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Saylor\'s books
What does everyone think of Steven Saylor's mysteries set in Rome? I just read the first one, Roman Blood. It was fair, as far as learning more about Roman times, and story line. - Just wondering if they are worth pursuing further. Do they get better, or are they more of the same?

I love the name of honor more than I fear death. Julius Caesar
Accepting them for what they are, historically flavoured fictional mysteries, I found them all quite fun. He builds nicely on the characters (Gordianus, Bethesda, the three children, and an assortment of recurring characters) quite well. The whole series spans a period of about 40 years, including Catalina's rebellion, Spartacus' slave war, the Pompey-Caesar civil war, etc. There are a number of fun short stories too. While I can't answer for the full accuracy of all the social customs, etc. described in the books, I will say that Saylor's gladiator references are a little inaccurate. Still, all the books are a lot of fun.
I read Saylor's "Roma" and found it delightful ... lots of drama!
Sara T.
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Courage is found in unlikely places. [size=75:2xx5no0x] ~J.R.R Tolkien[/size]
Thanks for the recommendation about "Roma".

Martin, how do you feel that Saylor's representation of gladiators was inaccurate?
I love the name of honor more than I fear death. Julius Caesar
Next to the SPQR mystery series by John Maddox Roberts Saylor's book are my favorite mysteries set in Ancient Rome.

I put "Roma" on my wish list after reading the review about that in Ancient Warfare.
I like the Gordianus series a lot! Haven't read Roma, yet.
Jef Pinceel
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

I enjoyed the Gordianus series especially the earlier books, however I felt the later books became less a detective novel and more about placing the main character at the key times and places associated with the fall of the Republic. Some readers may have enjoyed this but I felt that it detracted from his original story lines.
Very enjoyable reading! His characterizations of historical persons are interesting—not necessarily accurate, but interesting. I particularly enjoyed his portrayals of Cicero and Julius Caesar.

My biggest complaint is that he makes Gordianus a little too modern in his thinking, at times.

Saylor is apparently a fairly decent scholar of the times. However, like all good story tellers, he doesn't let history get in the way of a good story.
Ross Martinek

Insert clever and pithy comment here.
I prefer him to the similar Lindsey Davis, whose book was made into a bad movie.
Paul M. Bardunias
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A Spartan, being asked a question, answered "No." And when the questioner said, "You lie," the Spartan said, "You see, then, that it is stupid of you to ask questions to which you already know the answer!"
For what it's worth, Lindsey Davis says on her own website how unhappy she was with the treatment of that movie. She insists on more control over characters and historical accuracy in any future dramatic treatments, which is why there probably won't be any more.

I've read the whole Gordianus series by Saylor (except "The Triumph of Caesar," just released this month), as well as Roma, and I agree with Medusa: they run a very close second to John Maddox Roberts' SPQR series. It's true that Gordianus sometimes thinks a little too much like a modern American, and it's also true that he winds up improbably close to historical events over and over, but I suspend disbelief and just enjoy the "being there" at those events. I've met Saylor and spoken with him at length, and he takes his history very seriously. I personally think the history of the Roman world is simply too big a topic for any one person to "master" the whole thing, and most writers will make the occasional forgivable slip.

By the way, I also recently read "Medicus" by Ruth Downie, about a Roman physician attached to the army in Britannia, and it's a wonderful book. I'm looking forward to reading her next, "Terra Incognita." Any comments?

Wayne Anderson/ Wander
Wayne Anderson/ Wander
Quote:I read Saylor's "Roma" and found it delightful ... lots of drama!
Fully agree with that. Roma's an engrossing epic taking you from before Rome was even conceived up to Octavian, with many major events and characters covered.
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
I also enjoyed "Medicus" and am looking forward to the next one.....
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff

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