What the Patrologist does for a summer break

It is, of course, the summer in the Southern hemisphere. We are now into the second week of the Greek summer school, and we’ve moved on from Polycarp’s Martyrdom to Perpetua’s. The text of Perpetua is quite a fascinating one. If you read the Greek recension, you get a number of interesting linguistic features, as well as an exposure to ‘translation Greek’. At the same time, there are very interesting theological elements in the text: the idea of special benefit from prayer immediately connected to baptism, receptivity to visions and prophecy in keeping with Montanist tendencies, special efficacy of prayer connected with being a confessor, what appears to be a transfer from eternal punishment to heavenly reward for someone already deceased on the basis of Perpetua’s prayer, and other such interesting elements.

It’s also a pleasure to read with a group of students. They continue to both point out things I have missed or occasionally misunderstood, as well as ask questions I have not really thought of. I’m looking forward to revising the Patristic Reader edition.


In the rest of my time I have been trying to reorient myself in my studies, as well as prepare materials for a week of Latin the following week. In the midst of this I’m also trying to organise and plan out the year. So it’s plenty busy here. And then on my downtime I’m tackling M. Aubrey’s thesis on the Greek perfect.

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