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Perpetua's Vision of Martydom

            In the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity, Perpetua's portion of the diary is written for the general audience as she shares her experiences regarding her final days as a Christian. According to the diary, her death was in Carthage, Africa in the year 202 or 203 C.E. by the Roman authority. Since the Romans ordered Perpetua to be killed, they viewed all of the executions as a form of entertainment. At the beginning of the dairy, Perpetua writes about her conversation with her father and his attempt in persuading his daughter to change her beliefs on Christianity. In addition to her heated argument with her father, Perpetua is also pregnant during this time. Over the next couple of days, she describes how she was not only baptized but also, "was inspired by the Spirit not to ask for any other favor after the water but simply the perseverance of the flesh" (Musurillo 1). As a pregnant woman, Perpetua was not allowed to be executed while bearing a child, therefore her execution date would be postponed until after she delivered the baby. Due to the fact that Perpetua was going to be executed with her friends, she did not want to miss her assigned date due to her pregnancy. For that reason, she prayed to God in hope that He would quicken the time of her pregnancy and that she would be executed on the date she was given. As she had prayed, Perpetua gave birth to a boy before her due date and was allowed to nurse him for a few days before placing the child in her family's care. As she was saying her goodbyes, Perpetua conversed with her brother who advised her to ask God for a vision informing her of her freedom or condemnation. .
             At this point in the diary, Perpetua experiences a vision of herself going to heaven. The first aspect of the dream involves a ladder that eventually leads to heaven and on either side of the ladder, there are weapons and other obstacles that prohibit people from reaching the top.

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