Department of Ancient History - About Ancient History

Welcome to SSEC - The Society for the Study of Early Christianity

This is the Home Page of the Society for the Study of Early Christianity.

SSEC is an organisation based in Sydney NSW Australia at the Macquarie University. If you want to know more about us & our background then view the web page about us.

If you would like to become a member of the society then go to our web page on membership.

Or if you want to contact us by phone or by snail mail or by email see the web page called contact us.

Enjoy our website!


Last updated 22 February 2015 (10:30 am)  by SSEC webmaster BJ Eyland 

What's new at SSEC

Upcoming Events: Sir Asher Joel Foundation Oration 2015

Professor Tessa Rajak

Professor Tessa Rajak, is the Sir Asher Joel  Visiting Fellow 2015

Prof Rajak is a renowned historian specialising in the social and cultural history of Jews in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. 
Topic: Masada in the first and twenty - first  Century
Tues17 March 2015
6:00pm for 6.30 pm lecture

Venue:North Shore Temple Emanuel, 28 Chatswood Ave, Chatswood
Cost: $5
Light kosher supper, RSVP for catering purposes to Dr Gil Davis -

The spectacular fortress of Masada on the Dead Sea was the last stronghold to fall to the Romans three years after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. The suicides of some 960 defenders and their families, as dramatized by the historian Josephus, has entered collective memory as a legend of resistance to the last. It has inspired Jews from mediaeval martyrs to the Shoah. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction. We will revisit both the story and the remarkable archaeology of Masada. We shall then look into Masada's iconic role in Zionist history and in Israeli society, concluding with some discussion of recent critiques of the 'Masada myth'.       Download more information (PDF 250kB)


Other 2015 SSEC Events - Dates are available now.


Next SSEC eNewsletter

SSEC newsletter 81 cover

Next eNewsletter will be distributed in first week of March 2015. 

Please let us know via email if you wish to receive this electronically. We will send you a link - so you can download this onto your iPad, iPhone or home computer.  We sincerely thank you that we can keep our printing, postage & envelope costs to the absolute minimum.

Some people still wish to receive a paper version of the newsletter, so this will forwarded in the usual way a week or so later.

New Macquarie logoThe New Macquarie University logo and colours will feature in the next eNewsletter.


SSEC: Membership - Due in March each year. Have you paid yours yet?

Annual Membership Fees Note: Fees have not increased for approximately 20 years.

Annual Membership is payable in March annually.   SSEC Membership gives a discount at the SSEC Activities and a Newsletter is forwarded three times a year. 

A Yellow (or pink or green) renewal form will be posted with the March & June copy of the Newsletter annually. 

If you would like to become a new member of the society (or if you would like to renew) then print out a renewal form SSEC membership / renewal form Revised Aug 2014(PDF 295KB)  

Table 1: SSEC Membership Fee Structure
  Category Price p.a.
SSEC Annual Membership Fees
  Ordinary Members AUD $30
  Family Rate AUD $35


(Pension not senior, or full-time student)

AUD $15

27th Birthday for SSEC and Macquarie Uni Jubilee Year

SSEC 27th Birthday Cake

Photo of 27th Birthday cake from Gillian Spalding-Stracey, PhD Candidate.


The SSEC / Macquarie Post-doctoral Publishing Fellowship 2014-2015

Based at the American Centre of Oriental Research in Jordan

Applications:  All applications must be  submitted by WEDNESDAY 1 OCTOBER 2014.  Read more about how to apply.     (PDF 1.17MB)

Jordan Scholarship

September 2014 eNewsletter # 80 distributed on 1 September.

SSEC september2014eNewsletter

Financial members were sent an email with this link on 1 September 2014. Paper version was distributed later in September.



Disclaimer. SSEC Newsletter Editors' Note: "The Society takes no position on the intellectual content of papers and articles."
"The unique emphasis of our Society is one of history. The study of Early Christianity in its Jewish and Graeco Roman Setting." Prof Alanna Nobbs has asked for this disclaimer to be added to all SSEC correspondence eg SSEC eNewsletters, SSEC website & SSEC facebook etc.

The SSEC office is only open on a part time basis, and manned by volunteers, please leave a message on our answering machine, or send us a friendly email.


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Useful Downloads in PDF

SSEC membership / renewal form Revised Aug 2014(PDF 295KB)  

Become a member of SSEC.

SSEC Newsletter PIC

Please let us know if you want to receive your future SSEC Newsletters electronically. This will significantly lower our printing & postage costs, email:


Papyri from the Rise of Christianity (PCE) Research Donations - can you help?

Download the PCE Research Donation Form [PDF 78KB]


New Donation Request - Wider Biblical Manuscripts Research

Download the new Wider Biblical Manuscripts Research Donation Form [PDF 100KB]