The Last Days of Pompeii

by Edward Bulwer-Lytton
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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 256

Glaucus

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Glaucus (GLOH-kuhs), a Glaucus, handsome and popular Greek. He is saved from death in the arena by the eruption of Vesuvius; he is saved from death after the eruption by the blind flower girl Nydia.

Clodius

Clodius (KLOH-dee-uhs), a foppish Roman of Pompeii and a friend of Glaucus.

Nydia

Nydia (NIH-dee-uh), a blind flower girl from Greece who is hopelessly in love with Glaucus. Through her ability to move in the darkness, she is able to guide Glaucus and Ione to safety aboard a small ship. Then she drowns herself.

Burbo

Burbo (BUR-boh), a wine seller and the owner of Nydia.

Arbaces

Arbaces (AHR-buh-seez), priest of Isis, who prays for the return of Egypt’s power. Meanwhile, he tries to turn his ward Apaecides into a priest and to marry the boy’s sister, Ione. He stabs Apaecides and puts the blame on Glaucus, who is then condemned to the arena.

Apaecides

Apaecides (uh-PEE-sih-deez), the ward of Arbaces, converted to Christianity by an earthquake.

Ione

Ione (i-OH-nee), a lovely Neapolitan girl, seen and loved by Glaucus.

Diomed

Diomed (DI-oh-mehd), a wealthy freedman.

Julia

Julia (JEWL-yuh), his daughter, in love with Glaucus.

A priest

A priest, a witness to the innocence of Glaucus but held prisoner by Arbaces.

Sallust

Sallust (SA-luhst), a friend of Glaucus, but too drunk to answer Nydia’s letter for help. Finally, his appeal to the praetor at the arena causes the crowd to demand that Arbaces be thrown to the lion; before this can take place, however, the fatal earthquake begins.

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