The ancient world can serve as a safe space to think about social conflict. And it is often only by empathising with ancient individuals that we truly understand the ancient world as well. We asked local sixth form students to help us understand the conflicts driving two ancient stories of family crisis.
The Acts of Paul and Thecla, set in the 1st century, tells the story of Thecla, a teenaged bride-to-be who rejects an arranged marriage despite the pleas of her mother Theiocleia and her fiance Thamyris. (Click the black box to the right for an intro from Professor Kate Cooper.)
Rupert imagines a disappointed Theiocleia. –>
The Martyrdom of Perpetua tells of Perpetua, a young woman who ignores the pleas of her desperate father Vibius, her infant child and the dictates of the Roman procurator Hilarianus to be martyred in the arena of third-century Carthage. (Click the black box to the left for an intro from Professor Kate Cooper.)
Matt sees a broken Vibius. –>
We were incredibly impressed by what these sixteen-and-seventeen-year-olds came up with on the basis of a short workshop discussing these two fascinating and mysterious ancient families. We look forward to reading your comments to hear whether you agree!