Quo VadisBook - 1993
In order to win the love of Ligia, a Christian, Vinicius, a soldier, must come to understand the true meaning of her religion, even as Rome sinks under the excesses of Nero and Christians are thrown to the lions.
Blackwell North Amer
The work of a master storyteller, Quo Vadis is a panoramic historical novel that has captivated readers for generations. "Sienkiewicz wrote Quo Vadis for the entire world and the world took it to its heart," commented James Michener.
Now, a sparkling new translation restores the original glory and splendor missing from earlier English translations of this great tale.
Set at a turning point in history (A.D. 54-68), as Christianity replaces the era of corruption and gluttony that marked Nero's Rome, Quo Vadis brims with life. Its characters include:
Vinicius, a proud centurion. He has fallen madly 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 a group of dedicated believers led by the apostle Peter. Christians are rare in pagan, hedonistic Rome - their countrymen claim that they worship the head of an ass, hate mankind and perform unspeakable acts in their secret rituals;
Petronius, uncle to Vinicius, a witty, elegant courtier who scoffs at love and religion but finds his nephew's passion charming; and
Nero himself, enemy of all Christians, a despotic ruler who plunges Rome deeper and deeper into depraved excess. The decadence of his orgiastic banquets boggles the mind; worse, his mad cackles are heard echoing over the city as it burns and in the amphitheater as gladiators duel to the death.
As Nero's horrific 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.
Against the unfolding of this dramatic saga stands ancient Rome. From the Forum to the Coliseum, from banquet halls to summer retreats in Naples, from the glorious houses of the nobility to the hovels of the poor, Quo Vadis captures the full flavor of a place and time now romanticized in the modern imagination.
A powerful work that is grand in scope and ambition, Quo Vadis balances themes of love and desire with a profound morality. Lush descriptions, vivid dialogue and brilliantly depicted characters make this a meaty, satisfying read. It is truly one of the world's great epics.
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
AgeAdd 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)