Threshold of Fire: A Novel of Fifth Century Rome
Academy Chicago Publishers, 2005 - 255 pagina's
In this vivid, dynamic novel, Hella Haasse has once more brought the past to life. This time she has chosen to illuminate a crucial, yet relatively obscure period of history: it is 414 A.D. and the once-powerful Roman Empire is in its death throes—split between East and West, menaced by barbarian hordes almost literally at its gates. The Emperor Honorius, an incompetent weakling, cowers in the marsh-bound city of Ravenna, where he has moved the government; he rarely "makes entry" into Rome. This is the brilliant canvas against which the characters in this drama interact. There is the Prefect Hadrian, a powerful official and fanatical Christian convert; there is Marcus Anicius, the pagan aristocrat who is clinging to a dying past, and there is the Jew Eliezar be Elijah, hemmed in by his own traditions and burdened by his dark vision of the future. There is the intrigue and uncertainty of life at Honorius's court, and there are the streets and tenements of Rome, pulsating with life and with corruption.
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I was reminded of the sensation which used to overcome me whenever I had to
work my way through the waiting crowds near the Circus. Tension, blood lust, the
blind craving for diversion — all that gave off an odor more penetrating than the ...
monk whom they dared not seize, nor move the irresolute, waiting gladiators to
fight again. Courtiers of various factions crowded about the Emperor, arguing and
disputing with one another at the tops of their voices. I could not see Honorius ...
Pylades, who had been waiting peevishly, turned and snapped atus, “How long
is this going to go on? I'm not going to stay here forever!" “He's talking rubbish to
that statue." “Balcho, grab him under the arms, carry him for all I care, but let's go!
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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