The Third Temple is a historical novel, set during the reign of the Flavian emperors (69-96 CE). The mise-en-scene is Rome, at the time the most powerful city on earth. Eight scenes, however, take place outside of Rome; all of them in the Middle East.
And the importance of the Middle East doesn’t end there. In first-century Rome, religions had to live together. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, Christians, and Egyptian Isis worshipers were packed in the same tenements. This raised tensions: between Egyptians and Jews, between Egyptians and Christians, and between Jews and Christians. In The Third Temple, I describe their frictions. To the religious disputes between Christians and Jews, I even devote more than an entire chapter.
Before and during the writing of the novel I did extensive research on the reign of the Flavian emperors. This has provided me with a wealth of information. More than 400 pages of Roman historians have survived the centuries. The three protagonists in my novel (Josephus, Quintilian, and Clement) have left us an extra 2500 pages. And on top of that, many first-century scientific, philosophical, and religious works have stood the test of time.
In the first version of The Third Temple, I tried to record all that information. That resulted in an interesting, but tough and illegible book. Therefore, I had to skip most of it. But I still felt the need to share my knowledge. Although the novel reeds smoothly without it, I am convinced that many readers are interested in the backgrounds, motives, and worldviews of my characters. That’s why I built this website.
The other pages of this website contain all the information that I consider to be of interest to the readers of the novel. I start with the novel itself of course. In the menu under the tab “the novel” you will find the pages “the story” and “the theme“. On the next page, I account for the facts that I present in the novel. And subsequently, I tell something about myself (Marcus Makkelie) and my motivation to write.
The second subject is the Temple Mount. The Third Temple is the first part of a trilogy that has the Temple Mount as a central theme; it deals with the history of the sacred mountain. The second part of the trilogy will take the reader to the status quo and the last part will be set in the future. In the web pages under the tab “the Temple Mount”, I describe its history from prehistoric times until now. Concomitantly I explain its different religious importance to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This will give the reader a better understanding of the recurring riots on the mountain.
characters and scenery
The third tab is called “the three perspectives“. Here I give insight into the backgrounds and motives of my three protagonists. Because Josephus is both loved by Christians and hated by Jews, I have dedicated two pages to him. I like to write from different perspectives.
Next, we meet “the Flavians“, the Roman imperial family. I start with Vespasian, the founder of the dynasty. He is followed by his sons Titus and Domitian, the other two Flavian emperors. The emperors are the most famous, but in my novel, the roles of the other six Flavians are just as important.
Under the tab “other characters” you’ll find the rest of the personages. Five of them are Roman, the other three Judean.
The last tab contains the scenery of the novel. The first six webpages depict famous archeological sites, which can still be visited. The last page relates to the Jewish War, a war that decisively influenced western religion.
All the characters and scenery I describe actually existed.
For the reader who is looking for more information after examining this website, I have included a literature list. It is a brief list containing the twelve works that interest me most in the context of ‘The Third Temple’. You can access the list by clicking on this link.