Confessors of the Name by Gladys Schmitt, book club edition, 1952
Synopsis: The reign of the Emperor Decius (250 A.D.) was a time which the great English historian Toynbee likens to our own - "a time of troubles." Troubles there were - Goths descending upon the Empire from the northern forests, Christians setting up a state within a state, and appalling corruption and chaos on every level, from the senators to the slaves.
It is with Favorinus Herennius that the reader is taken through all the levels of Roman society in this year of decision. It begins in the fabulously wealthy family of the Herennii, where the young man - charming, intelligent, handsome -seeks and fails to find the meaning of life, and turns his back on a mother whose sole interest is money and prestige and on a sister Drusilla, who can think of nothing but the wreck of what her friends call "the worst marriage in Rome."
Nor can he find the significance he seeks in the circle of artists and intellects gathered around his Greek mistress Charis. This is a novel of a yesterday which is all too like our own. In the splendid ruins and the hovels, in the Forum and on battlefields, you will find yourself. In the orgies and the persecutions, in the ruthlessness and the demoralization, you will see what you have been witnessing in the world for the last twenty years.
But here, too, is a story of hope, since some new shoot always springs out of the decay. The primitive Christian Church survives the collapse of this dying civilization, rises triumphant out of the ruin in spite of the beasts and the rack and the fire.
- 1952 copy of Confessors of the Name by Gladys Schmitt
- book club edition, so collectible!
- hardcover with dust jacket
- some small tears in the dust jacket and some light sun bleaching, though overall excellent condition