The young legion officer stationed in Rome, Cassius Longinus, fell in love with the beautiful Claudia Procula. He is convinced that he will achieve his goals because he is a handsome man and, while it is not immense, his father's fortune is appreciable.
Moreover Claudia did not discourage him. But two events will ruin his plans and ruin him altogether.
As part of a large political plot, his father has been swindled and his assassination is scheduled. Moreover the same plotters have promised Claudia to a man of the future who will soon be sent to Judea. His name is Pontius Pilate.
Sold as a slave, Longinus will survive thanks to his fighting skills. Reinstated in the legion, he in turn is sent to Judea where great events are about to take place.
Hungarian Catholic writer Louis de Wohl was successful during his lifetime. Many of his historical novels - his specialty - have been translated around the world and more than a dozen brought to the screen.
He is unjustly forgotten today and, in some places, his books are hard to find. Salvator Editions in France had the happy idea of reissuing La Lance in 2019 and are hoping to publish more reissues. Ignatius Press in the United States lists many of his works, including The Spear, in their catalog.
Louis de Wohl's style (real name Ludwig von Wohl) is lively. The frequent twists and turns give rhythm to the reading with well-established characters: Longinus, Pontius Pilate, and St. Mary Magdalene are perfectly described. Christ appears on several occasions and the author stages him with skill and delicacy.
The story of this holy spear can be read with pleasure by all ages from adolescents to adults.
The Special Operations Executive (SOE, responsible for operations behind enemy lines) was a British secret service that operated during the war.
Louis de Wohl - whose Hungarian name was Mucsinyi Wohl Lajos - succeeded in persuading them that Hitler was obsessed with astrology.
He was therefore hired in 1938 as a “propagandist” to try to predict German actions from astrology, doing this until the end of the war, despite the reluctance and then warnings of MI5.
As astrology is according to him only a “mathematical calculation,” it was enough to reproduce the predictions of Hitler’s astrologers to know what they had advised to him to do and to have a decisive advantage on the enemy.
To those who are too Cartesian in mind, he adds, “The question is not whether we attach scientific value to astrology. What matters is that Hitler follows its precepts.”
However, it does not appear that he was of decisive assistance to British intelligence.