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“Philomena and Diocletian: Clash of Wills” by Paul Baldauf

It is the year 304 A. D.: The king of a small Grecian state lives in terror of the impending war looming with the mighty Roman emperor, Diocletian. In an attempt to assuage the emperor‘s anger, he travels to Rome with his wife and beloved daughter, Philomena. Upon seeing the beautiful 13 year old Philomena, Diocletian desires her. He assures the Greek king that war can be averted if he consents to give his daughter´s hand in marriage to the powerful ruler of Rome.

The king is filled with relief but quite unexpectedly his relief turns to anger and fear as he is opposed by his strong willed daughter. She will not revoke her vow to follow Christ and refuses to marry the pagan emperor. Diocletian cries out in fury: “Throw her in the dungeon, enchain her and bind her with iron rings!“

Will promises of wealth and threats of torture by the enraged emperor change Philomena’s mind? Will she be strong enough, will long and gruesome sufferings break her will? Dramatic and unexpected twists and turns follow the unfolding of this tale. Who will be victorious in the end? (With inside drawings by the artist Manon Massari and several photos).

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