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The World's Finest

Scythopolis became one of the textile centers of the Roman Empire, and the linen produced there was regarded as the finest (and most expensive) in the Empire. No wonder in THE DEADLILEST LIE, Miriam’s wealthy fiancé, Noah, is wearing a linen tunic from Scythopolis:

The corridor led us to an ivy-covered arch through which I saw Noah, his pale body dressed in a tunic of Scythopolitan linen embroidered with a border of russet leaves and belted with a wide leather strap studded with gold coins. Barefoot in the shade of a strawberry tree and surrounded by a hedge of red-flowering hibiscus, he was staring into the eyes of a marble griffin, its open beak spurting water into a circular, turquoise pool. Posed like a marble statue himself, his gaze unyielding, he was leaning forward on a speckled granite bench, his legs crossed at the knees, his left elbow balanced on his thigh, his chin resting on his folded manicured hand.

The fertility of the land and the abundance of water there led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beit She’an.” And so, the site has been settled almost continuously since 4500 BCE. Visitors flock to the National Park of Beit She’an because it is the best preserved Roman-Byzantine city in the land. Today, it is still a center of textile manufacturing with many residents employed in the cotton fields, textile mill, and clothing factory.

There are many reasons to visit Beit She’an and almost as many to read THE DEADLIEST LIE. One is to see how Miriam solves the dilemma of being betrothed to one man, Noah, and being in love with another, Judah. To see how she solves the problem, just click here.


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