NON-CANONICAL ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
to attack her; the lioness tangled with the lion and was destroyed along with it. The women were even more grief stricken, since the lioness that had been protecting her died.
Then they cast in a large num ber of wild beasts, while she stood, reaching out her hands and pray ing. When she ﬁnished her prayer she turned and saw a large vat ﬁlled with water, and said, “Now is the time for me to be cleaned!” She threw herself in, say ing, “In the name of Jesus Christ, on this ﬁnal day I am baptized!” When the women and the entire crowd saw what she was doing, they wailed aloud and said, “Do not throw yourself into the wa ter!” Even the governor began to weep, because seals were about to devour such beauty. But she threw herself into the water in the name of Jesus Christ; and the seals saw a lightning bolt and ﬂoated on the water, dead. Then a cloud of ﬁre surrounded her, so that the beasts could not attack her and no one could see her naked.
When yet more fearsome beasts were cast in, the women cried aloud; and some tossed leaves into the arena, others threw in nard, others cassia, and others cardamon, so that the whole place was ﬁlled with the sweet smell of perfume. All the beasts that had been cast in appeared to be overcome with sleep and did not touch her. Then Alexander told the governor, “I have some truly fearful bulls; let us bind her to them.” The governor sullenly gave his consent, saying, “Do what you want.” They bound her between the bulls by her feet and put red-hot irons under their genitals so that they would tear about and kill her. And they did begin to leap about, but the ﬂame rose up around them and burned the
wooden bindings, so that she was no longer bound.
Tryphaena, however, passed out on the walkway beside the arena, so that her female slaves said, “The Queen Tryphaena has died.” The gover nor stopped the festivities and the entire city was terriﬁed. Alexander fell before the governor’s feet and said, “Have mercy on me and the city, and set the prisoner free, lest the entire city be destroyed. For if Caesar hears about this, he will quickly destroy both us and the city, because his relative, the Queen Tryphaena, died on the walkway.”
The governor called Thecla over from the midst of the wild beasts and asked, “Who are you? And what is there about you that none of the wild beasts has touched you?” She re plied, “I am a slave of the living God. As to what there is about me: I have believed in God’s Son, in whom he is well pleased. That is why none of the beasts has touched me. For this one alone is a boundary marker of God’s salvation and a foundation of life immortal. For he is a refuge to those caught in the storm, a rest for those who are afﬂicted, a shelter for those who have despaired, and to put it most simply: whoever does not believe in him will not live but will die for ever.”
When the governor heard these things he ordered her clothes brought, and he said, “Put on your clothes.” But she replied, “The one who clothed me when I was naked among the wild beasts will clothe me with salvation on the day of judgment.” Then she took her clothes and put them on. The gover nor immediately sent forth an edict, say ing, “I release to you Thecla, the pious