Hidden Truth in the Body of Euclia: Page duBois’ Torture and Truth and Acts of Andrew

In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: Christy Cobb1
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This essay explores the representation of Euclia, a female slave whose story is found within the narrative of Acts of Andrew. I read this early Christian text alongside Page duBois’ Torture and Truth and Slaves and Other Objects and, through a focus on Euclia’s story, analyze the relationship among slavery, gender, torture, and truth as represented in this text. In order to explore these issues, I compare the representations of the bodies of Euclia, the slave, with Maximilla, the free elite woman. In doing so I argue that Maximilla’s body is undeniably “untouchable” while Euclia’s body is vulnerable to sexual abuse and torture. Additionally, I track the “truth” within the narrative as presented by various characters in the text; I argue that both the gender and status of the character shape the view of “truth” found in each characterization. Through this reading I suggest that truth is hidden within the female body of the slave, Euclia. This application of duBois’ scholarship to an early Christian narrative illuminates the intricate relationship between slavery and gender as well as torture and truth.

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