Pilate's Wife: A Novel of the Roman Empire
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A daughter of privilege in the most powerful empire the world has ever known, Claudia has a unique and disturbing "gift": her dreams have an uncanny way of coming true. As a rebellious child seated beside the tyrannical Roman Emperor Tiberius, she first spies the powerful gladiator who will ultimately be her one true passion. Yet it is the ambitious magistrate Pontius Pilate who intrigues the impressionable young woman she becomes, and Claudia finds her way into his arms by means of a mysterious ancient magic. Pilate is her grand destiny, leading her to Judaea and plunging her into a seething cauldron of open rebellion. But following her friend Miriam of Magdala's confession of her ecstatic love for a charismatic religious radical, Claudia begins to experience terrifying visions—horrific premonitions of war, injustice, untold devastation and damnation . . . and the crucifixion of a divine martyr whom she must do everything in her power to save.
chance that I carried it!" Seeing Rachel's face, I softened. "For whatever reason, Isis chose to spare me. It was she who sent me home to Marcella." We left the courtyard and entered the palace, eerily quiet in the predawn. "It broke my heart the way Marcella kept crying for you," Rachel said as we approached the nursery. "Dominus told her that you would be back soon. I was not so certain." I watched my sleeping daughter from the doorway. Marcella's face was flushed and plump with health. She
could Isis do but set off once again, this time to find and join his missing parts." "Did she find them?" "All but the most important." I tried not to giggle. "It's the means by which a woman brings life to her husband," Rachel reminded me. "The goddess used her powers not only to reconstruct the missing member, but to bring immortality to her husband through their child." We'd reached the seaside market. Brightly colored boats bobbed in the water as men hauled in tubs of flailing fish.
Rachel darted from one makeshift stall to another searching for the rare bream, Mother's favorite. Sniffing from a perfume vial, I leaned against the sea wall, staring absently out at the harbor. Pharos, the great lighthouse I'd visited the week before, was emerging from early morning mist when Rachel touched my elbow. "We should return home," she urged. "Look what I have here. Your father will want these sardines for breakfast." In no time, she'd purchased not only sardines and bream but mussels
Roman army had been slaughtered. "When we went to bury our dead, we saw skeletons everywhere." The boy shuddered. "Their heads were pegged to tree trunks. We didn't know if the bones belonged to friend or stranger, but what did it matter? They were all our brothers." I opened the door a few days later to another breathless courier. Bloodshot eyes fearful, he described a situation grown desperate. Arminius, the general responsible for the carnage, lurked in a treacherous swamp near the battle
caught. It would have happened sooner or later. I would have preferred later." In just a few brief moments a Vestal, red-eyed from weeping, came to tell us that it was time for me to leave. THE NEXT DAY I SAT BESIDE MARCELLA, WHO LAY ON A BIER AS ONE already dead. I held her hand as the funeral procession wove its way through Rome. A grim-faced Pilate rode beside our wagon on horseback as an escort. Agrippina, with her daughters, followed directly behind in a chariot. Fortunately Caligula and