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Lot's Wife on the Border*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2014

Blake Leyerle*
University of Notre Dame


In January or February of 384 c.e., the Christian pilgrim known to us as Egeria left Jerusalem, where she had been based, and headed east. According to her own account, she felt impelled by God to climb Mount Nebo. With her traveled “some holy men from Jerusalem, a presbyter and deacons, and several brothers (monks).” The trip, which took them through Jericho and Livias, went very well. Her guides were able to point out further local sites, and, after some instructive detours, they reached their goal. Mount Nebo was high and steep, but the group of pilgrims, now swollen in number by the addition of local monks, made the climb successfully. Close to the summit they found a church commemorating the site of Moses's death. After a short service consisting of readings from Scripture and prayers, the local holy men asked Egeria if she would like to see “the places which are described in the Books of Moses.” This proposal “delighted” her, and together they climbed up to the actual summit.

Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2014 

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A version of this paper was delivered at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in New Orleans in 2009. For their comments and suggestions, I thank both that audience and the two anonymous readers of this journal. It is a great pleasure to acknowledge publicly the generous support of the Lilly Foundation, which awarded me a Henry Luce III Fellowship in 2003–;2004 to pursue my research on early Christian pilgrimage.


1 For the dates of Egeria's pilgrimage, see Devos, Paul, “La Date du voyage d’Égérie,” AnBoll 85 (1967) 165–94Google Scholar.

2 Itinerarium Egeriae (hereafter Itin. Eg.) 10.3. The critical edition is that established by Maraval, Pierre, Égérie. Journal de Voyage (SC 296; Paris: Cerf, 1997)Google Scholar. The translation here is taken from Egeria's Travels (trans. John Wilkinson; 3rd ed.; Warminster, U.K.: Aris and Phillips, 1999). All other translations are my own unless otherwise attributed.

3 Itin. Eg. 10.8, 11.3.

4 George Gingras notes that the mountain is the Ras Siagha, a peak two miles west-northwest of the peak today known as En Nebo (Egeria: Diary of a Pilgrim [ACW 38; New York: Newman Press, 1970] 191 n. 148).

5 For the church on Mount Nebo, see Saller, Sylvester, “L’Église du Mont Nebo,” RB 43 (1934) 120–27Google Scholar.

6 Itin. Eg. 12.3.

7 Itin. Eg. 12.5.

8 The five cities are Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar (Gen 14:2). Egeria uses the biblical name, which I have inserted in square brackets. Wilkinson prefers Zoar.

9 Gingras points out that Egeria uses the word memoriale only once. Paul Geyer glosses it with memoria (Itinera Hierosolymitana [CSEL 39; Vienna: Hoelder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1898] 407). Hélène Pétré suggests it was a commemorative monument (Éthérie. Journal de voyage [SC 21; Paris: Cerf, 1974] 143 n. 3).

10 “In sinistra autem parte vidimus terras Sodomitum omnes nec non et Segor, quae tamen Segor sola de illis quinque in hodie constat. Nam et memoriale ibi est; de ceteris autem illis civitatibus nichil aliud apparet nisi subversio ruinarum, quemadmodum in cinerem converse sunt. Locus etiam, ubi fuit titulus uxoris Loth, ostensus est nobis, qui locus etiam in Scripturis legitur. Sed mihi credite, domine venerabiles, quia columna ipsa iam non paret, locus autem ipse tantum ostenditur: columna autem ipsa dicitur mari Mortuo fuisse quooperta. Certe locum <cum> videremus, columnam nullam vidimus, et ideo fallere vos super hanc rem non possum. Nam episcopus loci ipsius, id est de Segor, dixit nobis quoniam iam aliquot anni essent, a quo non pareret columna illa. Nam de Segor forsitan sexto millario ipse locus <est>, ubi stetit columna illa, quod nunc totum cooperit aqua” (Itin. Eg. 12.5–7 [trans. Wilkinson]).

11 Josephus, Ant. 1.203 (Thackeray, LCL). Among the blessings prescribed by the Babylonian Talmud is one to be said upon seeing the pillar of salt that had once been Lot's wife (b. Ber. 54a).

12 Irenaeus, Haer. 4.31.3.

13 Theodosius, De situ terrae sanctae 20; see also Irenaeus, Haer. 4.33.9.

14 Itinerarium Placentini (hereafter Itin. Plac.) 15. The critical edition is that established by Paul Geyer and Otto Cuntz (CCSL 175; Turnhout: Brepols, 1965). The translation is taken from Jerusalem Pilgrims before the Crusades (John Wilkinson; Warminster, U.K.: Aris and Phillips, 2002) 138. Commenting on this passage, Wilkinson writes: “The pilgrim seems here to be passing on information he had been given about the view to the left and on Lot's wife. There is no indication that he himself had seen Lot's wife, nor does he say where she is to be seen” (ibid., n. 27).

15 There does seem to have been an established circuit. Egeria notes, e.g., that even before her trip to the Sinai, she knew that Jebel Musa was not visible until after it had been climbed, “because of what the brethren [fratribus] had said” (Itin. Eg. 2.7). The words of the bishop of Edessa also suggest that there was a known circuit: “Therefore, if you are willing, we will show you whatever places there are here that Christians like to see” (quaecumque loca sunt hic grata ad videndum Christianis) (Itin. Eg. 19.5 [trans. Gingras]).

16 John Chrysostom, Hom. Gen. 43.6; see also ibid., 42.5, 44.1. For Lot's admirable reaction, see ibid., 43.5.

17 “It was not the tree that caused the harm, but slothful will [ῥᾴθυμος] and contempt displayed for God's command” (Hom. Gen. 16.6; the translation is taken from Homilies on Genesis 1–17 [trans. Robert C. Hill; FC 74; Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1986] 220). As Robert Hill remarks: “Again, as we have seen so often, rhathumia, ‘indifference,’ is for Chrysostom the universal cause of human failing (Homilies on Genesis 18–45 [trans. Robert C. Hill; FC 82; Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1990] 430 n. 31).

18 John Chrysostom, Stat. 1.12 (PG 49:34). Chrysostom repeatedly identifies ῥαθυμία as the cause of the riot of the statues; see, for example, ibid., 2.4, 3.7 (PG 49:38, 57).

19 ἡ δὲ τούτου γυνὴ στήλη γέγονεν ἁλός, ἐστηλιτευμένη δι’ αἰῶνος, ἔχουσα τῆς πονηρᾶς προαιρέσεως καὶ ὑποστροφῆς, τὴν μνήμην. . . . Πρόσεχε τοίνυν σεαυτῷ, καὶ μὴ στρέφου πάλιν, . . . εἰς τὴν ἁλμυρὰν τοῦ βίου τούτου πρᾶξιν (Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. 1.8).

20 Jerome, Ep. 46.7; see also idem, Tract. Ps. 80. The conjunction of Sodom and Egypt is suggested by Gen 13:10 (which describes Sodom as being, initially, “like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt”) and also by Rev 11:8 (which describes Rome as “the great city that is prophetically called Sodom and Egypt”).

21 The lxx version of Gen 19:17, which has “mountain” instead of “hills,” facilitates an ascetic interpretation, as we see in Jerome (Ep. 22.1) and also in Chrysostom (Hom. Gen. 43.6, 43.1). We find this reading already in Tertullian, Marc. 4.23.11.

22 Pursuing his pacific agenda, Clement of Rome interprets the backward glance as a sign of double-mindedness. Because Lot's wife did not persevere in unanimity with her husband, she became “a judgment and a sign [σημέιωσιν]” for all generations (Clement of Rome, Ep. ad Cor. 11, in The Apostolic Fathers [ed. and trans. Joseph B. Lightfoot; 2nd ed.; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1989] Pt 1, 2.46–47). Origen puzzled over the fate of Lot's wife: “Do we think there was so much evil in this transgression, that the woman, because she looked behind her, incurred the destruction which she appeared to be fleeing by divine favor? For what great crime was it, if the concerned mind of the woman looked backward whence she was being terrified by the excessive crackling of the flames?” He solved the puzzle by reading the event through the lens offered by Luke 17:32 and thus equating Lot with rational resolve and a virile soul (rationabilis est sensus et animus virilis) and his wife with fleshly desire (carnis imaginem) that always turns back (retrorsum respicit) from the Kingdom of God and seeks after pleasure (Hom. Gen. 5.2; the translation is taken from Homilies on Geneis and Exodus [trans. Ronald Heine; FC 71; Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1982] 114; see also Homélies sur la Genèse [ed. Louis Doutreleau, S.J.; SC 7bis; Paris: Cerf, 1943]).

23 Ep. 22.2.

24 Ep. 122.

25 Jerome, Ep. 122.1. Jerome identifies despair rather than indifference as the emotion that impeded Lot's wife, but he agrees with Chrysostom about the impact of even one ardent soul: “As if to make up for the loss of a single woman, Lot's glowing faith freed the whole city of Segor.”

26 Politis, Konstantinos D., “The Sanctuary of Agios Lot, the City of Zoara, and Zared River,” in The Madaba Map Centenary, 1897–1997 (ed. Piccirillo, Michele and Alliata, Eugenio; Jerusalem: Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, 1999) 225–27Google Scholar.

27 Itin. Plac. 34 (trans. Wilkinson).

28 John Anson, “The Female Transvestite in Early Monasticism: The Origin and Development of a Motif,” Viator 5 (1974) 1–32. Evelyne Patlagean, “L'Histoire de la femme déguisée en moine et l’évolution de la sainteté feminine à Byzance,” Studi medievali, 3rd ser., 17 (1976) 597–623. Davis, Stephen, “Crossed Texts, Crossed Sex: Intertextuality and Gender in Early Christian Legends of Holy Women Disguised as Men,” JECS 10 (2002) 136Google Scholar.

29 The Onomasticon by Eusebius of Caesarea (ed. Joan E. Taylor; trans. Greville Stewart Parker Freeman-Grenville; Jerusalem: Carta, 2003) 85.

30 Sivan, Hagith, “Holy Land Pilgrimage and Western Audiences: Some Reflections on Egeria and Her Circle,” CQ 38 (1988) 528–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 530. See also eadem, “Who was Egeria? Piety and Pilgrimage in the Time of Gratian,” HTR 81 (1988) 59–72.

31 Sivan, “Holy Land Pilgrimage,” 528–35.

32 Sivan pointed to Egeria's “unusual freedom of movement and obvious affluence” as militating against monastic affiliation, but more recent studies have sharpened our understanding of mobility as a widespread form of monastic practice. See Dietz, Maribel, Wandering Monks, Virgins, and Pilgrims: Ascetic Travel in the Mediterranean World, A.D. 300–800 (University Park, Pa.: Penn State Press, 2005) esp. 4854Google Scholar; Caner, Daniel, Wandering, Begging Monks: Spiritual Authority and the Promotion of Monasticism in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)Google Scholar.

33 John Chrysostom, Hom. Gen. 43.6 (trans. Hill). This somewhat odd description (τοὺς καρποὺς ἀχρήστους) may refer to the fruit of Sodom, which Chrysostom mentions elsewhere (Inan. glor. 3; De perfecta caritate 7; see also Tertullian, Apol. 40.7).

34 Itinerarium Burdigalense (hereafter Itin. Burd.) 597. The critical edition is that established by Paul Geyer and Otto Cuntz (CCSL 175; Turnhout: Brepols, 1965). Wilkinson provides a partial translation in his Egeria's Travels. This description strikingly resembles that of the early Passion of Pionius, where the author writes as an eyewitness: “I saw too the Dead Sea, a body of water . . . unable to nurture any living thing, indeed, anything thrust into it is expelled upwards by the water, and it cannot hold even a man's body within it” (Passio Pionii 4.20, in The Acts of the Christian Martyrs [ed. and trans. Herbert Musurillo; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972] 140–43). The parallel is so close, one wonders whether the odd verb versat in the Itin. Burd. should read versus expulsat.

35 Pliny, Nat. 5.15.71–73 (Rackham, LCL). See also Tacitus, Hist. 5.7; Strabo, Geogr. 1.16.2 par. 44; Philo, Abr. 28; Mos. 2.10.

36 Itin. Plac. 10, 15, 24. The pilgrim also mentions the reputedly curative properties of these waters.

37 This is suggested by John Wilkinson (Egeria's Travels, 33 n. 3; idem, Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, 135 n. 22).

38 Yizhar Hirschfeld, “The Archaeology of the Dead Sea Valley in the Late Hellenistic and Early Roman Periods,” in New Frontiers in Dead Sea Paleoenvironmental Research (ed. Yehouda Enzel, Amotz Agnon, and Mordecai Stein; Geological Society of America Special Papers 401; Boulder, Colo.: Geological Society of America, 2006) 215–29, at 217. There was also a road running along the eastern side of the lake, but this route was less used and “probably more problematic, since the cliffs there descend directly into the water in several places” (ibid., 217–18). Passengers could, however, have traveled easily by boat.

39 In the portion of the text that is lost, Egeria does seem to have made a trip to the West Bank and Transjordan (Stemberger, Günter, Jews and Christians in the Holy Land: Palestine in the Fourth Century [Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000] 96Google Scholar).

40 Itin. Eg. 12.5 (trans. Wilkinson).

41 Egeria's testimony is thus crucial for Edmond Power, who argued forcefully that the Cities of the Plain were located north of the Dead Sea (“The Site of the Pentapolis,” Bib 11 [1930] 23–62, 149–82, esp. 49–52). See also Ziegler, Josef, “Die Peregrinatio Aetheriae und das Onomastikon des Eusebius,” Bib 12 (1931) 70–84Google Scholar, at 78–79; L. Heidet, “Ségor,” DB 5.1561–65. Even if this northern location is correct, it would still represent a boundary, as is evident in Basil's characterization of Segor as “lying on the border of Palestine” (Comm. Isa. 15.5).

42 Félix-Marie Abel notes the sudden appearance of the bishop, who was not initially listed among the priests, deacons, and monks who accompanied Egeria up the mountain, and suggests that Egeria might be supplying information derived from a later meeting with the bishop in Jerusalem (“L'Exploration du sud-est de la vallée du Jourdain,” RB 40 [1931] 374–400, at 384).

43 In Carrhae, the local bishop showed Egeria another absent sight: “the place from which Rachel stole the idols of her father” (ostensus est etiam michi locus, unde furata est Rachel idola patris sui) (Itin. Eg. 21.4). Here, of course, the absence was the sight.

44 Itin. Eg. 12.6: “Locus etiam, ubi fuit titulus uxoris Loth, ostensus est nobis”; see Gingras, Diary, 193 n. 158).

45 Itin. Eg. 37.1, 3.

46 OLD s.v. titulus (7). Abel draws the parallel with Egeria's description of the panorama from Mount Sinai at the end of chapter 3, which also seems improbably extensive (“L'Exploration du sud-est,” 380−87, esp. 384).

47 Itin. Eg. 12.5.

48 McClintock, Annie, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995) 2128Google Scholar.

49 One of the most unusual features of the Dead Sea is its periodic discharge of asphalt. Pieces range in size from small pebbles to massive chunks (Beit-Arieh, Itzhaq, “The Dead Sea Region: An Archaeological Perspective,” in The Dead Sea: The Lake and Its Setting [ed. Niemi, Tina M., Ben-Avraham, Zvi, and Gat, Joel; Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics 36; New York: Oxford University Press, 1997] 251Google Scholar; Nissenbaum, Arie, “The Dead Sea Asphalts—Historical Aspects,” American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin 62 [1978] 837–44Google Scholar).

50 Passio Pionii 4.17–20 (trans. Musurillo). For the distinctive smell of the region, see Itin. Plac. 15; Tertullian, Apol. 40.7. On the region generally, see Tertullian, Pall. 2.4.

51 Romm, James E., The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992) 926Google Scholar, at 26.

52 On her trip through the Sinai, she notes the fort marking the frontier between Egypt and “the land of the Saracens” (Itin. Eg. 7.6).

53 “Haec autem pars specialiter orientalis appellatur, quae est in confinium Romanorum et Persarum vel Chaldeorum” (Itin. Eg. 20.12 [trans. Wilkinson]).

54 Itin. Eg. 12.3 (trans. Wilkinson).

55 This claim is made on Mount Nebo concerning the grave of Moses. According to Deut 34:6, no one knows the place of Moses's burial. The monks agree that his actual tomb (memoria illius, ubi positus est) remains unknown, but claim that they can nevertheless show pilgrims the area. They support this assertion by saying, “Since where he was placed was shown to us by the older monks who dwelt here, we can therefore show it to you; and the older monks themselves said that such a tradition had been handed down to them by their predecessors” (sicut enim nobis a maioribus, qui hic manserunt, ubi ostensum est, ita et nos vobis monstramus: qui et ipsi tamen maiores ita sibi traditum a maioribus suis) (Itin. Eg. 12.2 [trans. Gingras]).

56 See Sivan, Hagith S., “Pilgrimage, Monasticism, and the Emergence of Christian Palestine in the 4th Century,” in The Blessings of Pilgrimage (ed. Ousterhout, Robert; Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1990) 5465Google Scholar.

57 Compare Num 21:20, where the Israelites are said to have camped in “the valley lying in the region of Moab by the top of Pisgah that overlooks the wasteland.”

58 Itin. Eg. 12.9–10 (trans. Wilkinson).

59 Wilkinson points out that Edrei, lying 40 miles distant, cannot be seen from the mountain (Egeria's Travels, 123 n. 5).

60 Locus etiam, ubi fuit titulus uxoris Loth, ostensus est nobis, qui locus etiam in Scripturis legitur” (Itin. Eg. 12.6).

61 “Certe locum <cum> videremus, columnan nullam vidimus, et ideo fallere vos super hanc rem non possum” (Itin. Eg. 12.7).

62 See the remarks of Dean MacCannell on “truth markers” (The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class [New York: Schocken, 1989] 137–41).

63 Itin. Eg. 4.4 (trans. Wilkinson).

64 Gingras, Diary, 54 [italics added]. The pertinent line of the text actually reads: “In eo ergo loco, licet et tectum not sit” (SC 296:140). Wilkinson thus translates it as, “There is no building there.” Wilhelm Heraeus first conjectured that tectum should be lectum (“Zur sogenannten Peregrinatio Aetheriae,” Archiv für lateinische Lexikographie und Grammatik 15 [1908] 549–59). This emendation seems plausible, given the fact that there is indeed no mention of a huge flat rock in Exod 24:1 and there seems no reason to expect a building. Maraval, however, notes that when Egeria appeals to Scripture, she always uses the formula scriptum est (as at 2.5, 4.2, 5.6). He also notes that the dimensions and flatness of the rock had led to the construction of an open-air altar. The fact that it remained uncovered, he suspects, drew Egeria's attention. Thus he prefers to retain the original reading (SC 296:140 n. 1).

65 “[S]ed cum legat affectio vestra libros sanctos Moysi, omnia diligentius pervidet, quae ibi facta sunt” (Itin. Eg. 5.8 [trans. Gingras]). Cf. Wilkinson: “But it may help you, loving sisters, the better to picture what happened in these places when you read the Books of holy Moses” (Egeria's Travels, 113).

66 “Non dicit Scriptura canonis. . .. Sed manifeste” (Itin. Eg. 20.10 [trans. Wilkinson]).

67 “Locus etiam, ubi fuit titulus uxoris Loth, ostensus est nobis, qui locus etiam in Scipturis legitur” (Itin. Eg. 12.6). Genesis 19:26 reads simply, “But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt” (nrsv).

68 Itin. Eg. 3.8 (trans. Gingras). Wilkinson, following Maraval's punctuation, takes this clause as referring to the sight of distant lands “all unbelievably far below us” (Egeria's Travels, 111).

69 “Nam michi [sic] credat volo affectio vestra, quantum tamen pervidere potui, filios Israhel sic ambulasse, ut quantum irent dextra, tantum reverterentur sinistra, quantum denuo in ante ibant, tantum denuo retro revertebantur” (Itin. Eg. 7.3 [trans. Gingras]). Wilkinson translates more freely: “So, as far as I can see, loving sisters, you must take it that the children of Israel zigzagged their way to the Red Sea, first right, then back left again, now forwards, and now back” (Egeria's Travels, 116).

70 Itin. Eg. 17.2 (trans. Gingras, slightly altered to reflect the almost identical Latin phrasing: “nam mihi credat volo affectio vestra”).

71 Barthes, Roland, The Rustle of Language (trans. Howard, Richard; Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) 141–48Google Scholar. Reading Flaubert's description of Mme Aubain's room in “A Simple Heart,” where “an old piano supported, under a barometer, a pyramidal heap of boxes and cartons,” we find ourselves supposing that the author described the barometer simply because it existed, for there seems no other reason for its inclusion (ibid., at 141).

72 The impression of comprehensiveness is similarly strengthened by the occasional acknowledgment of selectivity. She admits, in the midst of her account of her trip through the Sinai, that the list of sites is not complete, not only because she could no longer remember everything she was shown, but also because she was intentionally holding back information: “Though I must always give thanks to God for all things, I shall not speak about the many favors [non dicam in his tantis et talibus] which he deigned to confer upon me” (Itin. Eg. 5.12 [trans. Gingras]).

73 Her direct address to her readers at the end of the travelogue portion of her texts betrays her sense of herself as an author: “As I send this letter to Your Charity and to you, reverend ladies, it is already my intention to go . . . to Asia. . . . If, after this, I am still living, I will either tell Your Charity in person [ipsa presens] . . . about whatever other places I shall have come to know, or certainly I will write you of it in letters [scriptis nuntiabo], if there is anything else I have in mind” (Itin. Eg. 23.10 [trans. Gingras]).

74 Wilken, Robert L., The Land Called Holy (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992) 120Google Scholar; Rubin, Rehav, “Ideology and Landscape in Early Printed Maps of Jerusalem,” in Ideology and Landscape in Historical Perspective: Essays on the Meanings of Some Places in the Past (ed. Baker, Alan R. H. and Biger, Gideon; Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1992) 1530Google Scholar at 24–25; Leyerle, Blake, “Landscape as Cartography in Early Christian Pilgrimage Narratives,” JAAR 64 (1996) 119–43Google Scholar, at 131.

75 One of the first meanings of titulus, according to the OLD, is “a commemorative tablet on which details of a person's career, etc., are inscribed.”

76 Tertullian, Apol. 40.7; see also Passio Pionii 4.

77 John Chrysostom, Hom. Gen. 42.5 (trans. Hill). The region commands interest as a monument made by God. Compare his words on the destroyed Temple: “Even today, if you go into Jerusalem, you will see the bare foundation” (Adv. Jud. 5.11). See also Justin Martyr, Apol. 1.53.8–9.

78 Itin. Eg. 12.6 (trans. Wilkinson). In Eusebius's Onomasticon, Jerome identifies Segor with “Bala and Zoara, one of the five cities of the Sodomites, which was saved from the fire by the prayers of Lot, and which is pointed out even now” (trans. Freeman-Grenville). Zoar is represented on the Madaba Map surrounded by palm trees. “The symbol is that of a medium-sized town with two red-roofed churches” (Donner, Herbert, The Mosaic Map of Madaba: An Introductory Guide [Kampen: Kok Pharos Publishing House, 1992] 42Google Scholar). This mosaic, however, was created in the second half of the sixth century. See also the comments of Abel, Félix-Marie, “Une croisière à la mer Morte III,” RB 19 (1910) 92112Google Scholar, 217–33, at 101.

79 Evans, Rhiannon, Utopia Antiqua: Readings of the Golden Age and Decline at Rome (London: Routledge, 2007) 67Google Scholar.

80 Passio Pionii 4.17–20 (trans. Musurillo); Maraval, Pierre, Lieux Saints et pèlerinages d'Orient (Paris: Cerf, 1985) 26Google Scholar. This martyr text is usually ascribed to the third century on the basis of the prominence of Polemon, the reference to the emperor's edict (3.2), and the explicit dating (23), but Candida R. Moss has recently called this dating into question, arguing that “the questioning, the imprisonment, the strong anti-Semitism, and elaborate discussion of satanic involvement seem to be out of place with the time of the Decian persecution” (Other Christs: Imitating Jesus in Ancient Christian Ideologies of Martyrdom [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010] 195–96).

81 Jerome, Ep. 46.7; Jov. 2.24.

82 Epiphanius the Monk, The Holy City and Holy Places, 39. Herbert Donner dates the Jerusalem portion of this document to 638–692 c.e. (“Die Palästinabeschreibung des Epiphanius Monachus Hagiopolita,” ZDPV 87 [1971] 45–92).

83 ὀργῆς ὐπομνήματα ὄντα, τῆς μελλούσης κολάσεως προμηνύματα (John Chrysostom, De perfecta caritate 7). Josephus uses the unusual term “shadows” (σκιάς) to suggest that only the outlines of the cities remained (J.W. 4.8.4).

84 Hom. Gen. 42.5 (trans. Hill).

85 John Chrysostom, Hom. Gen. 42.3 (trans. Hill). “Are there not today as well a lot of people who break the same laws as they (i.e., the people of Sodom)?” (ibid., 42.5 [trans. Hill]). This interpretation may be influenced by Isa 1:7–17, where the contemporary sins of Jerusalem are elided with those of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the Onomasticon, Eusebius and Jerome both simply gloss “Sodoma” as “a city of sinful men which was burnt near the Dead Sea” (trans. Freeman-Grenville).

86 John Chrysostom, Hom. Gen. 42.5 (trans. Hill).

87 Kelly, Christopher, Ruling the Later Roman Empire (Revealing Antiquity 15; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004) 232–45Google Scholar.

88 Chrysostom, John, Virginit. 23; the translation is taken from John Chrysostom: On Virginity; Against Remarriage (trans. Shore, Sally; New York: Edwin Mellen, 1983)Google Scholar.

89 Comm. Isa. 4.5; the translation is taken from St. John Chrysostom: Old Testament Homilies (trans. Robert C. Hill; 3 vols.; Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003); see also Homélies sur Ozias (ed. Jean Dumortier; SC 277; Paris: Cerf, 1981). The passage continues to describe Cain in similar terms as a “living edict” (νόμον ἔμψυχον) and a “walking monument” (στήλην περιερχομένον) (John Chrysostom, Comm. Isa. 4.6; see also idem, Hom. Gen. 19.5; Adv. Jud. 8.2).

90 John Chrysostom, Exp. Ps. 11/12.3 (PG 55:146); see also idem, Comm. Job 19.12.

91 Luke 17:26–32 (nrsv).

92 If, as Power argues, the site of Lot's wife stood to the north of the Dead Sea, it would have been in striking proximity to the site memorialized as the place of Jesus’ baptism (“Site of the Pentapolis,” 23–62).

93 Or. Bas. 40.19.

94 “Since you have left Sodom, do not turn toward Sodom. Since you have left evil and sin, do not return to it, nor remain in the surrounding countryside . . . never turn to what is behind nor remain in the surrounding countryside nor be in any other place than in the mountain. For there is the only place to be saved. And the mountain is Lord Jesus” (Origen, Fr. Jer. 13.3; the translation is taken from Origen: Homilies on Jeremiah [trans. John Clark Smith; FC 97; Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1998]; see also Homélies XII–XX et Homélies latines [vol. 2 of Homélies sur Jérémie; ed. Pierre Nautin; SC 238; Paris: Cerf, 1977]).

95 Gregory Nazianzen, Or. Bas. 16.14 (PG 35:953).

96 Gregory associates the avenging fire of Sodom with that “prepared for the Devil and his angels” (Or. Bas. 40.36).

97 Albert Blaise notes this later pejorative sense of titulus, citing Tertullian Apol. 1.4, 49.2 and Paen. 7.8 (A Handbook of Christian Latin: Style, Morphology, and Syntax [Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1994]).