Thursday, November 13, 2003

It's been a crazy week, full of people and activity. Of course I've still managed to find plenty of time to read, mostly as a survival tactic, but haven't had much time to post until now. It's a cold and snowy afternoon, perfect for snuggling down with new library books and afghans, with tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch--which is, in fact, what I have just done. I'm about halfway through Robert Silverberg's Roma Eterna, a novel detailing what might have happened had Rome never fallen. So far he's had the Romans struggling along, only surviving by chance occurences and luck, which I suppose would be fairly accurate. It is, of course, silly (and I haven't even gotten to the part illustrated on the cover, with a man in a toga watching a rocket take off), and yet I must quibble.

Silverberg has what must be a common modern view of Christianity, that it just happened to take over civilization because of specific things falling into place. At the beginning of Roma Eterna, a historian is telling his friend about his current study on the Hebrews. He is excitedly positing his theory that their strange religion would have become a worldwide cult had their great leader Moshe not unfortunately died before leading them out of slavery and into the Palestine region. (Similarly, later in the book, a loyal Roman saves the world from another cult by having Mohammad assassinated--but this is not my point.) As if God would be thwarted by the death of one man!

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