Women Who Went Before is a gynocentric quest into the ancient world. Come along as hosts Rebekah Haigh and Emily Chesley interview the world’s top scholars and unearth the history of women from the past. It’s a history podcast and detective journey in one, sifting through texts and tropes to find the women who lived beneath.

Season 1 asks the big questions: How did male authors use women’s stories for their own ends? How can we recover the women who lived and wrote and taught in the ancient Mediterranean? What spaces did women forge for themselves despite social and religious barriers? And why does this matter today? 


Rebekah Haigh and Emily Chesley host, write, produce, and edit the Women Who Went Before podcast. Both are PhD candidates at Princeton University.

Rebekah specializes in Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity and is writing a dissertation that explores gendered piety and violence in the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient Judaism.

Emily researches the History of late antiquity, and her dissertation studies women’s social history in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire from the 5th through 8th centuries.

The podcast emerged from an interdisciplinary reading group they organized in 2020-2021.


Moses Sun composed and produced the podcast’s music.

Individual episodes were reviewed for accuracy by Jillian Marcantonio, Eliav Grossman, and George A. Kiraz.

Elio Lleo provided editing support.


Women Who Went Before is funded by the Center for Culture, Society, and Religion, the Program in Judaic Studies, and the Stanley J. Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.

Preproduction of the podcast was made possible by the GradFUTURES New Media Studio and the inspiration of James M. Van Wyck.

The views expressed on the podcast are solely those of the individuals, and do not represent Princeton University.