The fifteen hagiographies about holy women of the Syrian Orient collected here include stories of martyrs' passions and saints' lives, pious romances and personal reminiscences. Dating from the fourth to seventh centuries A.D., they are translated from Syriac into accessible and vivid prose. Annotations and source notes by the translators help clarify elements that may be unfamiliar to some readers. This collection bears witness to the profound contributions women made to early Chistianity: their various roles, their leadership inside and outside the church structure, and their power to influence others. A new preface discusses recent developments in the field and updates the bibliography.
An opportunity to explore the complex social history of an important and very much neglected part of the late antique world: the Syrian Orient, one of the major cultural systems contributing both to the Eastern and Western religious heritage. --Gail Paterson Corrington, Classical World