The Flames of Rome Author:Paul L. Maier The Flames of Rome — Standing among his comrades-in-arms, Flavius Sabinus was almost overwhelmed by the splendor of the triumphal procession. The crowd's ovation thundered in their ears while the smiling emperor congratulated them for raising the imperial eagle over Britain's foggy shores. —  ... more »; But the Rome that cheered itself hoarse was not the city beloved by the Flavii and other old republican families. Stammering, shambling Claudius ruled over an empire tainted by vicious excesses and unknowingly shared his bed with a murderous wanton whose depravity was but a foretaste of the crimes to follow.
THE FLAMES OF ROME is the story of Sabinus, his clan, and their friends, a small group loyal the the memory of another, better Rome, a few honest men and women who must pick their way cautiously among the intrigues that infest the majestic city. Ascending the ladder of rank, Sabinus sees all too clearly the rot that has infested Rome.
And when, in the aftermath of the great fire, the infamous Nero decides to seek a scapegoat, Sabinus must make his choice. Throughout the tumultuous years, a faith has been growing, called Christianity, named after an obscure prophet executed in faraway Palestine. And as this doctrine spreads, first in whispers and then in ever-increasing gatherings to hear the apostles Peter and Paul, Sabinus' family is drawn to the hopes and virtues of this faith, so unlike the debauchery that Rome has become.
But Nero proposed to divert the mob with a little entertainment in his stadium across the Tiber, a circus that will come to be called persecution...
Every character in this crucial account of how Christianity reached Rome is authentic, and this book is quite probably the most accurate historical novel ever written.
A professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University, Paul L. Maier is the author of many books, including Pontius Pilate, which told the story of the birth of Christianity.« less