Edited and with an introduction by Caroline White.
'Perpetua shouted out with joy as the sword pierced her, for she wanted to taste some of the pain and she even guided the hesitant hand of the trainee gladiator towards her own throat'
Lives of Roman Christian Women is a unique collection of letters and documents from the third to the fifth century, celebrating Christian women from across the Roman Empire. Written during a crucial period in which Christianity was transformed from a persecuted faith to the official religion of the Empire, these texts reveal the women who chose to dedicate their lives to Christ, by embracing martyrdom or by adopting a life of poverty and prayer, renouncing not only wealth but also their duties as wives and mothers.
Carolinne White's introduction examines the austere self-discipline inspired by the Bible and the desert fathers of the time, as well as the idea of Christian community. This edition also contains suggested further reading, notes and an index.