1st World Library, Jun 15, 2007 - 432 pages
It was but two hours after midnight, yet many were wakeful in Caesarea on the Syrian coast. Herod Agrippa, King of all Palestine-by grace of the Romans-now at the very apex of his power, celebrated a festival in honour of the Emperor Claudius, to which had flocked all the mightiest in the land and tens of thousands of the people. The city was full of them, their camps were set upon the sea-beach and for miles around; there was no room at the inns or in the private houses, where guests slept upon the roofs, the couches, the floors, and in the gardens. The great town hummed like a hive of bees disturbed after sunset, and though the louder sounds of revelling had died away, parties of feasters, many of them still crowned with fading roses, passed along the streets shouting and singing to their lodgings. As they went, they discussed-those of them who were sufficiently sober-the incidents of that day's games in the great circus, and offered or accepted odds upon the more exciting events of the morrow.