It is a time when Rome rules the world and astrologers rule Rome with their eerie doctrine that is part astronomy, part superstition and all powerful.
It is 48 AD and the Romans are searching the Museum of Alexandria for a sixteen-year-old who, according to court astrologers, is destined to play a fateful role in the future of the empire.
Tigellinus, handsome and ruthless, discovers Epaphroditus, a library slave who was born at the fated time and sends him to Rome to become the young Nero’s personal assistant.
There Epaphroditus battles court intrigues and struggles with the question whether Nero is the Christian’s Antichrist who “fiddled” while Rome burnt or a musical genius trapped inside a Caesar .
“Not since Marguerite Yourcenar and her novel Memoirs of Hadrian has there been
much of anything that actually places the reader, spirit and soul, in the time period
written about. Knipe fruitfully evokes the dreadful, constellated world of the hubristic yet musical emperor, making for a most vivifying and engaging read.”