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Quo Vadis (1896)

by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,738423,600 (3.98)171
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. The setting of the narrative was prepared with utmost care. Henryk Sienkiewicz visited the Roman settings many times and was thoroughly educated in the historical background. As an attempt to create the spirit of antiquity, the novel met with unanimous acclaim, which earned the Nobel Prize in literature for the author in 1905. As a vision of ancient Rome and early Christianity it has not yet been surpassed, almost a century later.… (more)

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» See also 171 mentions

English (36)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Front cover and title page wanting. Spine broken, pages loose. ( )
  ME_Dictionary | Mar 20, 2020 |
Quo Vadis is the story of a young man that falls in love with a young woman. The fact that it happens during the time of the Christian Persecutions during the reign of Nero ties intimately into the story. I had initially found an updated translation of this book, but I could not finish it in time and had to settle for the version done by Jeremiah Curtin. Curtin's version is acceptable but it reminds me more of the King James Bible than anything, due to the dialogue and the way the people talk to each other. This is not exactly a good thing, so I read ahead and didn't really feel like finishing it.

Maybe if I find the newer translation again I will give it another go. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
Okay, I actually didn't finish. This is one of my few DNF's. I got about halfway and I just can't go any further.
I had this on my reader for a while. I remember reading The Silver Chalice, The Robe, and of course, Ben Hur back in my youth and thought this might be in the same vein. However, the writing is so florid that I'm just skipping huge sections just trying to find something that advances the plot. We have Vinicius and Lygia who are in love, but she's a Christian and he's a Roman noble. The Apostle Peter and Paul of Tarsus convert Vinicius; meanwhile, Nero is running around Rome and Italy. That's it after 300 pages. I haven't even got to the burning of Rome and the persecution of the Christians which I hope could be more interesting. BUT I JUST CAN"T READ THIS ANYMORE!!!! ( )
  N.W.Moors | Sep 10, 2018 |
This is an amazing fictional history of Rome during the time of Nero, a love story between a Roman patrician and a Lygerian hostage, and the story of the rise of and persecution of the Christian church. The story brings to wonderful life the beauty and excess of the lives of wealthy Romans, their bone-deep belief that they are superior to all people, and the precariousness of life under the mad despot Nero. In contrast, the work of Peter the Apostle and Paul of Tarsus are building the Christian church and giving people something bigger to believe in and a faith that sustains. In the midst of these vastly different life views the book features the love story of Vinicius, the quintessential Roman citizen, and the pure heart of Lygeria, the daughter of a barbarian king.

I've never been particularly interested in the history of the Roman Empire and read this at the suggestion of another Shelfarian. The book was difficult in the beginning because of the use of so many Latin words and a wide cast of characters; but it wasn't long before the story drew me in completely and soon I couldn't put it down. I was pulled along as if reading a great suspense novel. This, to me, is a prime example of the benefits of expanding one's reading horizons. While the story has a strong Christian bent, I believe it would be worthwhile reading for anyone. ( )
1 vote LeslieHurd | Jan 11, 2017 |
This is so sad.

I read the book in High School, and I think I liked it at the time. It's been over 50 years since I graduated HS, and I guess my tastes have changed.

Well, it seems my husband is enjoying the book. Still not my style.

I read the first 10 chapters and I just couldn't take it any more. The turgid descriptions, the glacial torpor of the action, and the prose that was just plain leaden.


( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (88 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sienkiewicz, HenrykAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curtain, JeremiahTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Erb, MargaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Erb, RolandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palm, Johan M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyttersen, H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reichenbach, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Talvio, MailaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zamenhof, LidjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Petronius woke only about midday, and as usual greatly wearied.
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