- Gebundene Ausgabe: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Crown; Auflage: 1st edition (27. März 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0307346668
- ISBN-13: 978-0307346667
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,2 x 3,5 x 24,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.456.068 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Secret Magdalene: A Novel (Englisch) Gebundenes Buch – 27. März 2007
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“Highly original and highly engaging, The Secret Magdalene is a sweeping yet intimate tale, an emotional and intellectual journey that questions everything, including the real nature of Jesus.” –India Edghill, author of Wisdom’s Daughter
“In The Secret Magdalene Ki Longfellow portrays Jesus and Mary Magdalene of the Gnostic Gospel tradition-two great teachers whose friendship blossoms within the political turmoil of first century Palestine. What The DaVinci Code only hinted at, Longfellow brings to life.” –Rebecca Kohn, author of The Gilded Chamber
“Imaginative, well-researched, and full of profound wisdom, this wonderful novel brings the ancient world to life.” –Timothy Freke, co author of The Laughing Jesus
“Superb characterization, a brilliant visual palette, and thorough scholarship. One feels the stone streets of Jerusalem, breathes the air by the stinking salt sea . . . Ki Longfellow’s Mariamne will no doubt eclipse all other representations of Mary Magdalene for some time. The Secret Magdalene is both heartbreaking and inspiring.” –Earl Doherty, author of The Jesus Puzzle
“A beautifully written book, immaculately researched. It moved me to tears . . . I felt if this is not how it was, it is certainly how it should have been.” –BookCrossing.com
Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
THE FIRST SCROLL
Because I have recently been ill unto death, Tata has taken me to Temple this morning--but only me. Father does not know she does this. Salome does not know. We go alone so that Tata might offer a dove unto Asherah, the wife of Yahweh. Tata would thank Asherah for my life, for I have not died in my tenth year, though it seemed I might.
We are pushing our way through the Court of Women, Tata keeping a tight grip on my hand so that I do not stray from her side. But the dove in its wicker cage distracts her, and for this one moment, she has turned away from me. I have turned quite another way, pulling so that I might catch sight of the God of the Jews hiding in his Holy of Holies, and as I do, Tata is forced from her place by a Temple priest who would move past us, his face full flushed with pride of station. I know this man. His name is Ben Azar and he has eaten at Father's table many times. I do not like him. I do not like his eldest son. No matter that I have heard Father say I might wed this son of Ben Azar, I will not.
Tata's bird fights to be free of its cage and Tata fights to hold it. But I am turned full round to follow the progress of Father's friend, the Temple priest. He has gotten no farther than a press of men who look nothing like those who might eat at Father's table. Nor do they look like men of Jerusalem. They appear wild men who think wild thoughts, and I break away from Tata's hand that I might see them all the closer. Ben Azar is turning this way and that way to pass, but no matter which way he would go, there stands a man who blocks him, and as they do not move, he pushes at one who is nearest. But from this crowd of wild men comes now a very bull of a man, a man whose eyes burn like the sun at the end of the day. And in this man's hand there is a sica with a blade as curved as a smile. I would scream, I would warn Ben Azar even though I do not like him, I would call out to the Temple police. But a hand rough with toil is clamped over my mouth and I cannot call out. I can struggle against the grip that holds me fast, and I do struggle--though it avails me nothing. It avails Ben Azar nothing. I can only watch as the man like a bull thrusts his knife into Father's friend, not once, not twice, but thrice. Hot red blood splashes my feet; it spills on the golden tiles of the courtyard. Bright red blood fills the surprised mouth of Ben Azar, the Temple priest.
It is done. Ben Azar is dead on the courtyard tiles. And he who has held me fast lets loose his hand. I whirl in place so that I might see his face.
There are two who stand behind me.
As alike each to each as Jacob and Esau, these two, who are surely brothers, have hair and beards as red as a criminal's hair, as red as a magician's. There is no mercy in the eyes of one, but in the eyes of the other there is sadness and there is pity, but so too there is a fierce righteousness. There is also, I think, a terrible pain. As I stare up at these murderous twins, the man who has killed Ben Azar of the House of Boethus speaks out in the crude sounds of Galilee, "It is done, Yeshu'a." And the twin he calls Yeshu'a replies, "Yes, Simon Peter. Come away."
They are gone. And it seems no time has passed. And it seems no thing has happened, for only now does Tata succeed in caging her dove. And I would think I had dreamed this terrible deed save for the still body before me, and the blood on my feet, and the sudden sharp scream of a woman who has, only now, seen what others begin also to see.
Because it is my day of birth, Father allows me to dine this night at his table. How Roman of him! Even more exciting--how Greek!
Salome, who is also allowed, pretends she is not as excited as I am, does not think I notice the care she takes with her toilette or how cross she is with Tata and the other slaves who dress her hair. But I know my friend as I know myself. Is she not my father's ward and the sister of my heart? Dressing with more heed than ever I have, scenting even my feet with sweet oil--to dine at table is such an honor and so rarely conferred--I tell her that even though she has grown breasts, she may not act weary, weary, weary, as older women of our station do.
In return, she yawns.
But here we are, and there is Father laughing at something a guest is saying.
Neither Salome nor I have ever seen this man before--all oil and ooze, he names himself Ananias, and oh how he stinks. An Egyptian Jew, he claims to come from Alexandria, and when I hear this, I become all ears. There is nowhere so wonderful as Alexandria, unless it is Ephesus. He informs us he trades in the gold of Nubia and Parthia, and the precious balsam of Jericho, but that he relies most on his sponges. People will always buy a sponge.
Nicodemus of Bethphage is also at table. Being almost Father's equal in wealth, he is Father's oldest friend as well as a fellow member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish governing body. Naomi, Father's new wife, is allowed this night at table too, though this I would rather forget.
As the men speak, I watch Ananias peeking at Salome's new breasts. Not that Father notices. Nor does Nicodemus. They are too caught up in food and wine and the talk of sponges and money. Salome even leans forward so that the merchant Ananias might fill his eyes with the shape of her "treasures." I am glad I have as yet no treasures. But if I did, I would not share them with such as Ananias. And if I did share them with such as Ananias, I would wait until they were bigger treasures. I tell Salome this in the secret code of eyes and mouths and hands we have used since I cannot remember when. She tells me he has brushed her bare skin twice now. I would laugh out loud if I could, but if I did, it would be a long time before we were allowed at table again. Besides, as ugly and as aged as he is, the merchant has been many places, done many things. He is an Alexandrian! There are so many ideas in Alexandria! Though I do love gods and though I love goddesses more, I love philosophy most. Tata says philosophy is religion without its clothes on.
I keep my nose covered with a scented cloth as I listen to the sponge merchant.
"I saw it with my own eyes," Ananias is saying in a voice a goat might use if a goat could speak. "I was right there at Temple, no more than ten cubits away when the priest was stabbed."
I sit very still. None here know that I too saw this killing. It is four days ago now, and still I see it. But I shall never tell of it, not even to Salome, for if any learn, Tata would face the lash for taking me to Temple to offer a dove to her forsaken Goddess Asherah, once wife of Yahweh.
"Whap! Whap! Whap! It was as quick as that. And there was the priest, dead as a dog in the street."
Nicodemus is silent, his mouth turned down in disgust. I can see him picturing Ben Azar as a dead dog in the street. "They are everywhere now, the Sicarii, these men with curved daggers."
"Everywhere?" asks Naomi through a mouthful of chewed cabbage. "Have the Romans crucified this one yet?"
"Crucified him, madam? They fail even to catch him."
Father's chest puffs with importance. "Oh, but they will. The Romans catch all assassins. Their crosses line the road to Joppa."
"Perhaps this one will too," says Ananias, "and perhaps not."
Father snorts. "Does this new brigand think himself Judas of Galilee? And if he does, did the corpse of Judas not stink as any other? I say to you, this one will also rot."
I grip the stem of my glass. Father mentions Judas of Galilee! Judas was a bandit chieftain. Tata has told Salome and me of the great revolt Judas led against the taxes of Rome in the very year...
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Mariamne, eventually to be called Magdal-eder, or She of the Temple
Tower), this book begins when Mariamne is still a child in the home of
her prosperous Jewish father, a glass merchant. Her mother dead, her
only friend a ward of her father's called Salome (an Egyptian raised in
Jerusalem), and her only confidante a fierce body slave named Tata,
Mariamne is highly intelligent, always curious, and desperate for
knowledge. Along with Salome, a child of wit, insight, and cruelty,
Mariamne finds herself banned from her privileged home and dependent on
the care and concern of a mysterious man called Seth. Eventually all
three find themselves living for seven years in the Great Library of
This is an immensely inventive book, a book that turns the known and not
so known gospels on their heads, revealing meaning in them virtually
unique in my experience. To have a familiar story turned inside out is
to view it so differently that the meaning we think we know, becomes
Through Salome we meet a John the Baptist who is both sly and childlike,
wise and brash, a loveable frightening man, willing to lose his life to
save his chosen people. Through Mariamne we meet Jesus. This Jesus,
known to her as Yeshu, is deeply complex, driven, a man of his times,
and yet a man for all times. Raised as zealous for the Law, yet he is a
man tortured by "visions," called on by a god who speaks so completely
at odds from the jealous angry violent god he has been taught to follow,
that his torment almost breaks him. Only by meeting Mariamne through
their mutual friend Seth, does he slowly and painfully come to terms
with the harsh demands of a simple man called on to be more than any
man. He is the hero, reluctant, in constant hope of escaping his
destiny, yet ultimately bowing to the inevitable, at which point he
fulfills his "destiny" with a triumph of will almost unbearable in the
implications of its choice...for he has a choice and by choosing it,
rather than turning away, he uplifts our souls.
And all the while we follow Mariamne as witness, as student, as teacher,
as philosopher, as companion, as a woman perhaps unique in literature.
She is not merely a disciple or a witness. She too is gifted with vision
and she too struggles with "knowing" god. But in the mouth of Mariamne
Magdal-eder we learn it is not "a god," a being, something outside the
self, it is perfect love and inherent divinity that seeks us and whom we
As for Judas...this Judas is almost more a hero than any other in this
extraordinary tale of tales. A double of his brother Jesus, a boon
companion, Judas does what is needed when it is needed, sealing his fate
for all time as betrayer, yet without him Jesus could not become the
Mariamne's voice is a voice to be heard. It speaks to us with a clear
ring of human honesty and doubt but also with a voice beyond our normal
voice, that of a visionary making thrilling sense of reality in
unforgettable sentences replete with the meaning we all seek.
Amazing Balanced Christian Dramatic Egyptian Faithful Gnostic Historic Inspired Jewish Knowing Loving Moving Natural Original Profound Questing Romantic Shocking Tragic Unique Visionary
+++ Quoted from the back cover +++
"A powerful evocation of a Mary Magdalene who was in her own right a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, and a prophet. This Magdalene was more than a favored follower, more even than the Beloved Disciple. Mariamne Magdal-eder 'knew the All'. KNOWING THE ALL is the heart of the Christ's original Gnostic teaching. It was the Apostle Paul's 'revelation of the Lord' that blinded him on the way to 'Damascus'. It was the very heart of early Christianity. Still beating, Gnosis or 'knowing' was cut from the body of the Church more than sixteen hundred years ago. But with the discovery in 1945 of the Nag Hammadi codices, perhaps the last of their kind, both Gnosis and the Magdalene have returned to us...offering Wisdom and Hope in these confused and troubling times. The Secret Magdalene is not only a painstakingly researched portrait of a great woman who was wise beyond her time and place, it is a portrait of the search for GNOSIS...the individual's direct experience of God."