|Quo Vadis? (1895) [Novel]|
by Henryk Sienkiewicz
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(From the publisher):
Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as to offend the sensitive.
Petronius, a generous and noble Roman, a man of the world much in favor at the court of Nero, is intrigued by a strange tale related by his nephew Marcus Vinitius of his encounter with a mysterious young woman called Ligia with whom Vinitius falls madly in love. Ligia, a captured king's daughter and a one-time hostage of Rome, is now a foster-child of a noble Roman household. She is also a Christian.
"Christians to the lions!" This cry was heard in every part of the city. At first many believed that it was the Christians who had burned the city and they looked forward to seeing them punished in the arena....Meanwhile Rome was being rebuilt. From the ashes and ruins, new and wider roads were opened and new foundations for beautiful buildings and temples were laid. First of all a magnificent ampitheater constructed entirely of wood was put up....Orders went out to all parts of the entire empire for all kinds of wild beasts. Elephants and tigers were brought in from Asia; huge crocodiles from the Nile. Lions from Africa, wolves and bears from the Pyrenees; savage hounds from Spain....Because of the number of prisoners, the games were to surpass in greatness everything that had been seen in the past. Caesar wanted to drown the memory of the fire with blood and make Rome drunk with it.
Original title: Quo Vadis
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Rome