Many years ago, I heard a legend about a man who might be the real father of Jesus: a Roman legionnaire called Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera. This legend inspired The Virgin of Galilee, and the more I researched its feasibility, the more possible it seemed.
This quote shows an attack on a Galilean marketplace, where Jesus’s mother is assaulted. During the Roman Empire, the Romans were known for being ruthless, even barbaric. As the rulers of the world, they would terrorize their underlings in the occupied territories. Although drunkenness was not condoned, the young soldiers were far from home, and boosted by their feelings of superiority, they would sometimes raze cities to the ground, rape the women, and even kill people.
The Jews were specifically targeted and hated, because of their absolute refusal to adopt the Roman religion. We are often told that Anti-Semitism took root after Jesus’s crucifixion, but the hatred and fearmongering started much earlier, and unfortunately exists even today.
The Virgin of Galilee: Prequel to The Transmigrant: How Yeshua’s Parents Met
In a cloud of dust, a band of drunken Roman legionaries in full battle gear rushed into the market square. They swung their swords in the air and shouted, “Revolt! Is that what you want, you filthy Jewish bastards. Hail Caesar! Hail Caesar!” They knocked over tables and carts and slashed at anyone who got in their way. Panicked, people fled in all directions, desperate for safety. The air filled with cries of anguish. Women bellowed as if the earth were on fire. Mules and goats bolted, shrieking in fear before their throats were slit. Mariam slid under the grape cart, pulled down a coarse burlap blanket to cover her and drew her scarf over her face. If she stayed absolutely still, perhaps no one would notice her.