Banquet of the Ten Virgins (aka The Symposium, aka Concerning Chastity) is a really interesting work. First of all, you get to meet St. Methodius of “St. Cyril and”. A missionary of parts, it would seem. of Olympus in Lycia — a bishop, theologian, and martyr, who died around AD 311.
The character Euboulios (“Good Counselor”) is his POV character in some other treatises, too. Some think that in this treatise he’s actually dropped in as the lady Euboulion; the manuscripts are apparently messy. Gregorion definitely is a lady; and apparently, being Christian means you get to pop in to see your male friends without any messy questions being asked. Heh, heh. So much for puritanical Christian society, I guess. 🙂
Eventually we get to meet not just one early Christian woman character, but eleven. We don’t know if they’re St. Methodius’ friends in real life, living Christians he admires, martyred virgin martyrs, personifications of Christian virtues, or all of the above and a few more. But it’s definitely interesting.
Also, we get to hear praise of virginity, which you don’t normally get much of — in this society or in theirs. Virginity is always countercultural, so living openly as a virgin will always require courage, stamina, and pure quill stubbornness. It’s nice to see virgins get praised, for once, and it’s also nice to see them hanging out and having fun without being portrayed as geeky Martians!
UPDATE: Link fixed. Sorry for the inconvenience.
UPDATE: Corrected to get my Methodioi straight.