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PerpetuaAthlete of God$
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Barbara K. Gold

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385458

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195385458.001.0001

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And I Became Male

And I Became Male

Gender and the Athlete

(p.23) 2 And I Became Male

Barbara K. Gold

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the metaphor of the martyr as athlete found both in the Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis and in many early Christian writers such as Tertullian. It focuses on key images and elements in Perpetua’s fourth vision in which she “becomes male,” and the theological, philosophical, theoretical, and social contexts that reveal Perpetua’s role as a woman and the portrayal of her as an athlete. It discusses the traits of endurance [patientia in Cicero and hypomonê in Greek texts] and suffering that are manifested in martyr athletes such as Perpetua and Blandina and Augustine’s discussion of the body in connection with female martyrs.

Keywords:   Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, Tertullian, martyr, athlete, gender, Augustine, patientia, hypomonê, masculinity, the body

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