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"He tried to grab my feet, but I countered by kicking him in the face with my heels. Then I rose up into the air, as if floating, and I began to pound him. Then, when I realized that there was a pause, I interlocked my fingers and with my joined hands I gripped his head. He fell face-forward, and I trampled his head. The crowd began to cheer, and my aids sang psalms. I began to walk in glory towards the Gate of Life, and I awoke. I understood, then, that I was not going to fight against beasts, but against the devil. And I knew that I would defeat him."
A young Roman woman living in Africa in 203 CE was confronted with a dilemma. Should she renounce her faith and save her life? Or should she affirm it and endure a gruesome death, mauled by wild animals before a cheering crowd of thousands? This young woman, Perpetua, chose to persevere, and this book tells her story, much of it from her own remarkable prison diary. The account transports readers to another, much earlier age, but it also asks us to consider what we would die for – and indeed, what we are living for today.
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This new translation has a twofold agenda. First, we hope to encourage twenty-first-century readers to become acquainted with a group of martyrs through the martyrs’ own words and to understand both how they came to find themselves in a harrowing and ultimately fatal predicament and why they responded to this situation in the remarkable way they did. Perpetua’s Passion is an important historical document, providing an extraordinary window through which to view and understand the past. Our second hope is that this work will help readers consider important issues about their own lives. Just as, according to Shelley, poetry helps expand the moral imagination, so too can history expand our imaginative sympathies by offering the stories of other lives, stories that may speak to us with particular power and credibility because they are the stories of real people. When people of the past speak with their own voices and reflect on their own experience, as Perpetua and her fellow martyr Saturus do in this text, the reader’s experience is all the more intense. And so the hope is that through this translation Perpetua’s "pains and pleasure" will strengthen readers’ moral imaginations and so provoke serious, even uncomfortable, self-examination. The goal of heightening our sympathy is not, of course, to have us weep more readily when we read or hear of others’ suffering; rather it is to have us ask what we owe to those around us, what we should make of our own lives, and what we value most. Our answers to such questions can change who we are and how we walk in the world.
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Book Description Resonant Pub, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111933051051
Book Description Resonant Pub, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1933051051