Daniel is the main character of the story. He has “bold features, a sun-browned skin, and dark eyes.” He is kind, for he abandons his fellow rebels to take care of his frail sister. He cares deeply for his sister and is happy to see her transform slowly into a...
Daniel is the main character of the story. He has “bold features, a sun-browned skin, and dark eyes.” He is kind, for he abandons his fellow rebels to take care of his frail sister. He cares deeply for his sister and is happy to see her transform slowly into a less fearful and more productive individual after they move to Simon’s house. He even buys her a fine cloth of “clear fresh blue” so that she can be as well clothed as Thacia. Daniel greatly hates the Romans. He blames them for the deaths of many people close to him—his father, uncle, mother, Samson, and Nathan. Jesus tells him that in order to achieve the kingdom of God he has to “give up his hate.”
Rosh is the leader of the band of rebels that lives in the mountains surrounding Galilee. He rescues Daniel from starvation after he runs away from his cruel master, Amalek. Rosh is a “squat man with a thick body, a short muscular neck, and a grizzled head that appears to thrust out directly from the powerful shoulders.” He has “small black eyes” that flash with a certain hostility when evaluating strangers. He looks every bit the rebel that he is. However, beneath his rough countenance lies a kindness for other beings that shows itself in small acts of compassion, for instance, he insists that the rescued slave, Samson, must live with them as a free man. Still, he is quite callous as he steals from his own people to sustain himself and the members of his band.
Simon is Daniel’s friend; the two apprenticed with Amalek the blacksmith. Joel tells Daniel that Simon is known throughout the village as “a good man and a good patriot.” This seems to be true as he braves the dangers of the mountains to see Daniel after he hears that Daniel lives up in the mountains. He even encourages Daniel to go back to the village to visit his grandmother and sister and later on, after the demise of Daniel's grandmother, he freely offers his property to the bereaved family for their daily use. Afterward, he follows Jesus the Preacher to learn more about God and the kingdom.
Joel is one of Daniel’s best friends. He is well educated, is a “trained sandal maker,” and hopes to be a rabbi one day. He is a good conversationalist—in the story, he admits that “when he gets started on an argument, he forgets what time it is.” He is also loyal to Daniel as he seeks him out, after his release from jail, to thank him for rescuing him and to pledge his allegiance to the cause.
Thacia, whose real name is Malthace, is Joel’s sister. She is “dark-haired with fine dark eyebrows.” She moves about gracefully and is quite fearless. With time, she learns to love Daniel and does not fear to talk about her feelings to him. When Daniel confesses his love for her, she glows. She is kind too for she visits Leah and Daniel frequently and eats in their humble abode even though she comes from an upper-class family.
Samson is a slave who is rescued from a group of slave traders by Rosh’s band. He “towers above all the other slaves,” is “murderous-looking,” and has “lash-ridged shoulders and an ugly scar.” Ebol, the sentry, tells Daniel that Samson is “a black fellow who’s as big as an ox.” After he is rescued, he learns to respect Daniel most since it is Daniel who leads him to the camp, offers him a meal, and cuts loose his manacles. Nobody knows whether Samson can hear or speak, however, he “works like a mule to keep Daniel’s fire burning.”
Leah is Daniel’s sister. She is a beautiful girl with “long golden hair that flows to her shoulders” and “clear blue eyes.” She is “timid” and cannot dare to show her face to the villagers. She has lived all of her life in hiding, afraid to interact with other people except for her grandmother and brother. It is said that she is “possessed by demons." When she and her brother move to Simon’s house, her condition improves and she starts to help Daniel with various household chores. She also starts to work on her loom, weaving the most adorable clothes. She develops a friendship with Thacia, who exposes her to new things from the outside world. However, towards the end of the story, Leah falls very ill after her brother demands that she breaks her friendship with a soldier whom she has grown fond of.