About the Book

MARCUS  APRONIUS, when only ten years old, accompanied his father, LUCIUS APRONIUS, on a senatorial mission to Judea where he witnessed  the crucifixion of JESUS CHRIST. This tragic event has a traumatic effect on the young boy with momentous ramifications in his later life.

At sixteen, Marcus is enrolled in rhetoric school where he and DECIMUS PLAUTIUS, the son of another prominent father, AULUS PLAUTIUS, try to co-exist despite a long-standing feud between their families. Unfortunately, their uneasy relationship quickly devolves into a fight during which Marcus shames Decimus as a coward. A mortified Decimus withdraws from school but thereafter harbors a lust for revenge against Marcus that intensifies through the years to become a hatred that borders on psychotic.

After graduation, both young men come of age and begin their service in the Roman Army. During the invasion of Britain in A.D. 43, Marcus proves himself a hero during a battle at the River Medway, but a vindictive Decimus, whose father is Commander of the invasion, falsely accuses him of cowardice causing him to be banished to a remote island.

Decimus contrives to marry FANNIA, the lovely young girl formerly betrothed to Marcus, violently rapes her on their wedding night, divorces her the following day, and sends a letter to Marcus describing his defilement of the innocent Fannia. An enraged Marcus swears to avenge this heinous atrocity.

Marcus is rescued from the island by Cilician pirates hired by his father, escapes to Pisidian Antioch, and is proselytized by the Christian apostle, PAUL OF TARSUS.  Intent on avenging Fannia, Marcus reluctantly  rejects Paul’s teachings of love and forgiveness, remains intent on revenge, and returns to Italia to seek retributive vengeance on the evil Decimus Plautius.

The novel is a tale of romance, hatred, war, betrayal, calumny, exile, and revenge, interspersed with a young Roman’s introduction to Christianity.

The Epiphany of Marcus Apronius is not a generic adventure story that could be written to fit any historical period but instead is a carefully researched story of Ancient Rome and Early Christianity woven around some of the main events that actually occurred in the first century:  the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Claudian invasion of Britain by the Romans, and the Christian Apostle Paul’s visit to Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe on his First Missionary Journey.

Not since the epic novels, Quo Vadis by Henry Sienkiewicz and The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas, has such an artful blending of Ancient Rome and Christianity been accomplished in a novel of Historical Fiction.