This unit will enable students to address at an advanced level historical issues involved in women’s roles, position and status in Late Antiquity (the period of transition from the ancient to the medieval world, 3rd to 8th century CE), and attitudes towards them. The focus of the unit will be women in Egypt and Byzantium. By reading selected primary sources, this unit will engage with some of the most powerful and influential women in antiquity and analyse the roles these women played in religious and theological debates, the home, and social and economic life

Unit code: AH3150A

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: History

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Articulate an advanced understanding of women's history in late antiquity;


Analyse at an advanced level the change in attitude towards women in the transition from Ancient to early Medieval times;


Compare and contrast the various theologies that were prominent in Late Antiquity and the role played by selected women in these debates;


Critically interpret historical events contained in the primary sources.


Evaluate at an advanced level the role of women in late antiquity


Unit sequence

24 points AH/CH, 72 points any disciplines


Asynchronous video lectures, synchronous tutorials face-to-face and online

Indicative Bibliography

Primary sources:

Secondary sources:

  • Brock, Sebastian & Susan Harvey. Holy Women of the Syrian Orient. London: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Clark, Elizabeth, Women in the Early Church. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1983.
  • Clark, Gillian, Women in Late Antiquity. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.
  • Coon, Lynda, Sacred Fictions: Holy Women and Hagiography in Late Antiquity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.
  • Dietz, Maribel, Wandering Monks, Virgins, and Pilgrims. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005.
  • Grubbs, Judith Evan, Women and the Law in the Roman Empire. A Sourcebook, London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Kraemer, Ross, Her Share of the Blessings: Women's Religions among Pagans, Jews and Christians in the Greco-Roman World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Kraemer, Ross and Mary Rose D'Angelo, Women and Christian Origins Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Wilfong, T.G., Women of Jeme. Lives in a Coptic Town in Late Antique Egypt. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2500 50.0
Essay 2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 23 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-10-05 12:41:47 +1100