The Lost Tomb (Jack Howard)
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For centuries, people have speculated about the fabled lost libraries of antiquity. If one were found, what marvels would it contain? Now a fearless team of adventurers is about to unearth that long-hidden secret, and it will lead them to the most astonishing discovery ever made.
In the treacherous waters off the rugged Sicilian coast, marine archaeologist Jack Howard and his team of scientific experts and ex-Special Forces commandos make a shocking find while searching for the legendary shipwreck of the apostle Paul. And when a second artifact is uncovered in the ruins of a buried city, Jack is on the verge of a discovery that could shake the world to its foundations: the handwritten words of Jesus Christ himself.
As he follows a hunch from the dying confession of an emperor to the burial crypt of a medieval pagan queen, Jack is chasing a conspiracy whose web stretches to the highest levels of international power–and he will have to risk everything to stop the controversial document from falling into the hands of a shadowy brotherhood determined to fulfill their murderous vows.
of the line of Latin read by Jack from Claudius’ fictional history in Chapter 17; from Dio Cassius, the Roman History, lxii, 2–13 (trans. Earnest Cary and Herbert Baldwin Foster, Harvard, 1925); and from Gildas, the De Excidio Britonum, “The Ruin of Britain,” 15 (trans. Michael Winterbottom, Phillimore, 1978). The “sacramentum gladiatorium” is my translation of the gladiators’ oath in Petronius, Satyricon 117. In Chapter 2, the hieroglyphics on the Anubis statue are text from the “Instruction of
still there today. Yet none of these people knew the Nazarene, not even Paul, none of them touched him as I did. To them the man I knew was already some kind of god.” Claudius paused, then looked intently at Pliny. “This scroll must be preserved. It will be your ultimate authority, for what you write in the Natural History.” “I will keep it safe.” “It’s worse.” Claudius suddenly looked down in despair. “The poppy makes me talk, makes my mind wander, makes me say things I can never remember
snapped at the guard in Italian and he sneered at her, standing his ground. The man with Elizabeth then said something and the guard backed off a few steps, passing over a bunch of keys. The man went straight to the door and unlocked it, ushering them out. Maria and Costas ducked through. Jack was about to follow, then looked at Elizabeth, catching her eye for the first time. She looked back at him, imploring, and suddenly reached out and grasped his arm, drawing him into the shadows, past the
“Claudius Caesar visited this place with Herod Agrippa, where they met the fisherman Joshua of Nazareth, he whom the Greeks called Jesus, who my sailors in Misenum now call the Christos.” Jack felt as if he had delivered a thunderbolt. There was a stunned silence, broken by Costas. “Claudius Caesar? Claudius the emperor? You mean our Claudius? He met Jesus Christ?” “With Herod Agrippa,” Maria whispered. “Herod Agrippa, King of the Jews?” “So it would appear,” Jack replied hoarsely, trying to
place might be atomized.” “At any moment,” Costas said, looking at the tail fin of the bomb rising above the water. “Right, let’s do it.” Jack nodded, and put his hand over the lid. He shut his eyes and silently mouthed a few words. Everything they had been striving for suddenly seemed to rest on this moment. He opened his eyes and twisted the lid. It came away easily. Too easily. He tipped the cylinder toward his beam, and stared inside. It was empty. 17 EARLY THE NEXT MORNING JACK