The Prison Diary of Perpetua

The Ancient Faces and Voices project invited pupils from Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, Burnley, to write and perform monologues – presented in the podcasts below – which explore the thoughts and motivations of different characters in ancient narratives of families in crisis.

Perpetua IntroThe Prison Diary 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 by Professor Kate Cooper.)

Tom title page

Perpetua, the author of the diary, is deeply committed to her faith and willing to die  for it, even as her family try to stop her. Tom and Jade explored her struggle.  Tom imagined a rebellious Perpetua. –>

Jade title page

<– Jade on the other hand saw Perpetua as more unsure.

Charles title page

Hilarianus, the Roman official in charge, is torn between duty and conscience. Charles saw him concerned for justice in ‘dark times’.–>

(For more on Hilarianus, click here.)

Cole title page

<– Cole sympathised with Hilarianus’ own ambition.

Matt title page

Vibius, Perpetua’s Father, is the focus of Perpetua’s effort to resist authority.  Matt gave us a broken Vibius–>

(For more on  Vibius, click here and here.)

For suggestions of how to organize a similar workshop, please click here. We would love to hear how other readers reacted to Perpetua’s story!


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