“This history book/novel was a good one about Rome”Lucas D wrote this review Friday, September 10, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Dense but engrossing historical novel set in Rome. The ancient era isn't my favorite but Saylor is clearly a historian who knows his stuff, and the novel is packed with details. This is the kind of book that makes me want to tour Rome -- I know I'd see everything with a new eye. ”Audra (Unabridged Chick) wrote this review Monday, August 23, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
““Legend is Historical Just as History is Legendary.”
What a phrase…..and it’s the opening quote in Steven Saylor’s latest production on the Roman Republic, titled Roma. Mr. Saylor has stepped away from his acclaimed mystery based series with Gordianus the Finder to present a unique and fresh perspective on the ancient republic.
Mr. Saylor produces a nice effort to highlight the major events of the Roman Republic from pre-Roma days through the founding of Roma to the days of Julius Ceasar. The story that evolves through the generations of one family, with the Roman history in the backdrop, focuses more on the legends, spirituality, and cultural aspects of the Roman Republic. The author easily weaves the story of this family into the fabric of the history of the Roman Republic. This epic story shows the struggle between the lower class, plebians, and the upper class, patricians, through the generations of the Roman Republic. It also depicts the power and ego of successful political men who tried to reach the status of King, but could not stay in that position for long.
As each chapter goes by the author fast forwards in time to the next major or controversial event in the republic’s history. This might first appear as though he is skipping events, but the author does a nice job of tieing chapters together and summarizing events that happened in the timeline. Although not a detailed account of the Roman Republic government, that not being the intent of the book, the book does convey how the government transformed through the generations with the rise and fall of the republic.
As I was reading this book I found myself excited about the possibilities of a second trip to Rome to visit the historical sites that I missed the first time, armed with this new knowledge of the legends of Rome. I would highly recommend this book for fans of Roman History, furthermore it would be worth a read if you plan to travel the historical sights in Italy.
“The book covers a broad period of time, so it necessarily jumped from one generation to another, which I found difficult to enjoy at first. Heather had recommended it highly, though, so I stuck with it! I did enjoy it and I did learn a lot about Roman history.”Kathy M wrote this review Thursday, September 9, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Although lacks stylistic finesse, it is a very rich account of the early history of Rome. It reads like a series of lectures given to students by a teacher who wants them to actually be passionate about the subject ;) ”bobo kay wrote this review Saturday, June 12, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have enjoyed Steven Saylor's mysteries set during the Roman Republic. Roma is a painless way to absorb some Roman History. It's structured rather like the Rutherford books: London and Sarum.”Kathy H wrote this review Tuesday, June 1, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I'm not sure why no one undertook this sooner: a novel chronicling all of Roman history, from the days when the city was nothing more than a hamlet among seven hills until the pre-Christian imperial era. Saylor is, as always, a decent writer, good and entertaining storyteller, and excellent historical researcher (an important thing, I'd say, considering the popularity of totally dubious "historical fiction" these days). That said, interest in this story begins to flag a bit as the character sketches get shorter and shorter, and centuries pass by in mere pages. Perhaps no one has undertaken this sooner because it's so damn hard to do. A good effort.”Ria A wrote this review Sunday, May 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was awsome! I loved how it followed one family in ancient Rome. ”Michelle wrote this review Sunday, May 2, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“One family's history recounted in the context of the rise of Rome. I was disappointed that the story ended at a mere 44 BC with the reign of Julius Caesar's "son", Augustus. I especially enjoyed the sections on the Gracchus brothers, and their struggles with the privileged class. I was gripped by the conflict between the rich and the poor in the republic's attempts at democracy. ”mcdunc wrote this review Friday, April 9, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No