I scramble up the steep path, my heart hammering wildly, a knot of fear tightening my throat. This can’t be happening. It can’t be! Ahead of us, the moving torches of the mob are nearing the crest of Mount Zion. Despite the distance between us, their voices carry far and clear on the cold night air. Theirs is a triumphant procession, punctuated with loud calls and bursts of laughter. Continue reading
Rome never slumbers. The early morning clatter of chariot wheels and the rhythmic march of passing soldiers wake me before dawn. I long to rise and watch them, to recall what makes ours the greatest empire on earth, but pain pins me to my sleeping pallet. The gods have taken everything from me, even these simple pleasures. My wife … dead. My sons … indifferent. My rightful status stripped from me, humiliatingly, by the Emperor. Curse them all! Gods and people alike.
Soon one of my few remaining slaves will come to dress and feed me. Even in his eyes I will read scorn. To him I am an old, dying man. He will not see what I once was—a Roman prefect, power-wielder and judge, bestower of life and death. Continue reading