The last days of Pompeii

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Re: Pompeii

Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Fri Jun 18, 2004 10:37 am

K. Duellius wrote:Salve Marcus!

[pedantic] His name is Quintus 8). It should be Quinte, btw. [/pedantic]

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B-L's LDoP (w/ ***SPOILERS***)

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:05 pm

Salvete lectores...

I have the book, in a few editions, but have never gotten all the way through it cover-to-cover. Reason: Even a skim or a scan reveals its nature: It is less about Rome (or Pompeii) than about Christianity. You have your assortment of characters, the lecherous gladiator trainer (I think it's been a long time), the sweet, innocent slave girl who is secretly a Christian, the soldier (or gladiator, or other fighter-type) who falls in love with her, also secretly. (If I am wrong on the details, I have surely captured the essence!) Of course she converts him; of course they are among the few who escape, thanks to their Virtue. Yawn.

This tale was written around the same time as Gibbon's Decline and Fall, and suffers from the same Victorian sensibilities. I can enjoy it insofar as it is Roman and the characters are well-drawn and they bounce off each other in sensible ways; but when it gets preachy, and in the 'of-courseness' of the religious angle, it is patently offensive, to me at least. But then, it has lots of company; Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis, Spartacus and others share the same vice. I don't think anything in creative fiction should be preordained. That's why I no longer read Christian fiction, or go to the movies.

Last Days of Pompeii and similar morality tales may be savored in small sips. If you share their worldview, go ahead and chug-a-lug. They are classics for a reason; they are good stories, not without merit. But if you're looking to be immersed in the ambiance of a Roman street, you'll do better to pick up a Steven Saylor or Lindsey Davis mystery. Now those are Romans!!

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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Sat Mar 26, 2005 3:58 pm

Salvete omnes,

I just came across this thread just right now. I have read the book "The last days of Pompeii" and liked it to some degree. But of course it annoyed me, too that it was a lot about Christianity.

Talking about the mystery books about Ancient Rome I somehow don't like Lindsey Davis, maybe because the first book of her I read in a very bad German translation. I definitely like Steven Saylor (just reading "Mist of Prophesies" right now - should post this at the "what are you reading?" thread :wink: ) and John Maddox Roberts. Luckily those stories are placed in the last days of the Republic so there can't any Christians appear.

Then there are the books by Simon Scarrow about the conquest of Britain in 43 by Emperor Claudius. The main charackters are the Centurio Macro and the Optio Cato. I just love those books and the fourth one just came out. I'm thinking of getting it in English although I have all the others in German translation but I guess it takes too long for me to wait for the German translation because I'm just addicted to those books :lol:
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Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:48 am


Has anyone read the book "Romanitas". I can't remember the name of the author, but the book take place in modern times when the Roman empire hasn't fall and is still around.
Also I'm reading the second installment of the Caesar series by Conn Iggulden called "Death of the Kings". So far it is an interesting book, but I'm getting the vibe that the author took some poetic licenses when writing these books.

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