Threshold of Fire: A Novel of Fifth Century Rome
Allison & Busby, 1997 - 255 pagina's
Initially published in The Netherlands in 1964, Haasse's ( In the Dark Wood Wandering ) pensive novel of the clash between Christian and pagan cultures in A.D. 414 is a far cry from the likes of Lloyd C. Douglas or Lew Wallace. For one thing, it's the pagan Romans following the faith of their forefathers who are persecuted in accordance with the edicts of Theodosius, while Christians exploit their new authority. There are despicable and admirable representatives of both cults; the only two truly honorable characters are an Egyptian Jew and his illegitimate half-slave grandson. After an Alexandrian education, this grandson returns to Rome, from where he had been exiled after one of the political shifts of the late Empire, to become the poet Claudian, an historical figure often considered the last classical Roman writer. His unlawful presence in Rome brings him into conflict with the Christian Prefect Hadrian. Although the real Claudian is sometimes claimed by Christians, Haasse's creation eschews established religion in favor of humanism. It is Claudian's character and his "faith" that forms the core of a book both less dogmatic and wiser than many which concern this period. -- Publisher's Weekly
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His visits to Eliezar's house carry a touch of self-torment and at the same time
seem necessary to slake a nameless, growing curiosity. What is he seeking?
Why? Hadrian cannot play the Indian game — with two groups of ivory figures on
Eliezar: That's what they say. It's never been proven. Hadrian: All the priests are
castrated or perverted, a clique of so-called initiates in the secrets of Serapis as
god of the underworld, who practice magic, call up spirits ... It appears that a ...
Hadrian's visits to Eliezar become less frequent. Each time he comes, he offers to
bring Claudius with him, but each time Eliezar refuses. He has sat for a long time
over a much-admired work of Claudius's, the Gigantomachia, which Hadrian ...
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LibraryThing ReviewGebruikersrecensie - janerawoof - LibraryThing
This one was fantastic! Not a book of 'action', except in the memories expressed by two of the main characters, Prefect Hadrian and the poet, Claudius Claudianus. Hadrian presides at the trial of a ... Volledige review lezen
THRESHOLD OF FIREGebruikersrecensie - Kirkus
The cusps of the past are further explored in another of the prolific Haasse's historical sagas (In a Dark Wood Wandering, 1989; The Scarlet City, 1990)—a 1964 novel newly translated from the Dutch ... Volledige review lezen