I had the idea for a story, that sprang from the time the Romans occupied what we now know as Palestine. The Romans did things that were considered abominations to the Jewish inhabitants of the region. So, that word, “Abomination,” became my working title. The Jews had a strong concept of the holy, and the things the Romans did were considered desecrations, abominations on the land and the sites holy to the peoples’ faith.
The point of this entry is that I want to understand what about the idea of abomination in this context grabbed me, and made me think there was a story in it worth telling.
I think the first inspiration came as I was reading Reza Aslan’s book Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Now I feel like I need to go back and read it again, but take notes while reading.
I’ve read a fair bit of historical fiction and fictionalized history. Some of my favorite work has been by James Clavell, James Michener, and Colleen McCullough. In fact, McCullough’s book First Man in Rome has the flavor I imagine in telling the story of the Roman occupation of Palestine. She really brought the characters to life. I can’t help but think, after reading Aslan’s account of the collaboration between the Romans and the Jewish religious establishment, that there are some very interesting, yet untold, back stories in the history of that occupation that I would enjoy experiencing. Since I’m not aware of a work that takes it all in, from Pompey to about 70 C.E., it seems like an idea that wants pursuit.
The problem with a project like this is that it will probably take a lot of research, because I’m no real student of history or of the period. I do have a biblical exposure to a small part of it, but that is a very limited scope. I may have to read a lot of history from many different sources before I can create what I want.
I think that I’m going to have to do two things as I read: 1) take notes, 2) read background material in parallel.