A surprising book from the author of The Oppermanns. One seeks, gropingly, for some parallel in modern problems as an explanation of his digging into the obscurities of history buried and forgotten for the character of a false Nero who was created, a puppet figure, in the East. This is aimed at the I Claudius market -- but falls short. A fictional story, back of the facts, reveals the personal spite and jealousy of an ex-senator, who has made a fortune in the East, who has won a reputation for his adroit handling of his Oriental potentates --but who cannot forget or forgive the slight upon his Roman citizenship. To repay in full the insults of a weakling former schoolmate -- and back of him, the Roman Emperor, he conceives the idea of dramatizing the resemblance of a former slave to Nero --and the plot is launched, approaches success, and then collapses when Titus' death is announced. Amazingly little feel of the times and the customs -- simply an analysis of the way their minds worked by devious routes. A bit on the dull side in its length and slowness of pace.