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Panel 13 - Nicholas addressing the three princes
Panel 13 - Nicholas addressing three men ?
Not immediately clear what is happening here but the swords, here and in panel 14, suggest this is the discourse between Nicholas and the three princes, Nepotian, Ursus and Apilion. They were sent by the Emperor to suppress a rebellion in the north - but owing to a storm had to put in at Myra, where they were entertained by Nicholas. During their stay, they witnessed Nicholas intervening forcibly with the local consul, who was to have beheaded three innocent soldiers, wrongly accused of some crime. The princes were much impressed by the zeal with which the Bishop defended the soldiers and berated their would-be executioner. After leaving Myra with Nicholas' blessings, they completed their mission and suppressed the revolt without bloodshed. After returning to Constantinople the three princes soon found themselves calumniated by jealous courtiers and imprisoned under sentence of death. Remembering their recent encounter in Myra, they prayed for St Nicholas to intervene on their behalf. That night both the Emperor and the Prefect had dreams in which an angry Nicholas ordered them to free the innocent princes. Comparing their dreams the following morning the Prefect and his Emperor were thrown into great fear and immediately released the three men, sending them off to Nicholas with great treasures (show in panel 14).