Attacks on the Romans happened in the city more often. Stabbed Roman soldiers were found all over—in cellars, cesspits, by the gates, and near synagogues.

Fortune tellers and healers appeared everywhere.

The Messiah is near! The Messiah is at the doorstep!


“I need to speak to your commander; let me in,” Simon insisted, stopping a few feet from the gate two soldiers were guarding.

“What do you want to tell him, beggar?” one of the soldiers asked, making a movement with his spear, as if driving away with a stick the Jew standing before him. “Do you think I don’t know that you will beg for money from our superior?”

Simon had the saddest appearance, his face inflamed from fly bites and festering wounds. The cilice covering the emaciated body was filthy, as were his dirty and clotted hair and beard. His whole body exuded such inhuman fatigue that it seemed a slight push could knock him down off of his feet.

“I don’t need money. I can give you money myself,” he reached in his pocket for a coin.

Seeing a copper assarius on the palm of an annoying solicitor, the guard beckoned Simon to him.

“Come here. What do you want to say to our commander?” he hid the coin in a wallet behind a leather belt.

“I want to see Jesus from Galilee. He was recently arrested and brought to the hegemon for sentencing. I want to tell your commander that I was with Jesus and should be arrested as well. Also…I organized the attack on the convoy; I wanted to kill one of you,” Simon said in a low but confident voice.

Words of attack had an effect. The guard grabbed Simon by the shoulder. Ushering him inside the yard and into the Pretoria, he hurled him at the wall. Losing his balance, Simon fell.