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Perpetua's PassionsMultidisciplinary Approaches to the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis$
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Jan N. Bremmer and Marco Formisano

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199561889

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199561889.001.0001

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The Passio Perpetuae and Jewish Martyrdom

The Passio Perpetuae and Jewish Martyrdom

The Motif of Motherly Love

(p.118) V The Passio Perpetuae and Jewish Martyrdom
Perpetua's Passions

Jan Willem van Henten

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the interaction of Jewish and early Christian martyrologies, which includes a survey of all possible quotations of and allusions to the Maccabean martyrdoms in early Christian literature. It presents a case study on the motif of motherly love, and identifies several intriguing similarities between the Maccabean martyrdoms and Perpetua’s Passion. The Passion echoes vocabulary in 2 and 4 Maccabees that is connected with the attempt to persuade the martyrs to give in to the order of King Antiochus IV to eat a piece of pork. The Maccabean martyrdoms also share the motif of the absent husband and the function of the martyrs as role models for others. However, these similarities are not sufficient to argue for interdependence or interaction on the level of the texts.

Keywords:   Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis, Jews, Christians, martyrs, martyrologies, Maccabees

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