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Publisher's Summary

Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of the city's first 1,000 years - from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome's astonishing ascent to become the capital of the most powerful empire in history. Roma recounts the tragedy of the hero-traitor Coriolanus, the capture of the city by the Gauls, the invasion of Hannibal, the bitter political struggles of the patricians and plebeians, and the ultimate death of Rome's Republic with the triumph, and assassination, of Julius Caesar.
Witnessing this history, and sometimes playing key roles, are the descendents of two of Rome's first families: the Potitius and Pinarius clans. One is the confidant of Romulus. One is born a slave and tempts a Vestal virgin to break her vows. One becomes a mass murderer. And one becomes the heir of Julius Caesar. Linking the generations is a mysterious talisman as ancient as the city itself.
Epic in every sense of the word, Roma is a panoramic historical saga and Saylor's finest achievement to date.
©2007 Steven Saylor (P)2007 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"Solidly anchored in fact and vividly imagined." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By S. Caruso on 10-09-07

Excellent Feel for Ancient Rome

Saylor is well known and loved for his exceptional ancient Roman murder mysteries. This is not one of them. Most of the less than loving reviews here seem to relate to this main point. Neither is this an exhaustive description of 1000 years of pre-empire Roman history.

Instead, Saylor has focused on showing the reader what it would have felt like to live as a Roman during the period extending from Rome's founding through the beginning of the empire. He certainly does hits some of the major historical events, but doesn't focus on pouring facts down your throat. Instead, he concentrates on giving the reader an impression of how a Roman would have lived, how he or she would have seen the world around them, and reacted to things around them, and what kind of sense they would have made of the world.

All-in-all, Saylor has done a truly fantastic job. The story drags a bit at times, but what thousand year long story wouldn't? The narrator is fantastic, and the material is wonderful. If you enjoy stories of Ancient Rome, listen to this one.

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful

By DonnaRussell on 01-13-10

A Pleasant Experience

I LOVED Roma. I usually listen to cds in the car and I recently agreed to take a useless 3 hour trip just because I knew I could listen to this book. It makes history come alive. I have read some books about Roman history and listened to a lecture series, but it was never real to me as it is now. The class warfare and government squabbles of the Republic sound alot like what is happening today. I expected the book to be interesting but I was surprised how timely it is.

It's true that the characters change a lot. The book is a series of related short stories, but there are stable threads running through them and the later stories are enriched by the earlier ones. I thought the book was engrossing. I'm just sorry I can't listen to it again for the first time.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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