Who were the Magi and why did they travel hundreds of miles to worship a newborn child? These are mysteries that have endured and remained unsolved for centuries, in part because nativity accounts and descriptions of the Magi vary dramatically - from the Bible itself to the Arabic Nativity Gospel. Intrigued by Marco Polo's claim to have visited the tomb of the Magi in a 'castle of fire-worshippers', Paul William Roberts here travels to Iran and traces the Magi's legendary journey overland to Bethlehem, through Iran, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. In the course of his extraordinary adventure, Roberts encounters a diverse cast of characters, from fearless smugglers to serene Zoroastrian priests, and chases clues from Marco Polo's Travels and the Dead Sea Scrolls to the legends of King Solomon and the Crusader Knights. "Journey of the Magi" is an exciting and illuminating voyage of discovery into the truth behind the Magi and the birth of Jesus.
Paul William Roberts, winner of the inaugural PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Award 2005, was born in Wales and now lives in Toronto. He is a writer, producer and filmmaker and a scholar of Jewish and Arabic history and religions. His books include The Demonic Comedy, Empire of the Soul, River in the Desert (also Tauris Parke Paperbacks) and A War Against Truth. Paul William Roberts writes for Harpers, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, New York Times and The Jordan Times. The Montreal Mirror once called him 'a genuine hero of journalism, and one of the few truly wise men on the beat.'