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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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A Matter of Genre and Influence

A Matter of Genre and Influence

The Passio and Greco-Roman Pagan and Christian Narratives

(p.47) 3 A Matter of Genre and Influence

Barbara K. Gold

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the generic properties of Perpetua’s narrative and the relationship of the martyr narratives to the contemporary Greek novel, the ancient secular novel, the Gospels, and the apocryphal acts of the apostles. It discusses the (false?) distinction between history and fiction. It also discusses dating of these works and whether the pagan or polytheistic works influenced the apocryphal acts or vice versa; it concludes that most of these works were written in the same 100–150-year timespan. It analyzes in depth some of the apocryphal acts and Greek novels, drawing parallels between those and the early martyr narratives and isolating common themes, and focuses on Apuleius’ Metamorphoses.

Keywords:   Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, Perpetua, genre, Greek novel, apocryphal acts of the apostles, authenticity, secular novel, Clementine Recognitions, Apuleius, influence

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