Book Series Studia Antiqua Australiensia, vol. 6

Christian Women in the Greek Papyri of Egypt to 400 CE

Erica Mathieson

  • Pages: xii + 311 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2015

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55241-5
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56362-6
  • E-book
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“The book will be extremely helpful for students of history, sociolinguistics, and gender aspects of early Christianity showing how fluid and complex our evidence on the subject could be.” (Erica A. Mathieson, in Scrinium 12, 2016, p. 390)

“Regardless of the uniqueness of these items in the papyri, she is still able to paint a vivid picture of women in antiquity. The concluding sections in each chapter are the highlight of her work and provide many stimulating proposals concerning what we can learn about the Christian women who authored these letters. Mathieson should be commended for giving a voice to the voiceless.” (Gregory S. Paulson, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2016.12.28)



The documentary papyri are an unparalleled source for the study of women in antiquity. Among them are numbers of female-authored texts which allow women’s voices to be heard. In the period to 400 CE twenty-six of these texts provide information on Christian women’s religious lives. This book analyses these papyri. They give insight into Christian women’s knowledge and use of biblical texts, their practice of prayer, their theological understanding of God, their lives and relationships. This book also examines texts written to Christian women or referring to Christian women among which are a valuable group referring to ascetic women. The perspectives of the papyri nuance what is known about women from other sources.