Interests include the Jewish and Christian communities of the Roman Empire, women in the Biblical world, and the history of Jerusalem.

Barbara Geller is a longtime faculty member of the Department of Religion, and also teaches in the interdepartmental Programs in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

Her interests include the Jewish and Christian communities of the Roman Empire, with a focus on the communities of Roman Palestine, especially in the first and fourth centuries. Additional interests include women in the Biblical world and the history of Jerusalem. She has a burgeoning interest in Roman-era medicine, and in the understandings and treatment of domesticated animals in the Roman Empire.

Her courses encompass a broad range of topics from antiquity to the present. A number of the courses include aspects of the history of Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire with attention both to archaeological and literary sources and issues of historical reconstruction.

She shares with her family an interest in animal welfare and a love of cats.


  • A.B., Princeton University
  • M.A., Duke University
  • Ph.D., Duke University

Current and upcoming courses

The roles and images of women in the Bible, and in early Jewish and Christian literature, examined in the context of the ancient societies in which these documents emerged. Special attention to the relationships among archaeological, legal, and literary sources in reconstructing the status of women in these societies.