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August 25, 2016 at 7:16 am

History’s Maxwell Publishes Chapter on Founder of Fifth-Century Monastery Near Constantinople

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell at Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell at Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Dr. Jaclyn Maxwell
, Associate Professor of History, published “Social Interactions in a Rural Monastery: Scholars, Peasants, and Monks in the Life of Hypatius during the 2016 summer. The scholarly work appeared as a chapter in Motions of Late Antiquity: Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society in Honor of Peter Brown, edited by Jamie Kreiner and Helmut  Reimitz (Brussels: Brepols, 2016).

This essay focuses on a particularly interesting biography of the founder of a monastery outside of Constantinople in the early 400s CE. When Maxwell first read this text, she was struck by the references to people from all levels of Roman society, including slaves, peasants, workers, wealthy landowners, government officials, and even members of the emperor’s family, who visited the monastery seeking help of some sort. Her article analyzes how the author represents people from different social and economic backgrounds and how the monastic life challenged or perpetuated conventional social values. This study is related to her ongoing research on early Christian ideas about spiritual equality and how these ideas played out within the highly stratified social and economic realities of ancient Roman society.


For more on Maxwell’s research and teaching, visit her History Department profile.

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