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Scholars generally believe that it is authentic although in the form we have it may have been edited by others.The text also appears to contain, in his own words, the accounts of the visions of Saturus, another Christian martyred with Perpetua.He also sees Bishop Optatus of Carthage and the priest Aspasius, who beseech the martyrs to reconcile the conflicts between them (xiii).As the editor resumes the story, Secundulus is said to have died in prison (xiv).Felicity, a slave imprisoned with her and pregnant at the time, was martyred with her.They were put to death along with others at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa.
Vibia Perpetua was a married noblewoman, said to have been 22 years old at the time of her death, and mother of an infant she was nursing.
According to the passion narrative, a slave named Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, the two free men Saturninus and Secundulus, and Perpetua, who were catechumens, that is, Christians being instructed in the faith but not yet baptized, were arrested and executed at the military games in celebration of the Emperor Septimius Severus's birthday.
To this group was added a man named Saturus, who voluntarily went before the magistrate and proclaimed himself a Christian.
She is brought to a hearing before the governor Hilarianus and the martyrs confess their Christian faith (vi).
In a second vision, Perpetua sees her brother Dinocrates, who had died unbaptized from cancer at the early age of seven (vii).The slave Felicitas gives birth to a daughter despite her initial concern that she would not be permitted to suffer martyrdom with the others, since the law forbade the execution of pregnant women (xv).