THE ROUE by Lloyd C. Douglas


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One feels intuitively that into this book, Lloyd Douglas has put the soundest piece of scholarship and the finest work he has done. I found it fascinating in its recreation of the period following the crucifixion in Palestine, and the beginnings of the spread of Christianity to the Greek and Roman world. And yet the story is definitely the story of Marcellus, young tribune, son of the Senator Gallio, and of his Greek slave and comrade. Demetrius, cultured, well born, and a power for good in his master's life. Marcellus is exiled to Gaza for being too outspoken and offending the rulers; there chance takes him to Jerusalem, and the reputation of his legion of cutthroats and desperadoes makes them the choice of Herod and Pilate for the executioners at Calvary, Marcellus, hiding from the sense of doom overhanging him, plays dice for Jesus' garments, and wins the robs. And thereby his whole life pattern is altered. The robe itself seems possessed of a magic healing power and he turns back to Palestine, to follow the mystery. Romance -- adventure -- the philosophy of Judaism -- the rebuilding, bit by bit, of the gospel story as he follows the footsteps of Jesus, all form background for his conversion, and his fearless choice of martyrdom when Caligula becomes emperor. Lloyd Douglas has a gift for teaching a lesson and at the same time telling a good story. This is a new departure in period and motive, but the same characteristics prevail.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1942
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin