By Robert Silverberg
No energy on the earth can withstand the may of Imperial Rome, so it's been and so it ever will probably be. via brute strength, terror, and sheer indomitable will, her armies have enslaved a global. From the reign of Maximilianus the nice in A.U.C. 1203 onward throughout the ages—into a brand new period of clinical development and staggering technologies—countless upstarts and enemies come up, in basic terms to be floor into the dirt underneath the cruel Roman bootheels. yet one those that undergo and undergo during the many centuries of oppressive rule dream of the fantastic day that's coming—when the heavens themselves may be opened to them… and the ships they're getting ready in mystery will hold them on their "Great Exodus" to the stars.
Originally released 2003 by means of Eos.
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Antipater was once directly to his moment wax capsule by means of this time, and he had scarcely written down whatever yet strings of royal titles. however the feel of the message used to be already relatively transparent. He felt his center commencing to thump because the which means of what the Emperor used to be dictating to him sank in. It used to be a record of abdication. Maximilianus was once handing the Empire over to the Greeks. good, in fact, the Greeks had grabbed the Empire already, primarily, every thing however the capital itself and some depressing miles of territory surrounding it. yet nonetheless, was once this right Roman habit? there has been not often any precedent for the capitulation of a Roman Emperor to a international conqueror, and that was once what Andronicus used to be, a Greek, a foreigner, no matter what pretense the Byzantines may possibly make towards being a valid 1/2 the unique Roman Empire. Rulers were deposed prior to, definite. There have been civil wars in precedent days, Octavianus as opposed to Marcus Antonius, and the squabble over the succession to Nero, and the conflict for the throne after the assassination of Commodus. yet Antipater couldn’t keep in mind any circumstances of a defeated Emperor supinely resigning the throne to his conqueror. the standard factor used to be to fall in your sword, wasn’t it, because the troops of the positive rival drew close to? yet what were ordinary one thousand years in the past may perhaps now not be thought of applicable habit, Antipater determined. And Maximilianus was once nonetheless conversing in a gentle move, each sentence built with a cautious experience of fashion and detailed in its grammar, as if he had all started drafting this letter many weeks again, revising it many times in his brain until eventually it was once ideal, and not anything remained now yet for him to precise it aloud in order that Antipater may possibly render it into Byzantine Greek. certainly, a record of abdication. To Antipater’s astonishment, Maximilianus was once certainly no longer purely giving up his throne, he used to be designating Andronicus as his legally legitimate successor, the genuine and lawful wielder of the Imperial strength. there has been, after all, the matter that Maximilianus had now not controlled to supply any kids, and the authentic inheritor to the throne, Germanicus, was once rarely compatible for the task. yet Maximilianus used to be primarily handing Andronicus transparent identify to the crown, not only by means of correct of conquest yet via the specific decree of the outgoing monarch. In impact he was once reuniting the 2 halves of the traditional Empire. used to be it quite worthwhile for him to hold the object to date? If he didn’t plan to kill himself, Antipater notion, and who may possibly blame him for that, couldn’t he easily recognize his defeat with a curt letter of give up and burst off into historical past with a definite measure of dignity intact? yet Maximilianus used to be nonetheless conversing, and unexpectedly Antipater discovered that there has been one other, and deeper, function to this record. “‘I have grown previous in office’”—not actual; he used to be infrequently greater than fifty—“‘and the weight of energy wearies me, and that i search basically now to reside a quiet lifetime of studying and meditation in a few nook of Your Imperial Majesty’s mammoth area.