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Perpetua's Passion: The Death and Memory of a Young Roman Woman
Perpetua's Passion studies the third-century martyrdom of a young woman and places it in the intellectual and social context of her age. Conflicting ideas of religion, family and gender are explored as Salisbury follows Perpetua from her youth in a wealthy Roman household to her imprisonment and death in the arena.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 20th 1997 by Routledge
(first published January 1st 1997)
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This is an excellent book that recounts Perpetua's martyrdom. The first couple of chapters are laborious, to say the least. However, once you hit the primary source material you begin to shape an understanding of life in Rome during the Christian persecutions. The best section of this book for me was the final chapter. The insight into how her story was changed based on gender is a must read for women and for Christians. It allows for an insight into how the formation of the Church began and it' ...more
A useful synthesis for the general reader, with some caveats. That is to say, Salisbury's text needs to be read with a bit of caution. She does a solid job of summarizing what historical and contextual data there is for the Carthaginian Christian community. Where the narrative goes astray at times is in its too-urgent insistence that a general trend within Carthaginian history or society must always be picked up in the narrative of the martyrdom of Perpetua. In other words, Salisbury often resor ...more
Sep 08, 2011 Siria rated it it was ok
This book is an attempt by Salisbury to put the well-known source, the Passio of Perpetua and Felicity, into a broad cultural and religious context, though I don't think it's a particularly successful one. I think she was aiming it at an undergrad audience, but instead of merely simplifying some concepts she dumbed them down a little—Salisbury doesn't really engage with some of the interpretive issues or explain why she adopts some of the opinions which she does, and I think showing how historia ...more
This book is a great commentary/exposition of the Martyrdom of Perpetua, analyzing the social and historical context of Perpetua and the society within which she would have lived. In addition, this book does a good job of analyzing the significance of this text for future generations--including the various ways male church authorities attempted to reinterpret the text of Perpetua's martyrdom to fit in line with their hierarchical view of gender. Its an interesting read and well worth your time i ...more
Scholarly and minutely detailed. The reader will become an expert on martyrdom in North Africa , second century. And one will also know more than you want to know on details of how Christians were "presented" to wild animals in the arena. Extensive Bibliography and references.
Jan 18, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I love the story of the 3rd Century martyr, Perpetua. This book explains the story and diary of Perpetua according to the world she was brought up in. Fascinating read and great insight about Rome, Carthage and Christianity in the 3rd Century.
Professor Emerita of Humanistic Studies (History)University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.More about Joyce E. Salisbury...