Ancient Christianity, New Testament Studies, Patristics, Religions in the Roman Empire, Art and religion in Ancient Christianity


Dr. Limberis is trained in the History of Ancient Christianity and is fascinated by the interplay of religious cultures — pagan, Christian, Jewish — in the first five centuries of the common era. Her research has invariably landed on the two most volatile centuries, the first and the fourth, when the power of the Roman state brings the most to bear on the varieties of religions in the Mediterranean. In addition, this research has expanded to include the visual arts of the period, iconography, sculptural arts, Roman painting, and mosaics. Two of her undergraduate classes, ‘Religion and the Arts,’and ‘Sacred Space,’ deal with many of these themes.

Selected Publications

  • Architects of Piety: The Cappadocian Fathers and the Cult of the Martyrs, Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • “Holy Beatings: Emmelia, her son Gregory of Nyssa, and the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia,” in Fear and Belonging in Late Antiquity: Social Control and the Spectre of Violence in Household, School, and Monastery. Kate Cooper and Jamie Wood, eds. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
  • “Bishops Behaving Badly”, in Gregory of Nazianzus, Theology, History, Church. Essays in Honor of Frederick Norris. Christopher Beeley, ed. CUAP Studies in Early Christianity. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University Press of America, 2012.
  • “Family Piety and the Cult of the Martyrs in the Cappadocian Fathers,” in Derek Krueger, ed., A People’s History of Christianity, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, May 2006.
  • “Ecclesiastical Ambiguities: Corinth in the fourth and fifth centuries,” in Urban Religion in Roman Corinth: Interdisciplinary Approaches, Daniel Schowalter and Steven Friesen, eds., in Harvard Theological Studies, 53, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005, pp. 443-457.
  • “Religion as the Cipher for Identity: The Cases of Emperor Julian, Libanius, and Gregory Nazianzus,” Harvard Theological Review 93:4 (2000) pp. 373-400.
  • “The Provenance of the ’Caliphate’ Church: Abraham in James 2:17-26 and Galatians 3 Reconsidered,”in Craig A. Evans and James A. Sanders, (eds.), Early Christian Interpretation of the Scriptures of Israel, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Supplement Series, 148
  • Studies in Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity 5, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, Ltd., 1997, pp. 397-420.
  • “The Council of Ephesos: The Rise of the Cult of the Theotokos and the Demise of the See of Ephesos,” in Helmut Koester, (ed.) Ephesos, Metropolis of Asia, Harvard Theological Studies, 41, Valley Forge: Trinity Press international, 1995, pp. 321-340.
  • Divine Heiress, the Virgin Mary and the Creation of Christian Constantinople, London: Routledge Ltd., 1994.
  • “The Eyes Infected by Evil: Basil of Caesarea’s Homily, On Envy,” Harvard Theological Review 84:2 (1991) pp. 163-184.

Courses Taught


  • History of Christianity I
  • Introduction to New Testament
  • Jesus and the Gospels
  • Religion and the Arts
  • Sacred Space

Graduate Seminars

  • Texts and Historical Studies
  • Women in Ancient Christianity
  •  Acts and Apocryphal Acts