Women's Socioeconomic Status and Religious Leadership in Asia Minor: In the First Two Centuries C.E.

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Moving beyond discussions of patriarchy and prescribed women's roles in the Roman world - discussions that have relied too much on elite literary sources, in her view - Katherine Bain explores what inscriptional data from Asia Minor can tell us about the actual socioeconomic status of women in the first and second centuries C.E. Her findings suggest that outside of the prescriptive lenses of the upper classes, women were described, in honorary and funerary inscriptions, in terms that mirrored the socioeconomic status of men, suggesting that women's leadership in social associations-and by implication in Jewish and Christian congregations as well-was even more frequent than has been imagined.