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The story of Susannah is taken from the Old Testament Apocrypha. Susannah was the wife of a Jew living in Babylon. Because she was very beautiful, two of the Elders, who wished to seduce her, spied on her as she was bathing naked in her garden. In the absence of her maids, the men emerged from hiding and threatened that if she resisted them, they would swear she had committed adultery with a young man. She did refuse them and was tried for adultery as they had threatened, but the prophet Daniel established her innocence.

Her name has thus become associated with purity and innocence.