Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Simplicity and Humility in Late Antique Christian Thought
Elites and the Challenges of Apostolic Life

$99.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108832267

$ 99.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The social values of upper-class Christians in Late Antiquity often contrasted with the modest backgrounds of their religion's founders – the apostles – and the virtues they exemplified. Drawing on examples from the Cappadocian Fathers, John Chrysostom, and other late antique authors, this book examines attitudes toward the apostles' status as manual workers and their virtues of simplicity and humility. Due to the strong connection between these traits and low socioeconomic status, late antique bishops often allowed their own high standing to influence how they understood these matters. The virtues of simplicity and humility had been a natural fit for tentmakers and fishermen, but posed a significant challenge to Christians born into the elite and trained in prestigious schools. This volume examines the socioeconomic implications of Christianity in the Roman Empire by considering how the first wave of powerful, upper-class church leaders interpreted the socially radical elements of their religion.

    • Focuses on the development of the important Christian virtues of simplicity and humility
    • Emphasizes the importance of social and cultural context when studying Christian ideas
    • Explores how upper-class Christian authors in Late Antiquity made sense of their socioeconomic standing in contrast with that of the apostles
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Maxwell’s book draws attention to many interesting texts and developments and provides insightful interpretations, which makes it an enjoyable and fruitful read. Maxwell interprets a wide variety of texts from different genres and contexts and makes useful and interesting observations.' Florian Zacher, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2021
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108832267
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Roman and Christian attitudes toward social and economic divisions (first–third centuries CE)
    2. Christian attitudes toward social and economic divisions in Late Antiquity
    3. Tentmakers and fishermen: the apostles' social status in Late Antiquity
    4. Apostolic simplicity and elite education in Late Antique theological controversies
    5. The virtue of humility in Late Antiquity

  • Author

    Jaclyn L. Maxwell, Ohio University
    Jaclyn L. Maxwell is Associate Professor of History and Classics/Religious Studies at Ohio University. She is the author of Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and his Congregation in Antioch (Cambridge, 2006) and has received fellowships from Dumbarton Oaks and the American Council of Learned Societies.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.