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Overview 1

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Overview 1
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Photo Comments

View of the painting from the 5/6th century A.D. in the Grotto of Saint Paul.

From left to right, the face of Thecla looking out of a window of a building at Paul preaching.  In the center, Paul with his right hand raised in blessing and a copy of scripture in his left hand—note his name is spelled out in Greek to the left of his head.  On the right is the mother of Thecla, Theocleia who objected to Thecla's following Paul—her name in Greek is to the right of her head. 

This painting, on the western wall of the cave, portrays an event from the apocryphal text sometimes called The Acts of Paul and Thecla.  The painting depicts the initial event described in the book, in the city of Iconium, where Thecla is looking from a window [of her house?] at Paul preaching while Thecla's mother (Theocleia) looks on.  Thecla, against the wishes of her mother, Theocleia, gave up her betrothal (engagement) in order to remain a virgin and to follow Paul and eventually to become a preacher herself.