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Augustinianum

Volume 57, Issue 2, December 2017

Roberta Franchi
Pages 307-340

Il martirio e gli animali: Blandina, Perpetua e Tecla

Replete with stories of gods and men interacting with animals, classical literature also affords a broad range of relationships between women and animals. Such a rich series of symbolic animals finds fertile ground in the biblical world, too. Apart from symbolic animals, early Christianity knows a direct contact with wild animals during the persecutions carried out by the Roman Empire. By analyzing the martyrdom of some women (Blandina, Perpetua and Thecla) in connection with the animals they had to face, we can note that animals acquire a symbolic meaning. They become the pieces of an allegorical and exegetical framework whose major purpose is to celebrate God.

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