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Martin Padway is struck by lightning in 1938 and finds himself in sixth-century Rome, on the verge of its ruin at Justinian's hands and the onset of the Dark Ages. He may be able to save civilization, if he can only get the ruling Goths to grasp the value of his innovations...

Written by L Sprague De Camp.


Tropes in Lest Darkness Fall:

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 "You don't like the Goths?"

"No! Not with the persecution we have to put up with!"

"Persecution?"

"Religious persecution. We won't stand for it forever."

"I thought the Goths let everybody worship as they pleased."

"That's just it! We Orthodox are forced to stand around and watch Arians and Monophysites and Nestorians and Jews going about their business unmolested, as if they owned the country. If that isn't persecution, I'd like to know what is!"

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  • Giving Radio to the Romans - Notable in that one of the first and most important inventions he introduces is brandy. In itself, useless. For making money and building a place in society, invaluable.
  • One-Man Industrial Revolution - Distilleries, the telegraph, the printing press, the telescope...
  • Trapped in the Past
  • What Year Is This? - Martin tries to ask people the date in his shaky Latin, and at first gets the year in the old Roman calendar, then has to ask how many years since Christ was born to get the proper year.
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