This course explores the relationship between religion and violence in the ancient Mediterranean world. We will investigate how shifting discourses and practices of religiously motivated violence directed both at the self and others shaped the social, cultural and political histories of specific groups within ancient Mediterranean society. Of special interest is the emergence of Jewish and Christian traditions of martyrdom against their biblical and Graeco-Roman backgrounds and the impact of the Christianization of the Roman Empire on the relationship between political power, violence, and communal identity.