What if the Empire never crumbled -- and the Eternal City reigned supreme for thousands of years?
No power on Earth can resist the might of Imperial Rome, so has it been and so it ever shall be. Through brute force, terror, and sheer indomitable will, her armies have enslaved a world, crushing all who would oppose her in her divine mission of total domination. From the reign of Maximilianus the Great in A.U.C. 1203 onward, Rome thrives through the myriad bloody intrigues and corrupt sovereignties that would doom a lesser state. Upstarts and enemies arise and fall, ground beneath merciless Roman boot heels: the prophet Mohammad murdered before his influence can take root; the Mayans in Mexico cruelly subjugated by the invading hordes of the Emperor Trajan VII on their first voyage of circumnavigation.
So it is and so it ever shall be -- into a new age of scientific advancement and astounding technologies.
Throughout the many centuries of Roman rule, one people have suffered and bled ... and endured. In the year A.U.C. 2723, at last a faint hope has been born with the advent of a miraculous new industry. For an intrepid band of those who are called Hebrews, the day is coming when the heavens themselves will be opened to them, and escape from Rome's eternal oppression may finally be possible -- as the ships are prepared in secret that will carry the enslaved on their "Great Exodus" to the stars.
A crowning achievement in a majestic career that has already spanned six decades, Robert Silverberg's Roma Eterna is a triumph of the imagination that reveals the acclaimed author at the breathtaking peak of his narrative powers....Continua
Very good attempt at an alternative history of a better world (Im Italian :) )The writing flows extremely well and all stories are interest and well built around fairly credible, if not always fully developed, characters. The historical framework is rationale and engaging.If anything, I would have liked a more in-depth review of how society evolved and how global history had been affected, but you can have both nice free standing stories and historical depth in a novel without making it become a monster in terms of sizeFully recommended...Continua
I was curious to see how one of my favourites science fiction autors handled this topic. The result is a nice novel where the problem of the wide time frame is faced by using different main characters in every chapter. Also each character comes from a different social class and age. This in part reminds me the similar choice adopted by Asimov in the foundation series though, contrary to Roma Aeterna, there were some characters described for longer and in more depth.
It's interesting to see how the roman empire starts to change in respect to the real one from the very beginning. For example the way the two big religions of the empire area are wiped away is clever but perhaps to quick, as the author did not want to insert these variables throughout the story. Overall positive mark.