Despite, or rather because of all the veneration that has surrounded the figure of Jesus for centuries, historian Baigent asserts that Jesus and his death have been heavily mythologized. Using his access to hidden archives, secret societies, Masonic records, and the private collections of antiquities traders and their moneyed clients, he explores the religious and political climate in which Jesus was born and raised, examining not only the conflicts between the Romans and the Jews, but the strife within the different factions of the Jewish Zealot movement. He chronicles the migrations of Jesus's family, his exposure to other cultures, and the events, teachings, and influences that were most likely to have shaped his early years. Baigent also uncovers the inconsistencies and biases in the accounts of the major historians of Jesus's time, including Josephus, Pliny, and Tacitus. Their enduring influence reveals that spin is not a new phenomenon.--From publisher description.