Leave Rome or Die
The year is 62 AD. Nero rules over the Roman empire with a despotic hand. Young patrician Marcus is sentenced to death for offending him. Hunted by the Pretorian guard, he escapes from the pleasures of Rome, and has to hide in faraway provinces.
Betrayed by his family, cut off from his allies, Marcus’s only friend is the great Seneca, with whom he starts to correspond secretly. At this point sixty years old, Seneca, the philosopher, the great wordsmith, is the most famous man in the empire, but lives alone, hermited away on his estate, and spends his days reading and writing.
Fighting his way out of his pursuers’ traps, Marcus, who used to be a frivolous, impetuous man, listens to his illustrious friend’s advice, and receives in his letters a magnificient lesson about life and intelligence.
Through the twists and turns of Marcus’s escape, a fascinating, haunting picture of Nero’s Rome is brought to us. Through his correspondence with Seneca, a practical approach to the philosophy of life resonates to us through time, timeless despite being two thousand years old, and brilliantly answers the question that everyone must answer for themselves:
“What is the meaning of life, and how do I achieve happiness?”
After the hugely successful historical and detective novels, Forgive Us Our Sins, Deliver Us from Evil and No One Will Get Away, comes a philosophical novel from Romain Sardou. Based on the famous letters to Lucilius, Seneca’s missives are authentic, with a few exceptions that enthusiasts can take pleasure in discovering.