In the foreground, henchmen of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, execute the king's sons, along with their wives and children, for plotting against him. In the background stands Artalia, one of the king's concubines, wearing a red dress. Artaxerxes' favorite son Darius fell in love with her, but the king objected to his son's attachment and gave Artalia to the temple of Apollo, where she became a priestess and took a vow of chastity. In revenge, Darius plotted against the king with fifty of his brothers. Like many stories found in Boccaccio's book of moral tales, this one presents a woman as the cause of men's misfortune.