The Sorrows of Mattidia: A New Translation and Commentary, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Sorrows of Mattidia

A New Translation and Commentary, 1st Edition

By Curtis Hutt


118 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-07-23
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This volume offers a new translation of the Pseudo-Clementine family narrative here known as The Sorrows of Mattidia. It contains a full introduction which explores the obscured origins of the text, the plot, and main characters, and engages in a comparison of the portrayal of pagan, Jewish, and Christian women in this text with what we encounter in other literature. It also discusses a general strategy for how historians can utilize fictional narratives like this when examining the lives of women in the ancient world. This translation makes this fascinating source for late antique women available in this form for the first time.


"The Sorrows of Mattidia is a fictional story in the Ps-Clementine writings that narrates the adventures and conversion of a noble woman to Christianity. The authors’ approach to these texts with their complex conceptual and methodological problems is well argued, and a new translation based on a text-critical reconstruction of the Greek Homilies is a welcome addition. These texts from the Ps-Clementines are generally interesting and will hopefully generate worthwhile discussions among scholars and students."

- Annewies van den Hoek, Harvard University, USA

Table of Contents

List of figures


Part One

Chapter 1: What is The Sorrows of Mattidia?

A. Introduction

B. Obscured Origins

C. An Ancient Romance

Chapter 2: Women of the Clementina

A. Overview

B. Women of the Clementina

i. Mattidia

a. Historical Background: Mattidia the Elder and the Younger

b. Mattidia, the mother of Clement

ii. Mattidia and the Widows of Arados

iii. Mattidia and the Wife of Peter

iv. Justa and her Daughter, Bernice

v. Helena and Female Prophecy

Chapter 3: Women and Gender Relations in the Community of Peter

A. Feminist Historiography and The Sorrows of Mattidia

B. Peter, Paul, and Women

C. Jewish, Christian, and other Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Chapter 4: Sylvia’s Gift

Part Two

Chapter 5: The Sorrows of Mattidia: Author, Text, Bibliography, and Translation

Chapter 6: The Sorrows of Mattidia: The Translation by Jenni Irving with Curtis Hutt

A. Introduction: The Sorrows of Mattidia (Homilies 12.8 – 12.14)

B. The First Recognition: Mattidia on Arados (Homilies 12.15 – 12.24)

C. The Second Recognition: Matthida and Her Twins (Homilies 13.1 – 13.7)

D. An Interlude: Concerning Justa and Simon Magus (Homilies 2.19 – 2.25;

3.73 – 4.1)

E. The Third Recognition: Mattidia and Faustus (Homilies 13.8 – 13.13;

13.20 – 14.10)

F. Mattidia and the Magi (Homilies 20.11 – 20.23)

Chapter 7: Albertus R. M. Dressel’s Revised Greek



About the Author

Curtis Hutt is Associate Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA, and the Founding Executive Director of the Leonard and Shirley Goldstein Center for Human Rights.

Jenni Irving is an epigrapher and lecturer of Ancient Languages and Classical Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA. She also is an instructional designer for a Fortune 500 company.

About the Series

Routledge Classical Translations

Routledge Classical Translations provides scholars and students with accurate, modern translations of key texts that illuminate distinctive aspects of the classical world and come from a range of periods, from early Greece to the Byzantine empire. Volumes include thematic groupings of texts, texts from important authors as well as texts from the Byzantine period that are relevant for the study of the classical world but which remain inaccessible. Each volume has accompanying notes and commentary that provide a solid framework for deeper understanding of the material. As well as providing translations of significant texts, the series makes available material that is untranslated into English or difficult to access, and places these texts within new contexts to open-up areas of study and support research.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General