1st Edition

Secular Byzantine Women
Art, Archaeology, and Ethnography of Female Material Culture from Late Roman to Post-Byzantine Times

Edited By

Sophia Germanidou

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after February 18, 2022
ISBN 9780367856373
February 18, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Secular Byzantine Women examines female material culture during the Late Roman, Byzantine, and Post-Byzantine eras, in order to better understand the lives of ordinary and humble women during this period.

Although recent scholarship has contributed greatly to our knowledge of Byzantine and medieval women, such research has largely focused on female saints, imperial figures, and prominent women of local communities. But what about secular and non-privileged women? Bringing together scholars from various fields, including archaeology, history, theology, anthropology and ethnography, this volume seeks to answer this important question. Chapters examine the everyday lives of lay women, including their working routines, their clothing, and precious possessions.

This book will appeal to scholars and students of Byzantine history, art and archaeology, as well as those interested in gender and material culture studies.

Table of Contents

Part I: Modest Vanity, Social Identity

  1. Women’s accessories from a bath house on Santorini (Thira), Cyclades (2th - 4th


Marina Vogkli and Stavroula Papanikolopoulou

2. Unheard voices of Early Byzantine childhood. On the custom of adorning secular girls with earrings as seen through the evidence of burials

Susanne Metaxas

3. Not even a band on my finger? Rings of non-elite women

Florentia Evangelatou-Notara and Kalliope Mavrommati

Part 2. Working Girls

4. Women and beekeeping –a forbidden liaison? Scattered evidence with emphasis on Christian era (Byzantine – Medieval culture)

Sophia Germanidou

5. Eve at the forge: Byzantine women and manual labour. Comments on a rare iconographical theme and its connection to reality

Konstantina Gerolymou

6. Female family status during the Late Byzantine period; evidence from MS Parisinus graecus 135

Eleni Barmparitsa

7. Ordinary women in Byzantine funerary contexts from Greece; a view from the bones

Paraskevi (Voula) Tritsaroli


Part 3. Earthly delights, holy concerns

8. The ‘transcendental’ role of woman in Early Patristics (theological and philosophical insights)

Nevena Dimitrova

9. Interpreting the female dances of "Ainoi" (Laudes) in the Post-Byzantine painting

Madgalini Parcharidou

Part 4. An ethnographic glimpse

10. Illustrating the daily life of a woman in Mani during the Post-Byzantine period. A small contribution on the subject.

Sofia Menenakou

11. Womens’ work in pre-industrial rural Greece. An ethnographic point of view

Andromachi Ekonomou

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Sophia Germanidou is currently a Marie Curie Fellow in the History, Classics and Archaeology Department, Newcastle University. Her main interests include Byzantine iconography, vernacular architecture, and the investigation of rural activities in medieval communities.