Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero
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Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  12,793 ratings  ·  406 reviews
1898. Sienkiewicz is regarded as the most outstanding and prolific Polish writer of the second half of the nineteenth century. The winner of the Nobel Prize in 1905, he is best known for his epic historical novel Quo Vadis, which depicts early Christianity and the persecutions. The story follows Vinicius, a soldier, who, in order to win the love of Ligia, a Christian, must...more
Paperback, 568 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1895)
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Henry Avila
Roman Emperor Nero, is a singer of beautiful songs, his first love, he himself composes, if you don't like them, better keep your opinions unsaid, you'll live a longer life. Nero has killed his mother, wife, brother, all his family, and many former friends. Only unlimited praise, the mighty Caesar enjoys ( but that he is terrible, his voice and music, is a small sacrifice for his friendship and the vast benefits, he showers) ... Petronius, the "Arbiter of Elegance", and close friend of the vicio...more
Stephen
Great book for a retreat! Spiritually invigorating, makes one excited about the Catholic faith. It is fiction with references to standard Catholic tradition, and is set in the time of the Christian persecutions in Rome during the reign of Nero. The focus of the novel is a love story between a Roman centurion and a beautiful Christian princess-in-exile. The story's central conflict takes place in the person of the centurion's friend, who also happens to be a cultural lackey in the court of Nero....more
James
Near the end of Quo Vadis Petronius (Arbiter) writes a letter in reply to his nephew Vicinius who has fled Rome with his bride, Ligia. In the letter Petronius discusses his philosophy and his fate contrasting it with the Christian belief that Vicinius has accepted. He says:

"There are only two philosophers that I care about, Pyrrho and Anacreon. You know what they stand for. The rest, along with the new Greek schools and all the Roman Stoics, you can have for the price of beans. Truth lives somew...more
Noce
Il Cristianesimo, questo sconosciuto

Dunque sì, accomodatevi pure.
Non state troppo indietro. Venite pure avanti, che altrimenti non potete vedere la magia di cui oggi sarete esclusivi spettatori . Ebbene, ecco quello che accadrà fra qualche istante. Svuoterò la mia mente. Cancellerò la mia memoria a breve e lungo termine, e di colpo sarò una Noce Moscata che non ha letto “Quo vadis?” a 17 anni, e non l’ha neanche riletto a 34.
“Sim salabim, abracadabra, tutti giù per terra, puff puff, pant pant e...more
Erica
Nov 18, 2013 Erica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erica by: Amber Crafton
Clearly capturing the depravity of man while outlining the persecution of the early church, Quo Vadis vividly depicts first century life in the Roman Empire for slave, centurion, and emperor.

As Sienkiewicz's final display of descriptive prowess, at the climax he floods his readers' senses with the evidence of a smoldering Rome. I've never been so tantalized by antiquity than after reading this historical fiction.

All the while reading a bit like a best seller and not an epic novel from the 1800'...more
Vera
Published in 1895 "Quo Vadis" is a historical novel, based on the early years of the Christianity and the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero. The decadence of the Emperor's court and Nero's cruelness and self-overestimation are masterfully described. The love story between two fictional characters - the beautiful hostage of the Senate Ligia and the patrician Marcus Vinicius - plays a central role in the narration. Under the influence of Ligia and his conversion to Christianity Vinicius gradually de...more
Marat M. Yavrumyan
Հռոմ ու ինչ որ քրիստոնյաներ։ Հռոմն ավելի հավանեցի։ Տպավորություն էր, թե Սենկևիչն ապրել է Հռոմում, քայլել հռոմեացիների հետ, այնքան մանրամասն էր փորձում փոխանցել ժամանակի շունչը։ Պատկերացնում եմ, ինչ ջանքեր են նրան արժեցել վեպը։ Սա յուրատեսակ շունչ է հաղորդում վեպին ու թե ինչու պիտի քրիստոնեությունը տարածվեր մի քաղաքում, կայսրությունում, ժամանակաշրջանում երբ բարքերը, իրականությունը ավելի ու ավելի սպառնալից էր դառնում, կյանքը կորցնում էր արժեքը։
Կարդացվում է մի շնչով, սկզբում ավելի ագահորեն, թեև վեր...more
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 02, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006 or 2010 versions)
Shelves: 1001-core, nobel
Rome under the rule of emperor Nero, AD 64. The Polish author, Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846-1916), went to Rome to observed for a couple of years during the writing of this book (published as a book in 1896). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1905.

Quo vadis is Latin for "Where are you going?" and alludes to a New Testament verse (John 13:36). The verse, in the King James Version, reads as follows, "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou ca...more
Elena
"Quo Vadis" by the Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz is a jewel of historical fiction. While the 1951 film is excellent, it is dated; the novel, however, transcends time. The heartrending and vivid portrait of Roman life in the days of Nero combines a romance with the acta sanctorum amid breathtaking historical accuracy. The feelings of the young tribune Marcus Vinicius for the Christian maiden Ligia Callina are transformed by sacrifice and suffering from mere lust into profound love and devotion...more
Simon
This may be the worst book I have ever read that didn't have the words "Danielle Steele" somewhere on the cover . ..until you hit the description of Nero's burning of Rome. For about 30 pages it is terrific, and then reverts back to some of the worst prose and suppressed erotic perversity I have ever laid eyes upon. Those nutty early Christians spend a LOT of time looking at golden-haired maidens in diaphanous gowns, and there is a moment where Petronius has his slave Eunice whipped instead of d...more
Andrew
I know this should be obvious, but the "Da Vinci Code" fury requires that I do mention this: these kinds of books ought to be read for what they are, novels, works of fiction, and not narrative-style histories. If books are read according to their genre, they'll be far more enjoyable and less likely to stir stupid controversy.

"Quo Vadis" isn't a history, then, but a work of historical fiction. If you're familiar with the 1951 film starring Deborah Kerr, Robert Taylor and Peter Ustinov, you shoul...more
Margo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allthenobels
This book was pretty terrible. As a classicist, I am deeply offended by the wooden, stereotypical rendering of Romans, even Romans during Nero's time. As a reader, I am deeply offended by the fact that very little actually happens. Sienkiewicz tells us about plenty of things, but he shows us very little. For instance, in the last third of the book, Petronius, who has been watching his nephew's slow conversion to Christianity with ironic detachment, writes him a letter talking about how much thes...more
Shala Howell
Note: glancing at the reviews below, the translation you read really seems to matter here. The Version I read was by Jeremiah Curtin.

I thought it was fascinating. Very much enjoyed the tensions between the decadence of Nero, the aestheticism of Petronius, and the early schisms in the interpretations of Christian faith as represented by the Apostle Peter, the bishop Crispus, and Paul of Tarsus.

The love story was tangential for me. I was far more interested in the machinations at court and the ri...more
Kirsti
Christians! Lions! Romans! O r g i e s! Mayhem! Wow!
I can see why this book has been translated into more than 50 languages. Although it was originally published in 1895, it doesn't seem dated. The plot moves quickly (even frantically sometimes), and I thought the main characters were well developed.
Because this book is in the public domain, you can read it for free via Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) or BookBot (book-bot.com).
Amanda McCrina
Quo Vadis is a troublesome product of its time: muted but sobering instances of scientific racism and anti-Semitism occur throughout the narrative. At times Sienkiewicz devolves into a sort of voyeuristic sensationalism; a little too much care is devoted to detailing Nero's excesses and the gore of the arena. Also some readers might understandably find it a bit preachy; to me it was somewhat amusing to see later Catholic doctrines (papal infallibility, for instance) put into the mouths of these...more
Matt
Although Quo Vadis was written in 1895, this version is a recent translation from the Polish (+/- 2000 I think) that's very well done and reads smoothly. In many ways, this book is the template for what's thought of as "cutting edge" Christian historical fiction today. Specifically, the violence is violent and the sex is sexual, without ever crossing the line towards gratuity. It's a much better portrayal of reality than the modern Christian books of the last 20-30 years that seem to fantasize a...more
Hobby
Books “QUO VADIS ?”
Judul Asli : QUO VADIS – A NARRATIVE OF THE TIME OF NERO
Copyright © by Henryk Sienkienwicz
Penerbit PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Alih Bahasa : Antonius Adiwiyoto
Desain Sampul : Satya Utama Jadi
Cetakan II : November 2009 ; 552 hlm

Sepanjang sejarah kehidupan, Manusia – sebagai makhluk ciptaan Tuhan yang paling mulia karena diberkahi akal-budi untuk memilih kehidupan yang akan dijalani, memutuskan mana yang baik dan mana yang buruk. Sesuai dengan evolusi dan perkembangan, maka cipta...more
Marcus
It is obvious that Henryk Sienkiewicz was an expert first century Rome. The city and the monarchy come alive in Quo Vadis in an amazingly tangible way. Even though not all the events are historically accurate, I don't see how a better job could be done of recreating the time and place.

The description of the Roman circus with its gladiators and Christian massacres is the strongest section of the book. It is awful. I hadn't thought more than superficially about what went on in the ampitheatres but...more
Morris Nelms
It's good. It's long, but once it gets going it's a fun read. The period details seem very accurate. The philosophical conversations between Petronius and the other characters are very well written and have moments of profundity.
Fall 2013: Beverly and I are reading it together. She has not read it before. Second read for me. I stand by everything above, but would add that the romantic interludes are the least interesting part of the book for both of us. The characterizations of Nero, Petronius,...more
Cristian
Despite Christianity and me not exactly seeing eye-to-eye, I nevertheless loved this book because Sienkiewicz never forgets the essential ingredients of all fiction, the ones that transcend all religious, historical or political considerations: believable drama, fleshed-out characters, a solid plot. Though I would not necessarily rely on this book for an accurate picture of daily Roman life or Nero's reign (but hey, at least he isn't shown playing the fiddle amidst the flames in Rome!), I can ea...more
Deodand
I was on a Roman history kick when I read this, having just watch the TV series "Rome" and read the novel "I, Claudius". This book has a lot more spiritual subject matter than previous Roman history books I've read, which is a nice change. Usually the authors just wave a hand and more or less say, "Oh yeah, and there's the Christians over there, we all know what they were up to". I'm glad someone took the trouble to write a novel on this subject.
Ayse Sen
PHASELİS Adağı'nı okuduktan sonra elime haritayı alıp Phaselis'e yollanmış, kahramanların evini bulmuş, bir nebze de olsa o yıllarda yaşamıştım. Bu kitap bittikten sonra da tası tarağı toplayıp Roma'ya mı gitmeli?
David Ramirer
Rom zur Zeit des Nero. Als das Christentum noch eine junge aufstrebende Sekte war und das römische Reich sich unter dem Möchtegernkünstler, Rotbart und muttermordenden Kaiser in unbeschreiblichem Prunk und menschenverachtender Politik verlor. Sienkiewicz baut ein historisches Panorama welches wie ein klassisches Gemälde alles enthält, was vorstellbar ist. Da ist Liebe, die sich in der Verwandlung erst offenbart; da ist Wahnsinn und Verbrechen; da ist Glaube und Zweifel, Betrug und späte Erkenntn...more
booklady
One of my favorite works of historical fiction...I just wish I remembered the entirety of the story better. Guess I need to reread.
John
A book about ideas with a thrilling plot. It's about the rise of Christianity amid the cruelty and corruption of Imperial Rome.
Catty
It's a great book, a book about power and it's one of my favourite book...
Ilze
Jan 28, 2009 Ilze rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History Buffs, Religious Types, Greek/Roman Mythology Lovers
Recommended to Ilze by: No one, I found it at a book exchange depot
My first impression upon finishing this book: "Geez, finally done!"
My second impression: "Whoa, Geez is short for Jesus. That's ironic."
My third impression: "That was well worth the effort."

Yes, reading this book does take a good deal of effort. Its plot pacing, especially at first, is only a little faster than someone driving a steamroller uphill on city time. It helps mightily if you have a working knowledge of Greek/Roman mythology since it is referenced constantly. You must also have patienc...more
Mazel
prix nobel de littérature 1905
*

" Je songe à une grande épopée chrétienne où je voudrais introduire saint Pierre, saint Paul et Néron, la première persécution, et donner une série de tableaux tellement universels et magnifiques que l'on serait obligé de les traduire du polonais dans toutes les langues " : telle était l'ambition de Henryk Sienkiewicz lorsqu'il entreprit, en 1895, la rédaction de Quo Vadis ?.

Pari gagné : l'année suivante, le roman est traduit en Europe et aux États-Unis - les Fran...more
Jo
I have just read this book for the third time in my life and still enjoyed it just as much as I did on first reading it in the late 1960's. It is a novel is set in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Nero. And tells the story of the patrician Vinitius and and the Christian girl Ligia. The new 'sect' of Christianity is blamed for the burning of Rome and the Christians become convenient scape goats for the mad Nero who sets out on campaign of the most horrific torture and murder of anyone who dar...more
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Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz (also known as "Litwos"; May 5, 1846–November 15, 1916) was a Polish journalist and Nobel Prize-winning novelist. He was one of the most popular Polish writers at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1905 for his "outstanding merits as an epic writer."

Born into an impoverished gentry family in the Podlasie vi...more
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“But I think happiness springs from another source, a far deeper one that doesn't depend on will because it comes from love.” 37 likes
“I know, 0 Caesar, that thou art awaiting my arrival with impatience, that thy true heart of a friend is yearning day and night for me. I know that thou art ready to cover me with gifts, make me prefect of the pretorian guards, and command Tigellinus to be that which the gods made him, a mule-driver in those lands which thou didst inherit after poisoning Domitius. Pardon me, however, for I swear to thee by Hades, and by the shades of thy mother, thy wife, thy brother, and Seneca, that I cannot go to thee. Life is a great treasure. I have taken the most precious jewels from that treasure, but in life there are many things which I cannot endure any longer. Do not suppose, I pray, that I am offended because thou didst kill thy mother, thy wife, and thy brother; that thou didst burn Eome and send to Erebus all the honest men in thy dominions. No, grandson of Chronos. Death is the inheritance of man; from thee other deeds could not have been expected. But to destroy one's ear for whole years with thy poetry, to see thy belly of a Domitius on slim legs whirled about in a Pyrrhic dance; to hear thy music, thy declamation, thy doggerel verses, wretched poet of the suburbs, — is a thing surpassing my power, and it has roused in me the wish to die. Eome stuffs its ears when it hears thee; the world reviles thee. I can blush for thee no longer, and I have no wish to do so. The howls of Cerberus, though resembling thy music, will be less offensive to me, for I have never been the friend of Cerberus, and I need not be ashamed of his howling. Farewell, but make no music; commit murder, but write no verses; poison people, but dance not; be an incendiary, but play not on a cithara. This is the wish and the last friendly counsel sent thee by the — Arbiter Elegantiae.” 7 likes
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