I Claudius, Episode #12, ďA God in ColchesterĒ by Jack Pullman, from Robert Gravesís I Claudius
Claudius (narration): More grave news of the situation in Jerusalem was hurried to me by Marius from his agent Catalos
Claudius (to Marius):† But what exactly is this messiah?
Marius (diplomat): A king, Caesar, who is to come and redeem Israel of all its sins. Philo, their greatest living scholar, has declared that he must be descended from King David and born in a village called Bethlehem.
Claudius: †In what †year?
Marius: Well, opinions differ as, of course, they always will in events of this kind.
Claudius: Yes, but have there been any candidates recently?
Marius:† No. Not recently. The last one, I heard from a learned Jew, died about fifteen years ago.
Marius: Yes. Is that significant?
Claudius: Who was this man?
Marius: His name was Joshua bar Joseph, a native of Galilee. He had a large following amongst the uneducated and used to preach to gatherings by the lakeside.† He was also called Jesus by the Greeks.
Claudius: And was he born in Bethlehem?
Marius: Well, itís not precisely known. There was some scandal concerning his birth.† A Greek soldier was supposed to have seduced his mother who was a tapestry worker at the temple.
Pallas (freedman/Claudius's advisor): †And what happened to this Joshua?
Marius:† Well, he tried to form a new religion out of Judaism but of course he lacked the authority. He then began identifying himself as this messiah. He was executed as a heretic.
Claudius: Did you find out what King Herod thought of it.
Marius: Not very much, I imagine for he recently executed one of his followers, a man called James. Heís looking for another one called Simon.
Claudius: He has followers then?
Marius: Yes, yes, yes , yes. Itís a cult. There are always cults.
Pallas: All this is most interesting for you, Caesar, with your fascination for strange religions. But what more does it tell us of King Herodís intentions?
Claudius: I will tell you, Pallas. King Herodís mother was on her way to Jerusalem for the lying in when she was overtaken by her pains in a small village. King Herod was born there. The name of the village was Bethlehem.