Abstract

The Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas has often been read as a factual account of early Christian martyrs. Without denying its historicity, I nonetheless reconsider this important narrative in light of its own emphases on rhetorical sophistication and contemporary Christian education. Reviewing the literary work as a whole, rather than preferring "authentic" sections attributed to Perpetua, I find an inherent sense of logic guided by oratorical notions. Sequential, progressive, beautifully argued, the Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas is not only about rhetorical contests but is itself a subtle and intriguing rhetorical work that rewards attentive reading.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3184
Print ISSN
1067-6341
Pages
pp. 283-327
Launched on MUSE
2006-09-11
Open Access
No
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