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A HistoricalFiction novel set in AncientRome, ''Quo Vadis?'' (1896) is internationally the most well-known work of Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz, also known for the ''Literature/SienkiewiczTrilogy''. ''Quo Vadis'' tells the story of Marcus Vinicius, a young pagan Roman officer, and Lygia, a Christian barbarian {{princess}} raised in a Roman household. The novel is set against the events surrounding the Great Fire of Rome of AD 64, including the Roman persecution of Christians.

The name comes from the Christian legend that recounts that when St. Peter was fleeing Rome as a result of persecution, he saw a vision of [[{{Jesus}} Christ]] and asked Him, ''Domine, quo vadis?'' ("Lord, where are you going?") -- to which the reply was "I go to be crucified again." Thus realizing that he was abandoning the faithful of Rome to their fates, Peter turned around and was martyred.

''Quo Vadis?'' has been adapted to film several times, including in 1951 by Mervin [=LeRoy=] and in 2001 by Jerzy Kawalerowicz.

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!This book contains examples of

* BeastAndBeauty: Vinicius and Lygia
* TheCaligula: Emperor Nero
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Chilon
* ConcertClimax: At a gladiatorial arena
* DamselInDistress: Poor Lygia
* DeadpanSnarker: Petronius. Which is why we love him.
* DateRapeAverted
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Petronius and Eunice.]]
* EverythingISBetterWithPrincesses: Lygia is a barbaric princess.
* {{Fanservice}}: For a novel with such a pro-Christian message, the author goes into quite some detail describing the Romans' debauched activities.
* FlorenceNightingaleEffect: Vincius was obsessed with Lygia for a long time, but after caring for him, Vinicius began to see her as a person and truly care for her, rather than just lusting after her pretty looks.
* TheFundamentalist: Crispus, until [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome called out by St. Peter]]
* GentleGiant: Ursus
* HappilyMarried: Pomponia and Aulus, Lygia's adoptive parents
* HappinessInSlavery: Eunice. One must admit that Petronius treated his home slaves [[DeliberateValuesDissonance pretty well]]
* HeelFaithTurn: Vincius and Chilon.
* RealMenLoveJesus: Ursus and ultimately Vincius.
* RetiredBadass Petronius may be well known as dignified arbiter elegantiarum, but still has no broblem with beating solider several decades younger than him
* LoveAtFirstSight: Averted; more like lust at first sight, leading to...
* LoveRedeems
* ManlyTears: The tribune of the Praetorians [[spoiler:giving the thumbs up to Ursus, Lygia, and Vinicius]]
* NobleSavage: Ursus
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Chilon
* SaintlyChurch
* StalkerWithACrush: Vincius, but he gets better.
* TheseHandsHaveKilled: Ursus racks up quite the body count (using just his bare hands) but he regrets every single death.
* WickedCultured: For all his faults, Nero does love poetry and music.

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!The movies also have examples of:
* FaceDeathWithDignity
* GodivaHair: Notably when Lygia is tied on the bull.
* HeadbuttOfLove: the 2001 film
* HollywoodToneDeaf: Nero's singing.
* LargeHam: Peter Ustinov as ''Nero?'' Yes, please.
* LadyMacbeth: Nero has Pomponia executed on this excuse.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Chilon.
* PsychopathicManChild / SissyVillain: Nero as portrayed by Peter Ustinov is capricious, self-absorbed, and effeminate.
* PuttingOnTheReich: Directly choreographed from ''Triumph of the Will''

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