Dr. Maria Dell'Isola

Maria Dell’Isola studied Classics at the University of Bologna. In 2016 she earned her Ph.D. in  Cul-tural Sciences from Scuola di Alti Studi della Fondazione San Carlo di Modena and Max-Weber-Kolleg, with a thesis on the historiographical construction of Montanism. Between 2013 and 2014 she spent six months at the Humboldt University of Berlin as a doctoral student. After working as a Post-doctoral Fellow at “Associazione Amici della Peterson” (University of Turin), in 2019 she was awar-ded a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the University of Southern Denmark/Centre for Medieval Literature, with a research project on gendered temporality and female holiness between early Chri-stianity and Byzantium. Her research interests lie within religion in antiquity, history of Christianity and hagiography.

A picture of Dr. Maria Dell'Isola.

Research Project

My research project attempts to investigate the notion of divine property in late antiquity. By looking at property as a key factor in shaping human and divine agency in Christian hagiographical texts and doctrinal treatises, I aim to identify a set of key features that may define the relationship between human and divine property against the wider background of ancient sacral, social, and economic practices. The research will focus on a detailed analysis of terms referring to the semantic field of property/exchange/donation/theft, in order to outline a broader framework of the complex spectrum of forms and practices describing the dynamics of mutual transfer of property in a sacred context.


  • L’ultima profezia. La crisi montanista nel cristianesimo antico, Il pozzo di Giacobbe, Trapani 2020
  • Shaping Women’s Agency Through Temporality in The Life and Activity of the Holy and Blessed Teacher Syncletica, in Studia Philologica Valentina 22 (2020), 13-31
  • ‘They are not the words of a rational man’: ecstatic prophecy in Montanism, in Lived Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Approaching Religious Transformations from Archaeology, History and Classics, edited by V. Gasparini – M. Patzelt – R. Raja – A.-K. Rieger – J. Rüpke – E. Urciuoli, De Gruyter, Berlin 2020, 71-86
  • “Fasts will merit from God the recognition of mysteries” (Tert. ieiun. 7,6): on the relationship between fasting and prophecy in early Christianity, in Adamantius 25 (2019), 436-444
  • Montanism and ecstasy: the case of Theodotus’ death (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica V,16,14-15), in Texts, Practices and Groups. Multidisciplinary Approaches to the History of Jesus Follow-ers in the First Two Centuries. First Annual Meeting of Bertinoro (2-4 October 2014), edited by A. Destro – M. Pesce, Brepols, Turnhout 2017, 377-394