Favourite Couples From The Last Days Of Pompeii (1984 Miniseries)

In 1984, a miniseries was released on TV, based upon the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel, 'The Last Days of Pompeii.' However, where Bulwer-Lytton chose to only write about one particular couple, with several supporting characters, the writer of this series decided to create numerous couples with their own romances. This, to me, made the story in this updated version so much better than the original, as it gave the viewer a wide variety of romances to choose from. Indeed, I wish this version had been what was written for the original story.
The Top Ten
1 Lydon & Nydia

Lydon is the champion gladiator and the son of a Christian slave. Initially, he relishes the adulation he receives from rich nobles at the gladiator games until he is publicly humiliated by Diomede at a banquet he throws at his villa for them. Thereupon, he realizes how shallow their cheering is for him and begins to desire a life outside of the games for himself, his father, and Nydia, the blind slave, whom he has fallen in love with because of her innocence.

Meanwhile, Nydia herself is infatuated with Glaucus, and during the winter months, she spends her precious few free times working in his garden, awaiting his return in the coming months. When Nydia's cruel owners finally decide to sell her, Glaucus buys her at the slave market. Lydon also attempts to buy her freedom, but Glaucus saves her first. Nydia feels she has finally found happiness until Glaucus sends her to live with Ione. In spite of Ione's kindness to her, Nydia secretly envies her because Glaucus loves her.

Eventually, Nydia's heart is finally opened, and she learns that Lydon is her one true love.

2 Clodius & Julia

Although Clodius is a nobleman, he is very poor, as his father had gambled away the family's fortune. One of his favorite pastimes is writing poetry. His chief ambition is to marry a rich woman. However, he genuinely falls in love with Julia simply for who she is and not because she is rich.

Julia, in turn, loves him but believes that he would never fall for her because, although she comes from a wealthy family, her father Diomede is the son of a freed slave who made his fortune from making fish sauce and is not nobility. In fact, Diomede hopes to marry Julia off to Glaucus for his own ambitions. When Julia tells him that she is in love with Clodius, Diomede refuses to allow her to marry him because Clodius is poor, in spite of being a nobleman.

3 Melior & The Barmaid

Melior is a gladiator and a very good friend of Lydon's. Just as Lydon is in love with Nydia and comes to Burbo's tavern specifically to see her, Melior also comes to Burbo's tavern specifically out of love for one of the barmaids who work there. No doubt, like Lydon who hopes to marry Nydia, Melior must have also desired to marry this unnamed barmaid.

When the gladiators are on tour, fighting at various colosseums across the empire, Melior is tragically killed. When the barmaid hears of her beloved's death, she is heartbroken. But her pain is eventually ended when she dies during the volcano eruption over Pompeii.

4 Petrus & Chloe

Petrus is a Christian slave, and Chloe is a prostitute (also inwardly a Christian but was never actually baptized into the faith). Chloe also has an infant son, whom she likes to think of as Petrus' child, but Petrus doesn't know what to make of this due to Chloe's profession. Chloe has her child baptized by Olinthus as a Christian.

Although the two of them love one another passionately, they are unable to escape their lifestyles to marry each other and serve their God together. Petrus is eventually martyred when he defends his fellow Christians from being attacked by a pagan mob, and Chloe dies when the volcano destroys Pompeii. However, their child is rescued by Nydia and Lydon, who raise him as their own after escaping Pompeii.

5 Gaius & Fortunata

A much older couple who have always loved and respected one another, Gaius and Fortunata live in an almost paranoid fear of Arbaces, after years earlier preventing him from taking Ione's and her brother's inheritance after killing their family. Gaius warns Glaucus not to let Ione enter the Isis cult that is run by Arbaces.

6 Diomede & Lucretia

The parents of Julia, they are very rich, ambitious, and greedy. Although Diomede is descended from freed slaves, he looks down on those that are less fortunate than he is. He is inspired by Arbaces to run for public office, and both he and his wife exploit Julia for their own ends.

Lucretia is a worshipper of Isis and is most pleased when her husband comes under Arbaces' wing. Diomede does not desire his daughter to marry Clodius because he is poor.

7 Burbo & Stratonice

The owners of the tavern where Chloe and another prostitute have their business, Burbo and Stratonice, are very cruel people. Stratonice is the original owner of Nydia and treats her very cruelly because of her blindness. Burbo's brother is a high priest of Isis. The couple constantly fight with one another and hurl abuse at one another.

8 Glaucus & Ione

Glaucus is a rich noble from Greece who spends his summers in the resort town of Pompeii, where he enjoys riotous times with his friends Clodius, Lepidus, and Sallust. Ione is a priestess-in-training for the cult of Isis, where her brother has already been accepted as a priest. Although she loves Glaucus as he loves her, she tries to resist these feelings with all of her will for her impending vows, and she chastises Glaucus for his wild living as a means to justify her rejections of him.

Meanwhile, Glaucus seeks to find a way to dissuade Ione from becoming a priestess and instead become his wife.

9 Arbacese & The Goddess Isis

Priests are often described as being married to the various deities whom they serve, hence my reason for adding him with her.

10 Celenus & Xenia

After watching 'The Last Days of Pompeii' over a million times, it suddenly dawned on me that these two were also a potential couple.

The Contenders
11 Olinthus & The Unnamed Woman Whom He Once Loved & Lost

When Olinthus asks Nydia about Lydon (before she falls in love with him and is still struggling with Glaucus' love for Ione), Nydia rebuffs the question, so Olinthus tells her about a young woman who loved him once, but he turned her down for his service to the Lord. He said he watched her marry someone else and sometimes still thinks about her.

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