I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!! I studied a bit of Ancient Civilization in college, especially about Rome and Greece. This book referenced much of the things I covered in my classes, but made it more engaging due to the story around it. I read this book while visiting Rome and as a refresher from my college courses as well and it helped to put some things into perspective for me.
A very enjoyable and readable book. If you are a fan of Roman historical fiction, you must read this book.
This is Steven Saylor's fictional account of how Roma (Rome) went from a campsite for local traders to the assassination of Julius Caesar and the beginnings of the Empire. Each episode in this history is based on actual archaeological finds, but told as a story in both its own as well as actual historical context. Like his Gordianus the Finder series, you spend a brief time immersed in the Rome of each period and get a flavor of what it must have been like to live during these times.
This book is amazing!
I am reading it aloud to my Latin students (though, fair warning, there are some adult scenes here - but skipping over them does not in any way detract from the storyline) and most of them are completely engaged. It is a wonderful review of the early years of Rome. There are sometimes complaints about the lack of character development from chapter to chapter but, since each chapter is an individual short story, I don't see this as an issue at all.
Highly recommend for the casual reader and the student of the ancient world. Well-written and engaging.
Does remind one of a Michener novel in the beginning...
It was enjoyable but got tedious toward the end
A worthwhile read. Saylor chronicles several centuries from Rome's founding into the time of the first caesars. He threads the tale with a gold, religious pendant passed down from generation to generation. Most of the known historical events are included and the fictitious glue is plausible. The historical facts I checked were accurate. The flow jumps by necessity through decades but there is always the talisman to bring the story back on track.
This book held my interest reading a few chapters at a time. There was some suspense but my eagerness to find out what happened didn't keep me for my other, non-reading, everyday chores like some suspenseful books do.