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.
Sebastian P. Brock is Reader in Syriac Studies at the Oriental Institute at Oxford and is the author of The Luminous Eye: The Spiritual World Vision of Saint Ephrem (Kalamazoo, 1992). Susan Ashbrook Harvey is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University and author of Asceticism and Society in Crisis: John of Ephesus and the Lives of the Eastern Saints (California, 1990).