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For context, the local women have been speaking of Aphrodisia and how an old man has offered to buy her. This would make her a free woman, which the women seem to scoff at. They laugh about the old man and that the whole orgy will have a taste of the woman he is buying before the night is over.

There are others who do not want to see her released as she is very pretty and brings in lots of money.

She is then falsely accused of theft and murdered by crucifixion. This story also has elements similar to the crucifixion of Jesus. While there is no record of him having committed theft, an accused thief is released instead of him and he is crucified along with other thieves.

This scene of Bacchis crucifying Aphrodisia reminded me of both the death of St. Apollonia, as well as a bound doll in the Louve.

It is odd that the torture and martyrdom of Apollonia was so gruesome. Had she committed a crime? Falsely accused someone? Taken the teeth of another or placed one of another in her own mouth? Did she speak as a false prophet, live as a witch, try to take the voice of another, or speak slander that harmed another?

Did she have to undergo this act to be “reborn?”

Further, could this have been a vampiric killing? Was she the embodiment of Aphrodisia being hunted by a cult of Dionysus? Was she being pursued by those who never wanted to let her go and then her story was repeated in Rome to allow another to take the story and try to erase Apollonia? Many questions remain.

From my story’s perspective, it is interesting that we again have a virgin (as with Persephone, Hestia, etc.) and ties to Apollo (and thus the virginal Artemis). She is also described as being of advanced age. We see in several stories the concept of the wife and mistress/mother. But as we see in Bibilical narrative, the wife often demanded to claim the children bore by the second wife or mistress and thus would be called mother. Could it be that these “virginal” goddesses or martyrs were sometimes the actual mothers who had their children and/or stories taken by the “wife?” In my story, this would be Eve (Ava/Eva). While I was technically the first wife, in relinquishing that position, I was considered the child bearer for her- a position that would end horribly for many of our young and one which shall NEVER be repeated.