The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity

Hardcover | June 18, 2012

byThomas J. Heffernan

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One of the most widely read and studied texts produced in Late Antiquity is the prison diary of a young woman who was martyred in the year 202 or 203 C.E. in Carthage, as part of a civic celebration. Her name was Perpetua, and, despite her honorable marriage and her baby son, she refused torecant her faith after she was arrested with a group of Christians. Imprisoned with her was a slave girl called Felicitas, who was in an advanced state of pregnancy. Felicitas gave birth just before she entered the arena, where the two women were mauled by wild animals and died with their fellowinmates. A description of their heroic deaths is appended to the diary by an editor, who tells us that, as they died, Perpetua and Felicitas arranged each other's clothes modestly and finally bid farewell in this life with the kiss of peace. This remarkable document survives in one Greek manuscript and nine Latin versions. Perpetua's story is read in numerous courses and, thanks to the Frontline (PBS) special "From Jesus to Christ," it has found a growing popular audience. Thomas Heffernan's new edition of this extraordinary workcontains much that has never been done before, including a new English translation and the first detailed historical commentary in English on the entire narrative of the Passion. It also includes newly edited versions of the Latin manuscripts and - rarer still - a version of the Greek manuscript. Heconcludes the book with a description of all of the known manuscripts and thorough scholarly indices of the text itself.

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One of the most widely read and studied texts produced in Late Antiquity is the prison diary of a young woman who was martyred in the year 202 or 203 C.E. in Carthage, as part of a civic celebration. Her name was Perpetua, and, despite her honorable marriage and her baby son, she refused torecant her faith after she was arrested with a...

Thomas J. Heffernan is Kenneth Curry Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:688 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:June 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199777578

ISBN - 13:9780199777570

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAbbreviationsMapI. The PersonaeII. The Date of the PassionIII. The Language of CompositionIV. The Latin TextV. The English TranslationVI. The CommentaryVII. Manuscripts and EditionsVIII. The Greek TextBibliographyIndices:Index VerborumIndex NominumIndex BiblicusGeneral Index