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Syrian widow. A native of Antioch, she established a community of women in the city. Em­peror Julian the Apostate was visiting Antioch on his way to campaign against the Persians when he overheard Publia and her fellow women singing Psalm 115 with such verses as “Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men. /They have mouths but speak not; / they have eyes but they see not; I They have ears but hear not; I Their makers shall be like them, / everyone that trust in them”, which he interpreted as a deliberate insult upon himself. He arrested Publia and reportedly had plans to execute her after his return, but he died from wounds received in battle and the sentence was never carried out.


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