George V. Reilly

Review: Roma Eterna

Roma Eterna
Title: Roma Eterna
Author: Robert Silverberg
Rating: ★ ★
Publisher: Eos
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 449
Keywords: alternate history
Reading period: 5-9 June, 2007

Rome has never fallen to the barbarians. The eternal city has stood for 27 centuries. Its empire has ebbed and flowed, from weak emperors who submitted to their co-emperors in Con­stan­tino­ple, to mad ones who drain the treasury, to conquerors who spread the might of Rome across the globe.

The premise is in­ter­est­ing, but the execution is weak. The book is written in a Mich­eneresque style: a series of disjointed chapters set decades or centuries apart. The viewpoint characters usually have some connection to the emperor of the time. Reviewing the front matter moments ago, I see that "sections of this book have been previously published in somewhat different form, copyright 1989, 1991, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003". It’s clear that it was cobbled together from a series of short stories.

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