Historical Figure
Nationality: Judea
Date of Birth: Unknown
Date of Death: c. AD 30
Cause of Death: Suicide by hanging (according to tradition)
Religion: Judaism
Fictional Appearances:
"Shock and Awe"
POD: 30 CE
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Red-Beard")
Occupation: Revolutionary, Terrorist

Judas, sometimes surnamed Iscariot (possibly a place name) or Sicariot (Assassin), is a figure appearing in the Christian Bible's New Testament. Judas was one of the twelve original Apostles of Jesus, and betrayed his leader to the Roman authorities, via their Jewish collaborationists, for a bounty of 30 silver coins. This led to Jesus being sentenced to death by slow torture, for the crime of sedition with intent to foment insurrection.

The Gospels agree that Judas subsequently regretted his betrayal and committed suicide, but the brief mention of Judas within the Bible's next section - The Acts of the Apostles - seems to contradict this. Furthermore, Saint Paul's letters, most of which were written 20 or 30 years before the Gospels and the Acts, do not mention Judas or any treason among the Apostles, but instead imply that all 12 members of the group remained faithful and encountered the Resurrected Jesus. These incongruities have caused some analysts to believe that the treason of Judas is a late fabrication created from an agenda; since Judas means Jewish or Jew, the story may be a blood libel to suggest that Jews are naturally treacherous.

Although none of the Apostles are described by appearance in the New Testament, medieval art developed a custom of giving Judas a red beard for easy identification.


As "Judas" has become a synonym for traitor, with "30 pieces of silver" meaning a motive for treason, these terms may be invoked in this context by a number of Harry Turtledove's characters in stories set after AD 30. This article deals only with stories in which the man Judas appears or is mentioned in ways that impact the plot.

Judas in "Shock and Awe"[]

A red-bearded erstwhile ally of the "Son of God", motivated by both fear and greed, helped Roman soldiers Marcus and Lucius find the rebel Chieftain. "Red Beard" identified the Son with a kiss. Marcus and Lucius took the Son and his right-hand man the "Rock" into custody. When the informant begged for his reward, the contemptuous soldiers gave him 30 pieces of silver to get rid of him.