Quo VadisBook - 1997
This glorious saga unfolds against the backdrop of ancient Rome--from the Forum to the Coliseum, from banquet halls to summer retreats in Naples, from the luxurious houses of the nobility to the hovels of the poor, Quo Vadis richly depicts a place and time still captivating to the modern imagination. This radiant translation by W.S. Kuniczak restores the original glory and richness of master storyteller Henryk Sienkiewicz's epic tale.
Set at a turning point in history (A.D. 54-68), as Christianity replaces the era of corruption and immorality that marked Nero's Rome, Quo Vadis abounds with compelling characters, including:Vinicius, the proud centurion who has fallen deeply in love with a mysterious young woman who disappears the night they meet;
Ligia, the elusive beauty. Vinicius will not easily win her love, for she is a Christian, one of the group of dedicated believers led by the apostle Peter. Christians are rare in pagan, hedonistic Rome, and suffer great persecution;
Petronius, uncle to Vinicius, an elegant, witty courtier who scoffs at love and religion but finds his nephew's passion charming; and
Nero himself, enemy of all Christians, a despotic emperor who plunges Rome deeper and deeper into depravity. The decadence of his banquets is staggering; and even worse, his mad laughter is heard echoing in the amphitheater as gladiators duel to the death.
As Nero's appalling plans for the Christians become ever clearer, time appears to be running out for the young lovers. Vinicius must come to understand the true meaning of Ligia's religion before it is too late.
Grand in scope and ambition, Quo Vadis explores the themes of love, desire and profound moral courage. Lavish descriptions, vivid dialogue and brilliantly drawn characters make this one of the world's greatest epics. Beloved by children and adults the world over, Quo Vadis has been the subject of five films, two of them in English.
From Library Staff
midnightvupecula Sep 04, 2012
Quite a complex novel with plots and subplots. I've read this book a few times, and I adore it! A lot of violence, blood and gore, and sexual themes, and what it means to be a Christian and what true love is.
From the critics
Violence: Killing and blood and gore
Coarse Language: Swearing and terms not suitable for younger ages
Frightening or Intense Scenes: Blood and gore
Sexual Content: Lust to name a few
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
midnightvupecula thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over
SummaryAdd a Summary
In 54 A.D. Nero is the disinterested emperor of the Roman Empire who aspires to acclaim as a poet, singer, and actor. The Roman aristocracy has become incredibly wealthy from pillaging conquered countries, exploiting their domestic peasants, and powering their empire with slave labour. Tigellinus curries favour with Nero by facilitating his weaknesses for debauchery, revenge, and spectacle. Petronius is a court favourite of Nero as he supports his artistic aspirations while attempting to restrain his baser instincts. On Nero’s whimsical order Tigellinus sets fire to Rome. The Great Fire is attributed to the new Christian sect that is infiltrating the empire with heretical ideas and attitudes. After Petronius’ nephew, Marcus Vinitius falls in love with Ligia, the daughter of the king of the Ligians and a Christian convert, the couple are swept into the maelstrom of reprisals that send the Christians to terrible deaths in the amphitheater. A historical fiction based on actual people and events, this classic novel has strong characters, dramatic action, and unnerving scenes. Background notes are provided on the historical characters; and a map shows Rome and the province of Campania at the time of Nero.
QuotesAdd a Quote
"Tigellinus bit back his fury, but his face was gray, like coals under ashes. Petronius was his only rival in influence over [Nero], and so far Tigellinus had managed to hold the edge. His superiority over the cultivated arbiter of taste lay in the fact that he pandered to Nero's lowest instincts ... and Nero didn't really care how gross he was in his company. But whenever he locked horns with Petronius, Tigellinus got the worst of it, soundly gored by a mind as quick and searing as lightning." (p. 135)