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Roma eterna
Silverberg, Robert.
Adult Fiction SILVERB

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Hugo and Nebula winner Silverberg's epic alternative history, as grandly sweeping and imaginative as his celebrated Majipoor Cycle (Lord Valentine's Castle, etc.), the imperial Eternal City (aka Roma) takes 2,000 years to decline but not quite fall. Starting with a scholar's recollection of a failed Hebrew exodus from Egypt centuries earlier, this unusually moving novel depicts 10 crucial historical moments, each centering on the personality of a fictional emperor seen through the eyes of an engaging lesser figure, like an imperial bureaucrat, a luscious and wealthy widow, a brave legionary commander, a conscientious architect, a hunky son of a Celtic chieftain, or even barbarian children who unwittingly bring down the last emperor. Silverberg seamlessly interpolates glimpses of Rome's real history in this handsomely crafted fiction, whether looking back to the ideals of the ancient Republic-duty, honor, country-or inventing a captivating cast of might-have-beens. He unifies his narrative with unusual but convincing historical theory: that Roma's vaunted religious tolerance, in turning the sacred into a mere instrument of governance, had sown the seeds of revolution-a spiritual and intellectual upheaval that here leads the children of Israel to a second and glorious trek to the stars. Guided by the sure hand of an old master, these many roads lead to a fascinating city of multitudinous souls. (June 4) FYI: Some of the sections were published separately in somewhat different form, starting in 1989. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

From Rome's absorption of the barbarian lands around it to the exploration of the New World and the conquest of the Mayan Empire, Silverberg's latest tale chronicles the rise of the Eternal City to the peak of world rulership. Eleven connected stories (some of which have been published previously in different forms) depict various stages of Roman history, spanning more than 1,500 years and covering periods of civil war, dictatorship, persecution and republic, ending with the desperate attempt of a small band of Hebrews to flee to the stars and gain their freedom. Silverberg's (The Majipoor Chronicles) always elegant storytelling and vast comprehension of history combine in this outstanding work of alternate history that belongs in most libraries (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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