Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero, commonly known as Quo Vadis, is a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz in Polish. "Quo vadis Domine" is Latin for "Where are you going, Lord?" and alludes to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, in which Peter flees Rome but on his way meets Jesus and asks him why he is going to Rome. Jesus says, "I am going back to be crucified again", which makes Peter go back to Rome and accept martyrdom.
The novel Quo Vadis tells of a love that develops between a young Christian woman, Ligia (or Lygia), and Marcus Vinicius, a Roman patrician. It takes place in the city of Rome under the rule of emperor Nero, circa AD 64.
Sienkiewicz studied the Roman Empire extensively prior to writing the novel, with the aim of getting historical details correct. Consequently, several historical figures appear in the book. As a whole, the novel carries an outspoken pro-Christian message.
Published in installments in three Polish dailies in 1895, it came out in book form in 1896 and has since been translated into more than 50 languages. This novel contributed to Sienkiewicz's Nobel Prize for literature in 1905.
Several movies have been based on Quo Vadis including two Italian silent films—Quo Vadis (1913 film) and Quo Vadis (1924 film)—a Hollywood production—Quo Vadis (1951 film)—and an adaptation by Jerzy Kawalerowicz: Quo Vadis (2001 film).
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