That inscriptions are not only texts but also material objects of specific materiality and presence is one of the recent central insights of ancient epigraphy. This understanding is applied here for the first time systematically, across different regions and over an entire epoch, by examining the change in the inscriptions culture in late antiquity with a view of the Italian peninsula.
"Written by an international cast of experts, The Materiality of Text showcases a wide range of innovative methodologies from ancient history, literary studies, epigraphy, and art history and provides a multi-disciplinary perspective on the physicality of writing in antiquity. The contributions focus on epigraphic texts in order to gauge questions of their placement, presence, and perception: starting with an analysis of the forms of writing and its perception as an act of physical and cultural intervention, the volume moves on to consider the texts' ubiquity and strategic positioning within epigraphic, literary, and architectural spaces. The contributors rethink modern assumptions about the processes of writing and reading and establish novel ways of thinking about the physical forms of ancient texts"--
"This book offers a fresh approach to some of the most studied documents relating to Christian female asceticism in the Roman era. Focusing on the letters of advice to the women of the noble Anicia family, Kate Wilkinson argues that conventional descriptions of feminine modesty can reveal spaces of agency and self-formation in early Christian women's lives. She uses comparative data from contemporary ethnographic studies of Muslim, Hindu, and indigenous Pakistani women to draw out the possibilities inherent in codes of modesty. Her analysis also draws on performance studies for close readings of Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Pelagius. The book begins by locating itself within the complex terrain of feminist historiography, and then addresses three main modes of modest behavior - dress, domesticity and silence. Finally, it addresses the theme of false modesty and explores women's agency in light of Augustinian and Pelagian conceptions of choice"--