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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

In Skriflig (Online) vol.46 n.2 Cape Town Nov. 2012

 

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Die funksionaliteit van die martelaarsverhale in Victor van Vita se Historia Persecutionis (HP)

 

The functionality of the martyrs' accounts in Victor of Vita's Historia Persecutionis (HP)

 

 

Nico P. Swartz

Department of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone

Correspondence

 

 


OPSOMMING

Victor van Vita het geglo dat die Vandale se vervolging van die Christene in Noord-Afrika (429-489 n.C.) 'n straf van God was. Die Christene in Noord-Afrika was volgens hom immoreel en het losbandige lewens gelei. Lyding of marteling is hiervolgens 'n natuurlike resultaat van die mens se sonde. Victor verklaar in Pauliniese konteks dat die sondige liggaam deur middel van marteling vernietig word en dat die mens nie meer slaaf van die sonde sal wees nie. Victor wil dus die persepsie by die leser tuisbring dat marteling 'n goddelike en verlossende kwaliteit behels. Die uitbeelding van die martelaars se leefwyse moet die leser aanspoor om hulle dade na te streef. Hieromtrent bied die martelaarverhale 'n vierledige funksie vir die handhawing van morele waardes in die burgerlike samelewing. Dié funksies vergestalt die etiese, eksemplariese, filosofiese en aansporende dimensies van die martelaarsverhale in die Historia Persecutionis. Op grond hiervan is die martelaarsverhale in die Historia Persecutionis nie net as 'n literêre werk nie, maar dra dit ook by tot onderrig in die sedeleer.


ABSTRACT

Victor of Vita believed that the Vandal persecution of the Christians in North Africa (429-489 AD) was a visitation of God to punish them for their immoral and dissolute life. In this context, suffering and torture are the logical results of profligacy which Victor explains in Paulinian terms as a means of destroying the human body and thus releasing mankind from bondage to sin. Victor therefore advances arguments to convince the reader that torture contains both divine and redeeming qualities. The life of the martyr is portrayed as an encouragement so that the reader may emulate this conduct. The martyr narratives provide four measures for the preservation of moral values in civil society. They embody the ethical, exemplary, philosophical and stimulant dimensions of the martyr narratives in the Historia Persecutionis. On this premise, the martyr narratives in the Historia Persecutionis are not to be seen only as a literary work, but also as a contribution to ethics.


 

 

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Correspondence:
Nico Swartz
PO Box 00705
Gaborone,Botswana
Email: nico.swartz@mopipi.ub.bw

Received: 26 Mar. 2010
Accepted: 30 July 2010
Published: 21 Nov. 2012

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