Previous page  
List of subjects |  Sources |  Feedback 

Share |

Discover in a free
daily email today's famous
history and birthdays

Enjoy the Famous Daily

pressures to conform

Perpetua, a young Christian in Carthage, describes the scene at her trial, when she and her companions have been arrested for refusing to carry out the pagan Roman sacrifices:

"We walked up to the prisoners' dock. All the others when questioned admitted their guilt. Then, when it came to my turn, my father appeared with my son, dragged me from the step, and said: 'Perform the sacrifice - have pity on your baby!'

Hilarianus, the governor, said to me: 'Have pity on your father's grey head; have pity on your infant son. Offer the sacrifice for the welfare of the emperors.'

'I will not', I replied.

'Are you a Christian?', said Hilarianus.

And I said: 'Yes, I am.'

Then Hilarianus passed sentence on all of us. We were condemned to the beasts. We returned to prison in high spirits."

Quoted John Iliffe Africans - the History of a Continent, Cambridge University Press 1995, page 39

Previous page