Role of Christianity in shaping Perpetuas identity? What steps did Roman officials take to ensure that the community of imperial Rome remained cohesive in the third century?
BOOK: Perpetua’s Journey: Faith, Gender, and Power in the Roman Empire
Please answer one of these questions in a well-developed 4 page paper.
1. What role do Christianity, the Roman Empire, family, individual, gender and community (respond to either 1, 2 or 3 of these points) play in shaping Perpetua’s identity?
2. What steps did Roman officials take to ensure that the community of imperial Rome remained cohesive in the third century? Why is this needed?
3. How much of the commentary is added by someone other than Perpetua and is it designed to make her narrative conform to later expectations about sainthood and martyrdom? Why is this important?
Make sure to engage with the reading, cite and have a well-developed argument.
Christianity played a significant role in shaping the identity of Perpetua, a 3rd century Christian martyr. Born into a wealthy and influential family, Perpetua was raised as a Christian and received a good education. However, her faith was put to the test when she was condemned to death for her beliefs. Despite the urging of her friends and relatives to renounce her faith, Perpetua refused to do so. Instead, she used her final days to prepare for her martyrdom, writing about her experiences and sharing her testimony with those who came to visit her in prison. Her steadfastness in the face of adversity inspired other Christians suffering persecution, and helped to cement her place in history as one of the most important early Christian martyrs.
“It will all happen in the prisoner’s dock as God wills, for you may be sure that we are not left to ourselves but are all in his power.”