St. Domitilla’s faith causes her betrothed and all his minstrels to die while dancing

Pocket Bard’s notes: Obviously, this isn’t a story I can perform as-is. Even setting aside the very unsatisfying ending (“They were crowned with martyrdom! Yay!”), there are just too many rape-triggers to perform without a warning. That said, I really do like the idea of God causing everyone to dance so hard and so long that they die. I think it’s just an image that’s full of potential for interesting descriptions.


St. Domitilla’s faith causes her betrothed and all his minstrels to die while dancing
The Golden Legend, Volume I, trans. William Granger Ryan, p.310

After that, Aurelian took Domitilla back from exile and sent two young women named Euphrosina and Theodora, who were foster-sisters of hers, to induce her to change her mind [about her refusal to marry Aurelian], but instead, she converted them to the faith. Then Aurelian came to Domitilla with three minstrels and the pledged spouses of the two maidens, to proceed with the celebration of her wedding, after which he would take her to bed, by force if necessary. But Domitilla had already converted the two young men, so Aurelian brought Domitilla into the bedchamber and there ordered the minstrels to sing and the others to dance with him, intending to ravish the virgin thereafter. But the mimes fainted with exhaustion due to their singing, and the others likewise due to their dancing, except Aurelian himself, who danced without stopping for two days, until he collapsed and expired. His brother Luxurius, with the emperor’s permission, had all the believers killed. He had a fire set in the room where the three virgins were lodged, and as they prayed together, they breathed their last. The next morning Saint Caesarius recovered their bodies, still unmarked, and buried them.

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