A Struggle for Rome

A Struggle for Rome

by Felix Dahn, Herb Parker

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782810551
Publisher: G2 Rights Ltd
Publication date: 08/20/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 740
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dahn's writings were influential in the conception of the European Migration Period (Völkerwanderung ) in German historiography of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His multi-volume Prehistory of the Germanic and Roman Peoples, a chronology of the Migration Period that first appeared in print in 1883, was so definitive that abbreviated versions were reprinted until the late 1970s.

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Felix Dahn was a nineteenth century German Professor of Jurisprudence, as well as a historian, novelist and poet, who was greatly admired by his academic contemporaries for his grasp of the historical detail of the periods about which he wrote. He has been well served by this magisterial translation, which at last makes this astonishingly rich novel available to the modern English reader. This is a story - perhaps the story - of the clash between two great civilizations of the sixth century of the Common Era, when the Roman Empire had crumbled into dust; the struggle for Rome, and for Italy, between the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium, ruled by Justinian, and the Gothic warrior tribes who had captured Italy under their legendary king Theodoric. We see this epoch through the eyes of different personalities at the centre of these events which shook the world as they knew it; most are historical figures and some are imaginary but typical; Justinian and his beautiful and scheming wife, Theodora; the great commander Belisarius, immortalised by Robert Graves; Totila and Teias, two Gothic kings, one as bold and bright as the sun and the other as black as night; and Cethegus, the Prefect of Rome and the last of the Romans, whose cold and calculating nature runs through the book like a steel thread, who will stop at nothing to regain the ancient city, and who, in the end, fails and redeems his many crimes with a hero's death. Firmly based on historical fact and contemporary sources, A Struggle for Rome is one of the great historical novels of the world.

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A Struggle For Rome 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Jamie638 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
This epic 1877 novel, magnificently translated from the German by Herb Parker, is one of the greatest historical novels I have ever read. It relates the tragic story of the last years of Gothic rule in Italy during the mid-6th century after the death of its greatest ruler Theodoric in 526 until its demise in 552 at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. The heroism of King Teias (the last Gothic king) at the final confrontation is extraordinary and reminded me of King Leonidas and the Spartans at Thermopylae. The major fictional character is Cethegus, the Prefect of Rome, who will stop at nothing to recover the Eternal City from the Goths and the Byzantines. I believe that the Goths were depicted in a somewhat more favorable light considering the author's nationality, but in any event they are more deserving of our sympathy than the scheming Cethegus or greedy and weak Justinian (the latter so-called "the Great" by history but revealed here to be completely under the influence of his dissolute and notorious wife Theodora). I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in a compelling story based on real events and people that lived almost 1500 years ago. For a less sympathetic view of the Goths, read Count Belisarius by Robert Graves. Belisarius was one of Justinian's two great generals (the other being Narses, both of whom play large roles in the two books). I feel that reading both books will afford a more balanced view of the Goths, Italians, and Byzantines.