Early Church Fathers
1 [Both Perpetua and Felicitas were evidently Montanistic in character and impressions, but, the fact that they have never been reputed other than Catholic, goes far to explain Tertullian's position for years after he had withdrawn from communion with the vacillating Victor.]
2 Joel ii. 28, 29. [The quotation here is a note of Montanistic prepossessions in the writer.]
3 [Routh notes this as undoubted evidence of a Montanistic author. Religuioe, Vol. I. p. 455.]
4 [St. Augustine takes pains to remind us that these Acta are not canonical. De Anima, cap. 2, opp. Tom. x. p. 481.]
5 "Refrigeravit," Graece a0ne/pausen, scil. "requiem dedit."
6 i.e. the grace of martyrdom.
7 Sibi vacabant.
9 "Sustineo," Graece u9pome/nw, scil. "exspecto."
10 This was an ordinary mode of picturing our Lord in the oratories and on the sacred vessels of those days. [This passage will recall the allegory of Hermas, with which the martyr was doubtless familiar.]
11 "Catasta," a raised platform on which the martyrs were placed either for trial or torture.
12 [St. August. opp. iv. 541.]
13 [The story in 2 Maccab. xii. 40-45, is there narrated as a thought suggested to the soldiers under Judas, and not discouraged by him, thought it concerned men guilty of idolatry and dying in mortal sin, by the vengeance of God. It may have occured to early Christians that their heathen kindred might, therefore, not be beyond the visitations of the Divine compassion. But, obviously, even were it not an Apocryphaltext, it can have no bearing whatever on the case of Christians. The doctrine of Purgatory is that nobody dying in mortal sin can have the benefit of its discipline, or any share in the prayers an oblations of the Faithful, whatever.]
14 "Oromate." [This vision, it must be observed, has nothing to do with prayers for the Christian dead, for this brother of Perpetua was a heathen child whom she supposed to be in the Inferi. It illustrates the anxieties Christians felt for those of their kindred who had not died in the Lord; even for children of seven years of age. Could the gulf be bridged and they received into Abraham's bosom? This dream of Perpetua comforted her with a trust that so it should be. Of course this story has been used fraudulently, to help a system of which these times knew nothing .Cyprian says expressly: "Apud Inferos confessio, non est, nec exomologesis illic fieri potest." Epistola lii. p. 98. Opp. Paris, 1574. In the Edinburgh series (translation) this epistle is numbered 51, and elsewhere 54.]
15 [There is not the slightest reason the suppose that this child had been baptized: the father a heathen and Perpetua herself a recent catechumen. Elucidation.]
16 "Diadema," or rather "diastema." [Borrowed from Luke xvi. 26. But that gulf could not be passed according to the evangelist.]
19 [St. Aug. Opp. Tom. v. p. 1284.]
20 It seems uncertain what may be the meaning of this word. It is variously supposed to signify little round ornaments either of cloth or metal attached to the soldier's dress, or the small bells on the priestly robe. Some also read the word galliculoe, small sandals.
21 [Concerning these visions, see Augustine, De Anima, cap. xviii. el seq.]
22 "Afa" is the Greek word a9fh/, a grip; hence used of the yellow sand sprinkled over wrestlers, to enable them to grasp one another.
23 [Ps. xliv. 5. Also lx. 12, xci. 13, cviii. 13.]
24 This was the way by which the victims spared by the popular clemency escaped from the amphitheatre.
25 "Cadebant;" but "ardebant"-"bere burning"-seems a more probably reading. [The imitations of the Shepherd of Hermas, in this memoir hardly need pointing out.]
27 A presbyter, that is, whose office was to teach, as distinct from other presbyters. See Cyprian, Epistles, vol. i. Ep. xxiii. p. 68. note i. transl. [One of those referred to by St. James iii. 1, and by St. Paul, I. Tim v. 17.]
28 More probably, "rest and refresh yourselves." ["Go and enjoy," or, "play," or "take pleasure," in the section preceding.]
29 [To be regarded like the Shepherd of Hermas, merely as visions, or allegorical romances.]
30 "The gaolers," so called from the "cataracta," or prisongate, which they guarded.
31 [A gentle banter, like that of St. Lawrence on the gridiron.]
32 A row of men drawn up to scourge them as they passed along, a punishment probably similar to what is called "running the gauntlet."
33 John xvi. 24.
34 Ita revocatae discinguntur. Dean Milmam prefers reading this, "Thus recalled, they are clad in loose robes."
35 [Routh, Reliq. Vol. I. p. 360.]
36 A cry in mockery of what was known as the effect of Christian baptism.
37 [Routh, Reliquiae, Vol. I. p. 358.]
38 Cap. lv. He calls her fortissima martyr, and she is one of only two or three contemporary sufferers whom he mentioned by name.
39 [In the De Anima, cap. lv. as see above.]
1 [Written possibly as late as A.D. 202; and is credited by Neander and Kaye, with Catholic Orthodoxy.]
2 "Nullius boni;" compare Rom. vii. 18.
3 [Elucidation I.]
4 i.e. who are strangers to it.
5 Or, "striving after."