics, a continuously updated and growing online resource designed to provide authoritative guidance through the scholarship and other materials relevant to the study of classics. Oxford Bibliographies Online covers most subject disciplines within the social science and humanities, for more information visit www.aboutobo.com.
Early Christian World presents an exhaustive, erudite and lavishly illustrated treatment of how the small movement which formed around Jesus in Galilee became the pre-eminent religion of the ancient world. The work begins by firmly situating early Christianity within its Mediterranean social, political and religious contexts, before charting the history of the first Christian centuries. The creation and perpetuation of Christian communities through various means, including mission and monasticism, is explored, as is the everyday experience of early Christians, through discussion of gender and sexuality, religious practice, communication and social structures. The intellectual (particularly theological) and artistic heritage of the period is fully considered, and a vivid picture painted of the internal and external challenges faced by early Christianity. The book concludes with profiles of the most notable figures of the age. Comprehensive and accessible, Early Christian World provides up-to-date coverage of the most important topics in the study of early Christianity, together with an invaluable collection of visual material. It will be an indispensable resource for anyone studying this period