“And he gets mad about that.”

For some reason, while I'm struggling to write the opening of Julia (the third book in my priestess trilogy, which is actually the first in chronology), the idea crept into my head that I ought to write a novel about Claudia Procula, better known as the wife of Pontius Pilatus.

May I remind you that Early One Morning was supposed to be one book? And now I'm talking about a fourth? (Though perhaps 0.5 chronologically.)

 

It's not going to stop, is it? (gigglefit)

 

So I did a bit of a write-up that not only dealt with how I imagined the storyline to go (including tying into what Claudia knew about the events of Early One Morning), but explained how Pontius turned into a giant asshole. Which is where the post title comes from.

Thus:

When they marry, Claudia is fifteen and Pontius is twenty-five.

 

Her parents say that she’s Emperor Tiberius’s third cousin, but that’s probably not the case—they’re just saying it to make her look good. (And to persuade the emperor to find her a good husband, of course.) [Note: I've read on a few different sites that Claudia was supposedly related to either Augustus or Tiberius; with one going so far as to say that she was the illegitimate daughter of Tiberius's third wife, Claudia. The latter, of course, must be untrue, as there is only record of him being married to Vipsania Agrippina and Julia the Elder {who was a giant cheater}.]

Pontius is friends with the magister de regimen, so after their wedding, the magister assigns him to be the Prefect of Achaea [Roman Greece]. (Achaea was actually a senatorial province, which meant that there was no military presence; but—as usual—we’re bending the rules.) It’s a very good posting: Pontius and Claudia live in a palace in Athens, the Greeks present little problem, they fall in love, etcetera.

But, in 5 [CE], the magister steps down and Aelius Pentaus takes office. Aelius blames Pontius for some disaster that he wasn’t responsible for and successfully lobbies Tiberius to send Pontius to Judea. So Pontius gets angry about that.

[Note: I don't think I mentioned it in the author's notes of Exilium, but there was no Aelius Pentaus. Tiberius's right-hand man was called Sejanus; but Sejanus pissed me off so bad in what little I read of Diana Wallis Taylor's Claudia that I basically wrote him out of history.]

After arriving, Pontius discovers that the Jews are troublesome, the priests are meddling and he can’t always expect to rule from his palace in Caesarea. So he gets angry about that.

Claudia never gets pregnant, so there’s never a son to carry on the Pilatus name. So he gets mad about that.

And just when he gets his anger to a dull simmer (one of those guys who doesn’t seem very friendly even when he’s not angry), Yeshua starts preaching. Which fusses the Pharisees and Sadducees. So he gets mad about that.

Then, when he’s already annoyed with the P/S about them being mad with Yeshua, Julia comes into the picture. And he discovers that he lusts after her (and maybe has a bit of a crush on her). So instead of reacting properly, he gets mad about that. (Which sparks all the rapey shit.)

Claudia gets to Herculaneum on her vacation, gets the divorce notice…and starts going to a sort of church service with a gentleman that she eventually falls in love with. And I guess she gets her happily ever after. (But Pontius is too busy to be mad about that.)

 

Needless to say, after quite a lot of, "And he gets mad about that", I started giggling. xD


I don't know what to do for a title, yet, but I know what to rule out:

  • Pilate's Wife – Hilda Doolittle (2000, possibly written in 1929)
  • The Bride of Pilate – Esther Kellner (1959)
  • Pilate's Wife – Antoinette May (2006; may have been reissued two years later under another title)
  • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate – Diana Wallis Taylor (15 June 2013)

I was thinking of Claudia, but that's awful simple. (I thought Diana Taylor's book was called I am Claudia, but that's not much better, even if it isn't taken.)

I was thinking of Pilate's Bride, and Rosie seconded the idea; but now that I've discovered so many similar titles (thanks, Wiki), I'm loathe to use it.

So unless I come up with something absolutely brilliant after I start writing (and I've been known to do so), I'm leaning toward The Devil's Wife or The Devil's Bride. Which, considering I spent most of my life believing that Pontius was a callous asshole who killed Jesus (instead of conniving Joseph Caiaphas, which I can clearly see as an adult), are perfect.

 

We'll see how it goes, though, since I haven't even finished the original trilogy.

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