Steve's Reviews > Empire: the Novel of Imperial Rome

Empire by Steven Saylor
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's review
Mar 26, 2011

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Read in March, 2011

A novel about Rome from about AD 14 to 141. Good portraits of the emperors during this time, told through several generations of a single family. The sweep sometimes leaves the author with putting dialog into people's mouths that they would never say: "As you know, Pinarius, emperors usually beheaded their enemies and displayed the heads on the Avetine." Not an actual quote, but there's a lot of awkwardness like that: imagine saying, "as you know, Americans elect their presidents every four years." Towards the last 100 pages of the novel, this gets a bit old. On the other hand, the emperors are well-drawn with a good view of Roman history. The earlier novel, Roma, sounds interesting too.

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