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Collections:Rob, Rob - read
Tags:fiction, Rome, historical fiction, history, Roman Empire, Nero, Augustus, Domitian, Trajan, Hadrian, Claudius

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Empire by Steven Saylor

Recently added byprivate library, dm13, rodrigo.e, auldtwa1, Schehezerade
  1. 20
    The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane (readafew)
    readafew: The Forgotten Legion and Empire are both great novels taking place during the Roman Empire.
  2. 20
    I, Claudius by Robert Graves (JGolomb)
    JGolomb: "I, Claudius" is the standard bearer for Imperial Roman fiction. It's more richly detailed and emotional than Saylor, but comparable it's broad historical scope.
  3. 20
    Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow (JGolomb)
    JGolomb: Fun fictional military adventure and incorporates non-fictional characters and events well.

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This is the sequel to the author's novel Roma, which covered the 1000 years of Roman history from before the city's founding up to the time of Augustus. Empire covers the 130 or so years from the last days of Augustus to the early years of Antoninus Pius. These years are, of course, the years of Roman history that are by the far the best known, with the (in)famous sucession of Emperors, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, the year of the Four Emperors, the Flavians, the Colosseum, Vesuvius erupting, the cruel tyranny of Domitian, then the calmer period of Trajan and Hadrian. The successive members of the Pinarius family get into all sorts of antics from being senators, augurs and the confidantes of Emperors, to fighting a lion or being burnt as a Christian in the arena. As in the first novel, there is a great deal of exposition of historical events through set piece scenes that can get wearisome after a while (show, don't tell!), even for a reader like me with a considerable interest in Roman history. So, like its predecessor, this is (mostly) a good page turner, but not as good as Saylor's Gordianus series of mysteries, where the characters are far more fully fleshed out and likeable. ( )
  john257hopper | Jan 11, 2014 |
An enjoyable read. Better than the first in the series. The story of the fascinum and the Pinarius family is carried forward through the early empire to the time of Hadrian. Well told, a few twists and turns. The darks side of the emperors is revealed. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Empire follows the life of a few generations of the Pinarius family in the early Roman empire. It continues where the author left off in his book Roma. The latter book covered a longer period of time, and left little space for character development. However, this book spends time on individuals, but uses a rather crude device to fill in the gaps of history, especially in the first half of the book.
The characters interact with the Roman Emperors (e.g. Nero, Claudius, Domitian, Hadrian) in various ways, and give a sense of life in these times (assuming the author has accurately captured it). It's a big book, one I picked up and read over many months as time permitted. I enjoyed it, but in the end not really sure what I got out of it other than an addition to my knowledge of history. ( )
  robeik | Dec 4, 2012 |
This is an attempt by Saylor to chronicle the history of Rome during its "Empire" phase in the first and second centuries in a fictional format. Saylor's key characters are successive generations of the Pinarius family, a slightly obscure patrician clan who nevertheless in this book move in and out of the orbit of a number of Emperors including Caligula, Vespasian, Domitian, Trajan and Hadrian. Occasionally there is a slightly irritating tendency for characters to recite, history book style, a brief summary of events to another character simply as a format for bringing the reader up to date. But given the scope of the novel that is an understandable sin and overall this is an enjoyable and interesting read. ( )
  YossarianXeno | Sep 26, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewers program, and since it is a sequel to the book Roma, I decided to read that book first. The two books together cover the history of one fictional family from the founding of Rome in around 600 BC, to the reign of Hadrian. The first book covers around 600 years, so there is very little character development, but Empire only covers about 150 years, so there is much more detail on the lives and relationships of each generation of the Pinarius family.

I've read a few other of Saylor's books on Ancient Rome, from the Gordianus the Finder series, and I liked those books better. Empire and Roma felt more like a synopsis of the major events of Ancient Roman history, with a fictional character inserted into the events. Since this was such a fascinating period of world history, it did make for interesting reading, but I'm not sure it made for a great novel. ( )
  mdtocci | Dec 31, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312381018, Hardcover)

“May Steven Saylor’s Roman empire never fall. A modern master of historical fiction, Saylor convincingly transports us into the ancient world...enthralling!” —USA Today on Roma

Continuing the saga begun in his New York Times bestselling novel Roma, Steven Saylor charts the destinies of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to height of Rome’s empire. The Pinarii, generation after generation, are witness to greatest empire in the ancient world and of the emperors that ruled it—from the machinations of Tiberius and the madness of Caligula, to the decadence of Nero and the golden age of Trajan and Hadrian and more.
Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire, the persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum. But at the novel’s heart are the choices and temptations faced by each generation of the Pinarii.
Steven Saylor once again brings the ancient world to vivid life in a novel that tells the story of a city and a people that has endured in the world’s imagination like no other.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:16 -0400)

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Continuing the epic story begun in his "New York Times"-bestselling novel "Roma," Saylor charts the destinies of five more generations of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to the height of Rome's empire.

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