“Well, Antioch has the greatest theater this side of Ephesus.”


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Just returned this to the Institute Library, so it’s on the shelf there if you want to read it. Published by Bobbs-Merrill in 1946 and subtitled “A Novel of Pagan Against Christian.” Author J.R. Perkins was previously known as “the author of The Emperor’s Physician,” but Antioch Actress clearly blows that out of the water.

“Set in the second century,” the dust jacket announces, “Antioch Actress exploits powerfully the age-old conflict between Church and Theater.”

An excerpt:

Joseph Athlai remained unperturbed. His dark yet kindly face held just the semblance of a smile as he returned to his task of questioning the actress. “Didn’t you admit, the day Herza seized you by the throat in the presence of the bishop, his niece and Roscius, your theatrical manager, that the accused man had committed fornication with you, with your full consent?”

The actress did not reply at once.

And this:

I stared at Marcus. “Well, playwright, you aren’t going to get out of your job after all,” I said.

“Neither are you,” he retorted. “Moreover, you had better bring the shows off well or you may have to join me in the mines of Cyprus.”
“And I may join you both,” the colonel spoke up.

We were startled by his words and serious attitude. “What do you mean?,” I questioned.