The lady is Flavia Domitilla of the imperial Roman family and the emperor is Domitian, the traditional “second persecutor” of the Christians. We know little about their relationship, save that they were relatives, but the story goes that Domitian killed the lady's husband, Flavius Clemens the consul, and sent the lady into exile. This was by no means an unusual thing for Domitian to do, but with this event is inseparably connected the question of whether or not Domitian persecuted the Christians. To the “persecution” are again tied various matters of importance for church history and the study of New Testament. The problem of the lady and the emperor therefore assumes significance for critical study. Furthermqre, it offers us a good vehicle for a survey of the development of church-historical writing and research, partly because of its fascinating character which has attracted many prominent scholars, and partly because it has been rather free from theological prejudices. Its treatment does not exhaust the critical problems of the “Domitian persecution,” which would be impossible in a paper of this nature, but it does offer us a representative discussion of the issues involved. We shall therefore proceed to a description of the weaving of this ancient tapestry and shall then follow the unraveling of its threads which has taken place through four centuries of historical effort.