Pasts Imperfect (1.20.22)
Female Clerics, Ancient Leather Armor, And More
This week, Shaily Patel and Sarah E. Bond look at newly unearthed evidence supporting female clerics in late antique churches in their new essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Then, CT scans of child-mummies uncover ancient bandages, Assyrian-style leather scale armor is found in China, a new book on late antique slavery, and much more…
Scholars of Early Christianity have long known about and studied the existence of female deacons and presbyters in early Christian churches across the Mediterranean. New mosaics from Ashdod in Israel only strengthen the evidence demonstrating that well into the late Roman and Byzantine periods, women had leadership roles in certain Christian congregations. Read more in Shaily Patel and Sarah E. Bond’s Pasts Imperfect column out this week in LARB or you can explore the bibliography below.
Chin, C. Michael and Caroline T. Schroeder, eds. 2020. Melania: Early Christianity through the Life of One Family. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Eisen, Ute E. 2000. Women officeholders in early Christianity: epigraphical and literary studies. Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press.
Elm, Susanna."Vergini, vedove, diaconesse: alcuni osservazioni sullo sviluppo dei cosidetti 'ordini femminili' nel quarto secolo in oriente," Codex Aquilarensis 5 (1991): 77-90.
___1996. "Virgins of God": the making of asceticism in late antiquity. Oxford, NY: Clarendon Press.
Gafney, Wil. “St. Publia the Confessor: a Patrona for Public Theology,” Womanists Wading in the Word (October 9, 2012).
Karras, Valerie A. “Female Deacons in the Byzantine Church.” Church History 73, no. 2 (2004): 272–316.
Kateusz, Ally. 2019. Mary and Early Christian Women: Hidden Leadership (Open Access). Palgrave Macmillan.
Madigan, Kevin and Carolyn Osiek. 2011. Ordained women in the Early Church: a documentary history. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.
Martimort, Aimé Georges. 1982. Les diaconesses: essai historique. Roma: C.L.V.-Edizioni liturgiche.
Schaefer, Mary M. 2013. Women in Pastoral Office: The Story of Santa Prassede, Rome. New York: Oxford University Press.
Public Scholarship on the Internet
A new, open access article in the International Journal of Paleopathology by Stephanie Panzer, Marcus Treitl, and a number of other researchers, used computed tomography (CT) scans in order to examine “purulent infections in ancient Egyptian child mummies” (n=12, ages 1-14). They discovered that one mummy had a bandage-like structure on their right leg, which was likely a covering for a skin lesion.
Over at Laughing Squid, ancient historian Garrett Ryan of “Told in Stone” discusses the design of Roman latrines in an educational YouTube video also posted to his site.
An open access article, “No borders for innovations: A ca. 2700-year-old Assyrian-style leather scale armour in Northwest China,” authored by Patrick Wertmann, Dongliang Xu, and number of other archaeological researchers, looks at the discovery of rare Assyrian-style leather scale armor in Yanghai cemetery site, Turfan (a Uyghur Autonomous Region in China) dating to 786–543 BCE. The rare scale armor can be connected to a similar find held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) and was cross-compared with earlier leather scale armor found in King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
As such a high level of standardization of military equipment during the 7th century BCE is only known for the Neo-Assyrian military forces, we suggest that the place of manufacture of both armours was the Neo-Assyrian Empire. If this supposition is correct, then the Yanghai armour is one of the rare actual proofs of West-East technology transfer across the Eurasian continent during the first half of the first millennium BCE, when social and economic transformation enhanced.
A mosaic has been discovered within the 6thC CE Church of the Holy Apostles in Turkey’s Hatay province with an inscription. In the press, the inscription has been noted as describing a formerly enslaved man. In fact, it notes “Ἰουλίττα ἡ ἐλευ/θέρα” and thus is for Ioulitta, a freedwoman or freeborn wife. Big thanks go to Carl Rice, Noel Lenski, and especially Rafail Zoulis for their commentary and critique to us about this important new inscription, which has not yet been formally published.
Upcoming Books, Conferences, and Lectures
We are excited to see that the new book Slavery in the Late Antique World, 150 – 700 CE will be out in February 2022. It is edited by Chris L. de Wet, Maijastina Kahlos, and Ville Vuolanto, with chapters from a dozen other scholars of late antique servitude.
Shushma Malik, author of The Nero-Antichrist: founding and fashioning a paradigm. Classics after antiquity, is giving a virtual talk on February 18, 2022. You can email Sarah Rollens (firstname.lastname@example.org) about the Zoom event.
New Online Journal Issues curated by @YaleClassicsLib
Les Cahiers « Mondes Anciens » Vol. 15 (2022) Les parures divines
Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, Vol 64, No. 2 (2021) Being Everybody's Slave A Comparative Study on Public Slavery in the Ancient and Modern Worlds
Nova Tellus Vol. 40, No. 1 (2022) #openaccess
Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica Vol. 27, No. 2 (Dec. 2021) #openaccess Formative Tendencies in Near Eastern Religions and Ideologies
Journal of Ancient History and Archaeology Vol. 8, No. 4 (2021) #openaccess NB: Arina Bragova, “Russian and Soviet Reception of Cicero’s Views on the Ideal Citizen, Ruler, and State in the 19th-21st Centuries”
Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes Vol. 42, No. 2 (2021)
Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung Vol. 127 (2021) newly #openaccess
Textual Cultures Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2021) NB: Ralph Hanna, “Adventures in Libraries: Thoughts on Epistemology”
Glossator Vol. 12 (2022) #openaccess Commenting & Commentary as an Interpretive Mode in Medieval & Early Modern Europe
Journal of Ancient Judaism Vol. 12, No. 3 (2021)
Classical Receptions Journal Vol. 14, No. 1 (Jan. 2022)
ARYS. Antigüedad: Religiones y Sociedades No. 19 (2021) #openaccess Ancient Religion in Rural Settlements
Revista de Historiografía No. 36 (2021) #openaccess Historiography of Religion in Ancient North Africa
Cahiers de recherches médiévales et humanistes Vol. 42, No. 2. (2021)
The Public Books section "Antiquities" continues to take pitches for articles to be published in 2022. You can pitch to our “Pasts Imperfect” column at the LA Review of Books using this form and to the new JSTOR column here. Thanks for reading!