Roman business-women sponsored early Christians

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Women who held Roman citizenship in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD had the right to property, even if they were married, and they would run their own businesses across the Mediterranean.

According to Professor Kate Cooper from The University of Manchester, they were able to turn this economic power to a religious purpose when they got involved with the Christian groups.

As well as following the apostles, they would sponsor them, contributing to the spread of Christianity.

"If you take Jesus and the apostle Paul and leave out all the other men, it's perfectly possible to tell the story of early Christianity, from the first century all the way to the fifth, without ever mentioning a man," says Prof Cooper.

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