Divine Heiress explores the vital role of the Virgin Mary in the cultural and religious life of Constantinople in late antiquity. It shows how she was transformed from a humble Jewish maiden into a divine figure and supernatural protector of Constantinople.
Vasiliki Limberis examines the cult of Mary in the context of the religious culture of the Mediterranean world and the imperial Christianity of the Roman Empire. The author looks at all the evidence for the cult but pays particular attention to the early hymns to the virgin. These hymns preserved the strong indigenous goddess traditions of Demeter/Persephone, Isis, Hecate and Athena. By studying them the author places the cult of Mary in its historical and cultural context.