From the earliest years of Christianity, women distinguished themselves during times of persecution by suffering the same hardships as men in their confession and martyrdom. Their struggles earned them great admiration among the faithful, but if their male counterparts were easily assimilated to ‘soldiers’ and ‘athletes’ of Christ in contemporary religious literature, certain adaptations were necessary to extend these exclusively masculine comparisons to women, considered weak and malleable by nature. On the basis of Galatians 3: 28 (‘There is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ’), the Byzantines affirmed that it was through the ‘virility’ of their spirit, that is, their ‘courage’ and ‘energy’, that the heroines could conquer their natural physical frailty and endure the same torments as men.