Henryk Sienkiewicz Quo Vadis Audiobook
Quo vadis? is a historical novel that I found both captivating and informative about the reign of Nero and the birth of Christianity.
Henryk Sienkiewicz has written a fascinating book whose central theme is love in all its forms.
Vinicius is in love with Lygia, a Lygian hostage, daughter of a king.
because she is of breathtaking physical beauty.
Lygie shares this attraction against which she has difficulty fighting.
Vinicius is an arrogant and self-confident young and handsome warrior, not a single woman can resist his charms so why does Lygie push him away?
Because she sees love on another level, it is not just the attraction to physical beauty, it is also the love of soul beauty. The young girl became a Christian, she follows the teachings of Christ, who died crucified.
This new doctrine advocates love of neighbor, whoever he is, even the enemy. Henryk Sienkiewicz Quo Vadis Audiobook .
The meaning of the title is explained in one of the chapters: “Quo vadis, dominate? Where are you going, lord? Peter, one of the main apostles and companions of Christ, has a vision of the latter going to Rome to die in his place, “since you are abandoning my people”. Peter then knows what to do and returns to Rome.
This novel allows a very interesting immersion in the time of Nero and his bloody dictatorship. Nero, the emperor, loves power and manages to execute anyone who could cause him to lose the throne.
He lives in a world of ultra violence and practices it himself with great pleasure so as not to be overthrown.
Ruthless tyrant, he also loves art, music and song, he is in perpetual search for the approval of the members of his court,
who must pretend to adore his art under pain of being sentenced to death!
Even children are not spared because the madness of Nero is limitless, his desires must be granted in the second.
The love of power, of the feeling of omnipotence that it confers, makes him lose his mind.
Quo vadis? gives a different take on what Christianity was originally,
when it was just a new and rebellious doctrine within Judaism, before spreading and overthrowing the old power,
the old way to envision the world, embodied by Nero and Vinicius, before his conversion.
Vinicius is like Nero, he uses violence to satisfy his every desire.
Early Christianity is founded on the power of love which will transform the exercise of power,
put peoples on an equal footing and destroy the old social organization to replace it with a new one.
which will no longer be based on strength and war but on love and equality of all before the Lord, Christ.
These innovative and subversive ideas worried Nero who took advantage of a fire and a rumor accusing him of being responsible to persecute Christians and eliminate them in a terrible way described in many chapters.
The frightful crowd of baseness, stupidity, wickedness, revel in the massacres, in the blood which entertains them and adulates Nero. Could this be the banality of the evil that Hannah Arendt talks about?
Many historical figures punctuate the story.
My preference goes to Petronius, undoubtedly the most famous, supposed author of the Satiricon, the arbiter of elegance, courtier of Nero,
who nevertheless knows how to remain a free spirit thanks to the finesse of his repartees, the intelligence of his concealed sarcasm.
Freedom is a state of mind that he cultivates and manages to preserve even in a bloody dictatorship. He enjoys each day with philosophy without having any illusions about his ultimate fate for which he is prepared.
He will be able to face it with courage, dignity, calm, without showing the slightest anguish, while remaining sarcastic and superior to his executioner.
“I lived as I wanted, I will die as I please”,
says this esthete, lover of beauty, who hates crime because it is ugly but cannot convert to the new fashionable religion.
If he concedes that Christ is undoubtedly the most honest of the gods, he thinks that this doctrine is not made for him, he would be incapable of loving all of his neighbor, Nero etc.
It’s hard not to think of Hitler and the many bloodthirsty tyrants that two thousand years of history have produced. It is indeed hard to be a true Christian.
What about the Inquisition and the pyres of Protestant heretics? An example of love for neighbor?
Henryk Sienkiewicz does not ignore them. Among the Christians of the origins, he knows how to portray certain characters who announce the fanaticisms to come, fanaticisms which will make Dostoyevsky say in The Brothers Karamazov through the mouth of Yvan the tormented that,
if Christ returned, he would be burned by the court of The inquisition. Probably Petronius would have been too, although the apostle had promised him that the exercise of power would be different with his new doctrine and that free spirits would no longer risk being condemned to death. Henryk Sienkiewicz Quo Vadis Audiobook .