Ohio State University
The household and the bishop in late antique Rome: space, social practice and the establishment of episcopal authority (ca. 350-700 CE)
Sessa studies the cultural history of the late antique and early medieval Mediterranean world from ca. 300-700 CE. She is especially interested in the relationship between early Christianity and social practice, and how new figures of authority, like the Christian bishop, were integrated into pre-existing Roman structures and institutions. She has published on late Roman hagiography and is guest editing a forthcoming special volume of the Journal of Early Christian Studies on Christianity and domestic space in late antiquity. At the Italian Academy, she will be working on her current book project, a study of the relationship between Roman papal authority and the aristocratic household in the city of Rome. She holds degrees from Princeton University (A.B. in Religion, 1992) and from the University of California at Berkeley (M.A. in Medieval History, 1996; Ph.D. in Ancient and Medieval History, 2003). From 2003-2006 she was an assistant professor of Ancient Mediterranean History at Claremont McKenna College and will be joining the faculty in the Department of History at The Ohio State University in the fall of 2007.