For a novel which defined a genre, this was disappointing. The main character is little more than an automaton - transported from the 20th to the 6th century, he expresses little emotion of any kind, and every opportunity for considering the psychological/ physical/ philosophical effects of such an event is missed. Instead, he takes the timeslip as a personal business opportunity, wielding unbelievably detailed political recall of an obscure (and uninteresting) era to set up enterprises - these alone could have been engaging, but the details are scant, the problems of applied technology in ancient Rome rendered trivial and soon brushed aside.He also becomes an accomplished and unconcerned street fighter and master linguist overnight. Detail is an area of missed opportunity in general - names of utterly obscure chieftains are dropped in ad lib, but the day to day detail of food, furnishings,slavery and social habits and all the little gems of the imagined world are neglected, to say nothing of the jarring modern speech idioms.The narrative historical data is ponderous, but central premises - such as the manner of use of the short bladed sword - are lightweight... and wrong. The characters are thinly developed caricatures, the premise is terrific but the plot is boring, and the overall feeling is disappointingly dull for this "classic", which also stops short of the final development, namely the consequence of the time traveller's efforts on recorded history.Lazy and dated novel. Let darkness fall, let's.