This is a work of historical fiction. The background
and setting have been reproduced from historical documents
and archeological evidence. Many of the characters are
historical figures; some were invented to fit the circumstances.
The main source used to construct the background of
the novel is the New Testament. I have assumed the
historicity of the New Testament, being fully aware that many
people dispute this. I make no claim for veracity on behalf of
the Gospels; I use them only as historical references.
I also used the Jewish historians Flavius Josepus and
Philo of Alexandria as sources to describe certain events. The
Roman historian, Tacitus, and some minor sources and
legends, were also used as sources and are referenced in the
chapter notes in the back of the book.
The story describes the journey of a Roman soldier,
Flavius, stationed in Palestine during the time of the
crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. As he witnesses the birth of
a new religion and begins to understand the new moral values
he has accepted, he must come to grips with the conflict he
now faces between his new religion and loyalty to his country.
Returning to Italy after his tour of duty with the Roman Army
is over, he finds his new faith carries a price when he has to
face the conflict created by its teachings, which begin to upset
the prevailing Roman political structure. As he tries to bring
justice to pagan Rome, he discovers that the class-conscious
Roman State may not yet be ready for the message of the