Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/3/4
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An epic tale of ancient Rome traces such events as the city's founding by Romulus and Remus, the Punic Wars, and the murder of Julius Caesar through the stories of two families whose descendants ultimately share numerous tragedies and triumphs. By the author of
"Roma resurrects the world's greatest city state, but also puts human flesh on the bones of history and installs a beating heart sizzling with passion. Fans of Steven Saylor will savor this novel; fans of ancient Rome will thrill to Saylor's in--depth understanding of Roman lifeways and be dazzled by the speed and sureness of the story . . . The shades of nobles, plebes, tribunes, and emperors past surely are united in giving him a thumbs up." --Kilian Melloy, Edge (Boston)
"A modern master of historical fiction, Saylor has built his reputation on an ongoing series of ancient-world mysteries that have cumulatively and poignantly traced the collapse of the Roman republic. Now the well-regarded author stretches to even more epic goals for Roma. . . . In content and scope, Roma calls to mind James Michener's bestselling string of mammoth popular histories . . . In literary tone, however, and in its attempt to posit a plausible truth beneath Rome's well-worn myths, it invites comparison to such landmarks of the genre as Mary Renault's The King Must Die. Writing in a spare, elegant style shorn of excess description, Saylor convincingly transports us into the ancient world . . . What Saylor has produced is not just the history of Rome, but the history of history--of the way fact is buried by myth and of the way societies cling to traditions even when the meanings behind them are lost to memory . . . by the end, those stories have cohered into one, enthralling whole." --USA Today
"Livy meets Michener in this sprawling, episodic 1000-year novel of the rise of ancient Rome from its first settlement to the assassination of Julius Caesar . . . Saylor's gift for dramatic narrative brings alive familiar tales from Roman history." --Kirkus Reviews
"Author of the critically acclaimed Roma Sub Rosa series of historical mysteries, Saylor breaks out on an epic scale in this sprawling novel tracing Rome's extraordinary development over five centuries. . . . Solidly anchored in fact and vividly imagined, this long book moves at a sprightly clip and features some vibrant personages." --Publishers Weekly
"Before the Roman Empire, there was the Roman Republic, and before that, what? If all you recall is Romulus and Remus, here is a more complete story of the founding of Rome, from 1000 B.C.E. to the much more familiar territory of Julius Caesar and his successor in 1 B.C.E. Many customs and legends lingering into the Empire era have their original explanation here, such as the sacred geese or the building of various temples. The city's fictionalized history is likewise full of original source material, which relates, the author notes, 'uncannily familiar political struggles and partisan machinations.' Class warfare, nepotism, and moral and theological battles dogged the development of this often idealized Roman Republic, and a truly remarkable propensity for cruelty and merciless judgment foreshadows the later Empire. Unlike Saylor's popular mysteries, this work compares more to Edward Rutherfurd's London as it focuses on crucial incidents in the intervening centuries. Two families of ancient origin who pass an amulet onto the next generation provide continuity. This work will attract a different fan base from Saylor's other work but should prove appealing to history and political buffs who enjoy comparing our current events with ancient Rome." --Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Library Journal商品の説明をすべて表示する
The book jacket describes the book as a "panoramic historical saga," and I would agree! This is an excellent work. Such a great concept that the author chose to follow. Spanning 1000 years, the novel follows the shifting fortunes of two families through the ages. You experience the founding of a settlement along a riverbank to the ascent of a city poised to become the capital of the world. Linking each generation is a talisman as ancient as Roma itself.
I think one of my favorite parts in this novel is the every-changing maps marking each chapter. Not only do you read stories of a family, but you can see the world they live in develop with each generation. I was truly in love with this journey through time. I think the best historical fiction is also rich in facts, and this book is no exception! Carefully crafted and brilliantly voice through the 549-page novel, I never lost interest! It seems that struggles for equality and political arguments and intrigue will remain uncannily familiar subjects throughout time. In Rome, these struggles permeated life through the city's growth.
I also learned so much about the society. Sometimes its hard to keep historical names straight, and that's because men would commonly change their names due to accomplishments in life. Even as fathers passed down their names to their sons, the book was never confusing. I could easily keep the different characters straight.
I think another favorite piece of this novel would be how events in one chapter would become legends and myths in the next. The development of the society based on character choices in each chapter was just mesmerizing and fascinating. I love exploring history, and this really took me through the development of a strong and proud people!
At the close of this family's story, I felt a sense of peace had finally graced their life. And of course, their family line did not end. This book illustrates that life and love will carry us to the end of time! There are no endings as long as love endures. Sappy? Yes, but the book was truly epic! Saylor is great at penning both strong men and women characters. Loved it! This book would be in my top 10 historical recommendations!
Saylor writers amazing Roman whodunit novels. It's like Sherlock Holmes, but with togas. He's not a prude like Robert Graves (I Claudius, Claudius The God) but sometimes he shows a little too much of things that are of a prurient nature.
The novel begins with the salt traders in 1000BC. Larth is the leader of the traders and Lara is his daughter. While they are on the island in the middle of the river, they run into three men who are metalworkers and are also traveling. The paths of the two professions cross here. However, this is the first time they have met. That evening, Larth looks into the fire and sees the Fascinus, a winged phallus his family’s guide in the fire. He knows to pay attention to the problem he is wrestling with at the time and the guide will tell him what to do. This evening it told him to send his daughter to the metal worker Tarketios. She follows her father’s orders and goes to Tarketios and they copulate. The next morning as the two groups take leave of each other, she gives him a container of salt and she is given a piece of gold on a leather strap. In later years, this gold is changed into an amulet with the Fascinus on it. This amulet is passed down from father to son or daughter through the years. As we follow the family through the years, we also follow the kings and rulers of Rome to 1BC.
I found some of the first stories quite interesting as mythology stories. The story of Cacus. He was a deformed child who was larger than most of the others. As he grew to manhood, no one could best him. When the village had a very hard time finding food for the winter, they would decide to send children out into the wilderness as an offering to the numina so the village would survive. The number was determined by augury and the children chosen by lottery. Cacus was chosen He and six others were turned out of the village at the rite of spring. They were on their own for food, water, and safety. When the first girl died, the others were reduced to cannibalism to survive. The same happened with the second child. The third one died of poison and the fourth of a fever so they buried them. Cacus killed the fifth and sixth children and ate them. When possible, he would also eat animals. Not having baths or haircuts or new clothes, he was turned from a child into an animal. He finally came to live in a cave near the settlement that would become Rome. Here he ate cattle or other animals and the occasional child who ran across him. Men tried to catch him or kill him but he was able to avoid them. Finally a stranger came to the village and Cacus ate one of his oxen. As the man went to look for him, he heard a woman’s screams and rushed to help. He found Cacus raping Politia, a girl from the village and a descendant of Lara. He kills Cacus by breaking his neck. Politia does not tell anyone she was raped. That night, the stranger tried to comfort Politia and ended up copulating with her. The stranger leaves and she is pregnant. She does not know whose son she had and even after his birth she couldn’t tell. The stranger is identified by the Phoenicians who come to trade. They say he is Melkat, a demigod. They say the Greeks call him Heracles. The people likes the second name better and built the first alter in Rome for Heracles. This goes right along with the Erymanthian Boar in the Twelve Labors of Heracles and other stories.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down in the evening.