Hello! My name is Quintus, no fancy second names like Marcus Aurelius, just Quintus, and I’m one of the Emperor Tiberius’ finest, or at least that’s what they tell me! I am a Roman soldier, one of three thousand stationed in this god-forsaken place under the command of the Prefect, Pontius Pilate.
I never wanted to be a soldier, and I certainly don’t want to be a soldier here and now, but sometimes you don’t get a choice. We were a poor family when I was growing up. Well, I say a family, but my mother could never tell me who my father was, and all my brothers and sisters looked remarkably different from one another. I’m sure that you all know sufficient Latin to realise that my name, Quintus, simply means ‘the fifth one’ – that’s how important children were in our ‘family’. There was never any question of school: that was for the rich and the privileged. My days were spent playing in the street or begging for scraps of food or the odd coin or two. Ours was very much a hand to mouth existence.