Nico P. Swartz
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 inspiring dimensions of the martyr narratives in the HP. On this premise, the martyr narratives in the HP are to be regarded not only as a literary work, but also as a contribution to ethics.