Dr. Maria Dell'Isola

Maria Dell’Isola is Junior Assistant Professor (RTD-A) in History of Early Christianity at the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Milan.
She studied Classics at the University of Bologna. In 2016 she earned her Ph.D. in Cultural Sciences from Scuola di Alti Studi della Fondazione San Carlo di Modena and Max-Weber-Kolleg. Between 2013 and 2014 she spent six months at the Humboldt University of Berlin as a doctoral student. After working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at “Associazione Amici della Peterson” (University of Turin), in 2019 she was awarded 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 Christianity and Byzantium. Between 2021 and 2022 she was Postdoctoral researcher on the subproject A01 Divine Property. Solutions from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre TRR 294 Structural Change of Property. Her research interests lie within religion in antiquity, history of Christianity and hagiography.

A picture of Dr. Maria Dell'Isola.

Research Project

Within the framework of the subproject A01 Divine Property. Solutions from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, 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