A sweeping Christian fiction epic, the story is also part mystery, part detective story and filled with intrigue.
General Maximus is a battle-weary commander of one of Rome’s finest legions. When he returns from a long, bloody campaign Maximus finds himself questioning his life. Word has reached Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judea. Maximus, disguised as a Jew, is sent to investigate the situation and assess his potential threat to Rome. In this innovative rendering of the story of Christ we see Jesus from the perspective of an outsider who is stripped of his cultural identity and therefore free to ponder whether he can believe Jesus and find a new purpose in his own life.
“General Maximus rode an impressive dappled-gray steed as it plodded the last few miles of the long trek back to Rome. He preferred walking with his men but the walls of the great city were within sight and he would be expected to display his leadership and rank; returning as the great conqueror. Word of the Legion’s arrival had preceded them, and he could make out frantic movement in the distance. They would soon be marching on the Via Sacra which led to the Forum where thousands would be waiting to shower them with praise, flowers, and palms.
The Legion had put a thousand miles behind them since pulling up stakes in northeastern Gaul and the weary General had a thousand doubts about the continuing imperialism of the Roman Empire. Almost two years fighting fierce Germanic tribes had decimated his Legion by a third. . . .
Many conflicts during his lifetime were seared into his memory forever. More troubling to the honorable General than the loss of a finger on the battlefield in Gaul was his loss of faith in the philosophies of the Empire. He was indignant with the continuing subjugation of people. How many cultures did they need to crush and police? Greeks, Turks, Gauls, Jews–it never ended–treasures of gold stolen, treasures of culture destroyed. The campaigns no longer made sense to the logical General, but he kept those thoughts to himself; voicing them would be heresy and considered treason to the throne. His wounds hurt, but his heart hurt more.”