Reading Practice I: Visiones Perpetuae

The last third of the book Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin by H.P.V. Nunn has his particular selections from Late and Medieval Latin for students’ reading practice. I will be posting these extracts from his book, putting the cases in color as I do with the TLM Gospels and as I explain here too. The footnotes are extremely helpful in explaining terms that are used in unusual ways, or are based on Greek, and section numbers lead you to explanations of Eccl. Latin grammar topics in the first part of the book. What a valuable book this is! Dive in and enjoy.

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From Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin by H.P.V. Nunn, Extracts from Ecclesiastical Writers:

Visiones Perpetuae, pp. 114-116,

N.B. The numbers in the foot-notes refer to the sections in this book.

   This is an extract from a unique document, namely the record of the imprisonment of a young Carthaginian matron Perpetua, written by herself. She was put to death in the persecution under Severus at the beginning of the third century. It is thought by some that these Acts were edited by Tertullian who refers to them in his treatise “De Anima.”

Visiones Perpetuae.

   Perpetua was arrested on the charge of being a Christian and cast into prison with four other catechumens. Her father, who was a pagan, did his best to persuade her to renounce Christ; but in vain. She was subsequently tried and condemned to the beasts and so suffered death with her companions.

   The passages given below recount two visions which she saw in the prison.

   The whole text of the Acts is given in one of the volumes of Hurter’s series. A complete edition of all the Greek and Latin texts is published in ” Texts and Studies,” by J. A. Robinson, Cambridge.

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I hope very much that this proves useful to those wanting more reading practice! I will add more over the coming weeks. Let me know how they work for you!

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