The Great Chase

306 AD. Aelius Spartianus, the Roman soldier-historian and envoy, born on the banks of the Danube, travels at the behest of the senior emperor Galerius to the eastern province of Palestine, a traditionally unruly land run by separatists and religious passions. Jews, Christians and followers of the traditional cults are often at odds, making his official task a dangerous one. In fact, Aelius is there to gather an official census of the local Christians, in view of a new prosecution. However, Aelius has a second duty. In days of dynastic trouble, with young Constantine on the rise in the West, Emperor Galerius needs money. Therefore, he sets his envoy on the trail of a fabulous gold cache, lost centuries before during the great Jewish rebellion led by the Maccabees. The exact whereabouts of the treasure are unknown: perhaps it lies in Judea, Galilee, or the desert borderland. The search is fraught with uncertainty, and while Aelius is to keep the secret, there are other powerful competitors for the prize: Constantine’s mother Helena, her lover and former head of secret police Armin Sido, a wealthy Syrian merchant and Baruch ben Matthias, Aelius’ old adversary and off-and-on sidekick.
  Aelius Spartianus Series

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