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E03527: Prosper of Aquitaine, in his Chronicle, records the martyrdoms of *Perpetua and Felicitas (martyrs of Carthage, S00009) at Carthage in 204. Written in Latin in Gaul or Rome, in the mid 5th c.

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posted on 04.08.2017, 00:00 by dlambert
Prosper of Aquitaine, Chronicle 753, 757

CLXXVII
Chilone et Libone
[...]
Qua tempestate Perpetua et Felicitas pro Christo passae sunt non. Mart. apud Carthaginem Africae in castris bestiis deputatae.

'177 [years since the Crucifixion]
[Consulship of] Chilo and Libo [= AD 204]
[...]
At this time Perpetua and Felicitas suffered for Christ on the Nones of March [7 March] at Carthage in Africa, condemned to the beasts in the fort.'


Text: Mommsen 1892, 434. Translation: David Lambert.

History

Evidence ID

E03527

Saint Name

Perpetua, Felicitas and their companions, martyrs in Carthage, ob. 203 : S00009

Saint Name in Source

Perpetua, Felicitas

Type of Evidence

Literary - Other narrative texts (including Histories)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

430

Evidence not after

455

Activity not before

204

Activity not after

204

Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms Rome and region

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women

Source

Prosper of Aquitaine (ob. after 455) was active from the 420s to the 450s, producing religious polemics, collections of documents, theological treatises, poetry, and chronography. Prosper was originally from southern Gaul, and is known to have been living in Marseille in the late 420s. The once generally accepted belief that he subsequently moved to Rome, and even became an adviser to Pope Leo the Great, has been increasingly disputed in recent scholarship (for differing perspectives, see Markus 1986; Hwang 2009, 187-198; Salzman 2015); it is clear from his works, however, that he visited Rome, had contacts with the papacy, and had access to papal documents. Prosper first compiled his Chronicle in 433, and added continuations in 445 and 455. Like most late antique Latin chroniclers, Prosper began the original part of his Chronicle at the point where Jerome's Chronicle ended, in the late 370s (Prosper, Chron. 1166; p. 460 in Mommsen's ediition), but instead of simply appending his continuation to a text of Jerome's work, he produced his own version, which is shorter than the original but also contains additions by Prosper (we have not included separate entries for items in Prosper's Chronicle which simply reproduce entries in the Chronicle of Jerome). Prosper dates events in his Chronicle both by years since the Crucifixion and by consular years. For a detailed overview of Prosper's Chronicle, see Muhlberger 1990, 55-135.

Discussion

Prosper's entry on the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas is one of the occasional instances where he adds an event from the period before 378 that was omitted by Jerome from his Chronicle. According to Mommsen, Prosper's source was the Consularia Italica, an annotated consular list (published by Mommsen on p. 287 of the same volume as his edition of Prosper).

Bibliography

Edition: Mommsen, T., Prosperi Tironis epitoma de chronicon, in: Chronica Minora saec. IV. V. VI. VII., vol. 1 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 9; Berlin: Apud Weidmannos, 1892), 385-485. Further reading: Hwang, A.Y., Intrepid Lover of Perfect Grace: The Life and Thought of Prosper of Aquitaine (Washington: CUA Press, 2009). Markus, R.A., "Chronicle and Theology: Prosper of Aquitaine," in: C. Holdsworth and T.P. Wiseman (eds.), The Inheritance of Historiography: 350-950 (Exeter: Exeter University Publications, 1986), 31-43. Muhlberger, S., The Fifth-Century Chroniclers: Prosper, Hydatius, and the Gallic Chronicler of 452 (Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1990). Salzman, M.R., "Reconsidering a Relationship: Pope Leo of Rome and Prosper of Aquitaine," in. G. Dunn (ed.), The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 109-125.

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