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Melania the Elder and her granddaughter Melania the Younger were major figures in early Christian history, using their wealth, status, and forceful personalities to shape the development of nearly every aspect of the religion we now know as Christianity. This volume examines their influence on late antique Christianity and provides an insightful portrait of their legacies in the modern world. Departing from the traditionally patriarchal view, Melania gives a poignant and sometimes surprising account of how the rise of Christian institutions in the Roman Empire shaped our understanding of women’s roles in the larger world.
Catherine M. Chin is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of California, Davis and author of Grammar and Christianity in the Late Roman World.
Caroline T. Schroeder is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of the Pacific and author of Monastic Bodies: Discipline and Salvation in Shenoute of Atripe.
"The decision to zero in on the two Melanias produces obvious benefits: the interlocking papers build to a sort of ‘thick description’ of late fourth- and early fifth-century Christianity, and recent analytical approaches to its study . . . this book would make an excellent companion for a special subject or graduate course on asceticism in late antiquity. "—Bryn Mawr Classical Review
“In this tightly focused volume, Catherine Chin and Caroline Schroeder have done a splendid job giving shape to the emergent Christianity of the late Roman Empire through the lens of the Melanias. The work is of a very high caliber.”–Susanna Elm, Sidney H. Ehrman Professor of History and Classics at the University of California, Berkeley
makes both a significant contribution to the study of 'the Melanias' and also to a range of creative and innovative methodological interventions in the study of late antiquity. This volume is an appropriate tribute to the distinguished accomplishments of Professor Elizabeth A. Clark, in whose honor the essays have been written. I was extremely impressed.”—Benjamin Dunning, Professor of Theology at Fordham University