Ione - the virtuous and lovely protegée of ArbacesIone's father was a wealthy Roman noble who died during Nero's reign. She believes that her father was murdered by Nero, when in fact Arbaces is the one responsible for the murder. After her father's death Ione and her brother, Antonius, were taken care of by Arbaces. In hopes to get a hold of the siblings' considerable fortune, Arbaces has taught them to believe in Isis and has shown them how they might best serve the goddess. And so, Ione is about to become a priestess.
However, things change as Ione meets Glaucus, a Greek noble, who's determined to change his ways and win her heart.
Ione: Then I won't offend by refusing him. Because I do welcome you, Nydia. I want you to be happy here, and think of yourself as my companion, not my servant.
Nydia: But it is my duty to serve those my master loves.
Ione: Loves? That's just his way of speaking, don't you think?
Ione: I wish you understood how happy it could make you to believe in
something higher than yourself.
Glaucus: Oh, but I do, Ione. I believe -- in you.
Ione: Arbaces has taken everything - my family, Glaucus, my faith...
Ione: How can I live if Glaucus dies? I love him and he doesn't even know. He thinks I blame him.
I guess one cannot mention Olivia Hussey without also mentioning her work in Romeo and Juliet. Fair or not, but she truly was a brilliant Juliet. And thanks to that, her stint in Boy Meets World was truly funny :)
Nydia - the beautiful, blind slaveGlaucus buys Nydia and saves her from being forced to becoming a prostitute. Naturally, Nydia falls in love with her kind and noble master, who's in love with Ione. Blinded by her infatuation, Nydia rejects the man who does love her - Lydon.
Shortly after Glaucus has bought Nydia, he sends her to Ione. Despite befriending her new mistress, Nydia betrays both her and Glaucus' trust, because of her own jealousy. However, it proves very hard to live with her guilt, and as she comes to realize that her fascination with Glaucus isn't the real deal after all, she comes clean and helps reunite Ione and Glaucus.
It takes Nydia a long time to realize what true love is, and to whom her heart truly belongs, and then it is almost too late. As the Mount Vesuvius erupts and proceeds to destroy all of Pompeii, it takes a minor miracle for Nydia to finally find her man, and escape to safety with him.
Glaucus: But I don't think of you as a slave.
Nydia: Lydon, I'm very honoured by your feelings for me, and I want you to be
happy, but I'm a slave in my heart as much as in fact.
Lydon: I know you're not promised to another man.
Nydia: No. I never will be. But in prison just the same.
Even though she has an impressive resume I'm afraid I really haven't seen Linda Purl in a whole lot of things. She was good as Matlock's daughter and I remember seeing her in Robin's Hoods, but that's about it. Still, I really love the work she did as Nydia in TLDoP. I'm a sucker for romance and the whole Lydon/Nydia thing just blew me away.