Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Cyprus. Large island off the coast of Asia Minor in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The account of Barabbas, after a lacuna of uncertainty about his post-Palestine activities, resumes with the elderly Barabbas chained to a fellow prisoner, the Christian Sahak, in the copper mines of Cyprus. Prisoners remain permanently underground in these mines and are not released until death. After Barabbas’s indication that he wants to believe in Christ, he and Sahak are, almost miraculously, released from the mines to serve as farmworkers. With the mines as a virtual world of the dead, Barabbas is, as it were, resurrected therefrom, only to be subsequently crucified in Rome. His Cyprian resurrection followed by his crucifixion near Rome reverses the sequence of Christ’s crucifixion followed by resurrection. Sahak and Barabbas had become, when released from the copper mines, the slaves of the Roman governor of Cyprus. By Roman decree, Sahak, who would not recant his Christian faith, was crucified. Barabbas, who recanted the faith he did not have, witnessed the crucifixion of Sahak as he had witnessed that of Jesus. When the governor returns to Rome, he takes Barabbas with him.
*Rome. Capital and leading city of the ancient Roman Empire, which was to become the focal city of Christianity, is the scene of Barabbas’s last days as a would-be Christian who cannot believe in Christ. Here he mingles with Christians in the catacombs, finding himself once again in the subterranean darkness of a world of the dead. Later, under the misapprehension that Christians are setting fire to Rome, Barabbas joins in the arson, is arrested, and is crucified, commending his spirit, as he dies, either to the darkness that he seems to be addressing or to the Messiah in whom he has been unable to believe. Rome, in completing the east-to-west sequence, completes also the movement from light (the radiance in which Barabbas first glimpses Jesus) to darkness, as from dawn to night. The geographical movement is enhanced by its own consonance with the human movement of life to death. Jesus remains in the region to the east (life), where his death by crucifixion is succeeded by a return to life. Barabbas moves to the western region, where his various returns to life (his own crucifixion in Jerusalem having been assigned to Jesus; his death in the Cyprian mines having been averted by his attachment to the Christian Sahak) are now concluded by his death through crucifixion.