Book Review: The Flames of Rome

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The Flames of Rome
by:  Paul L Maier

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 9:42pm

We’ve all heard that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it sure did burn in one.  Have we ever thought about why?  We have always known the people of Rome were terribly corrupt, Christians were killed and the land burned but what else?  This book shines a light on the history of the “why’s”  that have surrounded the first century.
Paul L. Maier brings the early church to life with this historical fiction, he shares “facts” based on writings of historical documents and traditions of the time and place.  It is extremely informative and moving.  If you have ever wanted to fill the gaps of what you remember from your history lessons with insight on Nero or Claudius and the horrific persecution of the early Christians this is the book to read.
Flames of Rome was on my daughter’s reading list for her history this year.  While I was absent-mindedly flipping through the book I saw text that I wasn’t so sure I wanted her to read.  I read the book instead.
Parents may want to know up front that there is a lot of adult material which is relevant to the lives and mentality of the people, especially the rulers during the reign of Claudius and Nero.  Beyond the adult material, this book covers  a lot of history and there is so much more to learn of the early church, the first Christians, the cruelty to those martyred, and the blindness of the rulers of the land.
It is worth the time to read this “factual” book of historical fiction if for no other reason to fill the gaps in your own mind.  This will give you far more respect for the people who lived and died at the hands of those seeking power, pleasure, and prestige above all else.  Based on historical notes and documents the author states he has remained true to the project by giving more fact, more history, and less fiction.

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