Perpetua's Journey—a volume in Oxford University Press's Graphic History series—is publicized as a graphic depiction of the Passio sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis, yet it also includes a new translation of the text, 75 pages of historical and social context, and a number of ancillary features (timeline, glossary, discussion questions, bibliography, and suggestions for further reading). The book, authored and translated by Jennifer A. Rea (Classics, University of Florida) and illustrated by Liz A. Clarke, is unique with respect to the genres it straddles: it is a translation, graphic novel, and a textbook rolled into one.

I picked up the book skeptical of whether it would be worth assigning. I...

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