Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Lazarus’s house. Home of Lazarus, located in Bethany, a village between Jerusalem and the northern tip of the Dead Sea. Lazarus shares his home with his beautiful unmarried sisters, Mary and Martha. There, Jesus rests and refreshes himself after his most famous temptation, his forty-day struggle with Satan in the desert. Lazarus’s home is of greater danger to Jesus than all the riches and power offered by Satan. The house smells of sweet spices and is filled with the comforts of home and hearth. In his imagination, Jesus shares a long and happy life in this house with Mary and Martha, which ends when Satan reveals that all is a dream, the “last temptation.” Jesus instantly rejects Satan and returns to the agony of the cross and his duty to God.
*Nazareth. Village in the hills of Galilee about seventy miles from Jerusalem that is both Jesus’ birthplace and his hometown. Kazantzakis postulates that the story of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, the city of kings, was invented by the apostle Matthew in order to support his claim that Jesus was the son of God. Indeed, historical records show that the census that traditional Christians believe drew Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem during her pregnancy never took place. Kazantzakis seeks the man behind the Gospels, and the villages and countryside that made the man.
*Temple of Jerusalem. Center of Judaism in Roman-occupied Judea. Traditionally believed to be built on the foundations of the Temple of Solomon and actually destroyed by the Romans in 70 c.e., the temple was still under construction during Jesus’ lifetime. The Gospels give but sparse descriptions of the temple; however, Kazantzakis depicts it as a beehive of activity, reeking from the slaughter of the animal sacrifice that was an essential ritual of Judaism in the time of Jesus. The temple also signifies temptation because of the richness of its furnishings and construction, which suggests the corruption of the religious establishment in Jerusalem.
*Gethsemane (geth-SEH-mah-nee). Olive grove on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem that is the scene of Jesus’ arrest by the Levites, who make up the temple guards. Kazantzakis’s version of this “garden” smells of pistachios, and its soil smells of resin and honey, and Jesus marvels at such “perfume.” Like the homes of Mary Magdalene and Lazarus, Gethsemane contains the joys of the earth.