Kass Evans, writer of historical fiction and mysteries
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Writings and Lectures

Kass Evans is the author of fiction set in the first century AD featuring the historical person Alexander the Alabarch. Alexander was a Jew and, almost certainly, Roman citizen who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Historical records show him to be a wealthy land owner and friend of Emperor Claudius, was imprisoned by Emperor Gaius (Caligula), was a major benefactor to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and became an in-law of the ruling family of Judea.

Below is further information about Kass Evans' writings and lectures on Alexander the Alabarch and other topics.

Like a Toga In the Wind: a Novel Set in Ancient Rome

The year is 12 AD and Victory has been snatched from under Rome's nose -- quite literally. The famous statue of the Roman goddess Victory said to be sculpted by the Greek Master Phidias has been taken from her temple in the dead of the night. An arrest is quickly made of a Jewish art dealer from Alexandria, but he maintains his innocence.

Now Gaius Julius Alexander, Roman citizen, Jew, and the son of the Alabarch in Alexandria, must find the statue if he is to free his client Alexander is joined in his investigation by his childhood friends Claudius (great nephew of the emperor Augustus), Agrippa (Jewish prince and grandson of Herod the Great), and the poor patrician Rutilus.

Their search for the statue takes them through the world of unscrupulous statuary collectors, secret rooms in brothels, temples, a fight for a synagogue, and the chariot races. But worst of all, to find the statue will Alexander have to accuse the Praetorians, the Emperor's own personal guard?
  -- 2nd place winner, Florida Writer's Association's Royal Palm Literary Awards, Mystery category, Oct. 2007

The series "Acts of the Alabarch"

The series called the "Acts of the Alabarch" follows the life of an historical figure known as Alexander the Alabarch. The first book in the series, Like A Toga In the Wind takes place in Rome in 12 AD with Alexander still a young man. While solving the mystery of a missing goddess statue, the novel explains how he became acquainted with Claudius (who became Emperor) and Agrippa (who became King of Judea).

The second book in the series has Alexander returning to Egypt where he assumes the role of guardian of the estates of Antonia Minor (mother of Claudius, daughter of Marcus Antonius, niece of Augustus). But it doesn't take long to discover that the workers on Antonia's estates are mysteriously disappearing and Alexander must find out why.

Short stories featuring Alexander the Alabarch

  • "Roman Slave T[i]rade" (May 2004/Rev April 2005) - Alexander goes to a slave trader to purchase a secretary but is left in a quandry when another slave there throws an hysterical fit claiming that he is a kidnapped Jew. The trader denies it. How can Alexander discover the truth? This story also explains how Alexander first acquired his slave Amarantus who is featured in the novels.

      -- 1st place winner, Florida Writer Association's Royal Palm Literary Awards, Oct. 2005
      -- Finalist, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine (FMAM), Fire to Fly Contest, 2004

  • "A Date in the Forum" (July 2004) - Claudius' distant cousin Quintus Antonius dies suddenly after eating a date imported by Alexander from his family's orchards. To avoid being charged with poisoning, Alexander must discover the true cause for the death of Quintus.

Latest Publications

  • "Tough as Old Leather," The Armchair Aesthete, Issue 27 (Fall/Winter 2007-2008), p. 93-94.

Scholarly publications

  • "Friendship in the Greek Documentary Papyri and Inscriptions: A Survey" in Greco-Roman Perspectives on Friendship, edited by John T. Fitzgerald (Decatur, GA: Scholars Press, 1997), p. 181-202.

  • "Alexander the Alabarch: Roman and Jew" - in Society of Biblical Literature. 1995 Seminar Papers, edited by Eugene H. Lovering, Jr. (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), p. 576-594.

  • "Women's Greek Papyrus Letters: A Description of the Letters and a Study of the Opening Formula" M.A. Thesis, Claremont Graduate School, 1985.

Academic lectures and teaching

  • REL 2011: Religion, Interpretation and Analysis - Kass taught this popular course at Florida International University (Miami, FL) from 1997-1999. The course covered Ancient Egyptian Religion, Formative Christianity, and Modern Theravada Buddhism as practiced on Sri Lanka.

  • "Alexander the Alabarch: Roman and Jew" - invited paper to the Philo of Alexandria Seminar at the Annual Meeting of Society of Biblical Literature, Nov. 1995. (a longer version of the paper was published in SBL Seminar Papers, 1995.)

  • "P.Oxy. VI.903, Domestic Violence, and Women's Rights in Roman Egypt" - presented to a special session of the Women in the Biblical World Section devoted to "Violence against women in the Biblical world" at the the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, Nov. 1992.

  • "The Impact of Colonialism on Sinhalese Buddhist Women's Religious Practice" - University of Pennsylvania submitted to Dr. Ranjini Obeyesekere, April 1993

  • "Friendship in the Greek Documentary Papyri" An invited paper presented to a special session of the Society of Biblical Literature's Hellenistic Moral Philosophy and Christianity Section devoted to 'friendship in the ancient world,' Nov. 1991. (later revised and published in 1997)

Send email to: kass@kassevans.com