Flourished circa C.E. 250, Rome
The prophetess Maximilla was an early advocate of Montanism, a heretical Christian sect founded in the third century C.E. by Montanus. The sect spread through North Africa and Asia Minor. Maximilla was a member of Montanus’ group of illuminati (“enlightened ones”), who advocated a rigorous morality combined with ecstatic forms of religious worship. Montanism granted women more freedom than the early Christian church; they were allowed, for instance, to perform public religious services and hold church office.