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Kirkus Reviews Traveling to Alexandria in 48 b. Though Pompey's wife Cornelia offers the aging investigator a vial of poison to protect him from her husband's torture, his troubles are only beginning. He'll witness the bloody aftermath of Pompey's own landfall and the vanishing of Bethesda from a temple of Isis. Later, the arrival of Julius Caesar, who plans to impose a Roman peace on Egypt by choosing its ruler from between feuding siblings Ptolemy and Cleopatra, will put Gordianus and Meto, the adopted son he'd disowned for his uncritical loyalty to the First Consul, on the spot when an amphora of wine intended for Caesar and Cleopatra is poisoned, and the evidence seems to point conclusively to Meto.

To exonerate him, Gordianus will have to extricate himself from high-tension political rivalries and do what he does best: discover the truth. Expert mystery-mongering closely woven into a pageant featuring the most star-studded cast imaginable.

Judgment of Caesar: A Novel of Ancient Rome Audiobook - Steven Saylor

The only thing I would say is- read the previous books before this one. I read the first two and enjoyed them a lot, and ran across this in the library so picked it up. I wish I hadn't because I wish I had read the intervening books first! However, I could barely put the book down..

Anyway, he does a fantastic job of bringing Caesar, Pompey, Ptolemy and Cleopatra to life- he both uses their original as historians recorded dialog and gives them incredibly believable personas. Perhaps slightly anachronistic, but barely. Add to this the incredible personal journey of Gordianus and this book is simply incredible.

The Throne of Caesar - Wikipedia

His relationships with Bethesda and Meto are explored and deep. A little bit of philosophizing thrown in with the immersion in Rome like I have never found anywhere else I like reading Byzantium history on the side so have a prediliction for the ancient times and this is simply fantastic. Something about the characters in this book made them stand out as solid, real, and you worry about them. The murder mystery is incidental to the plot of the protagonists growth , but is very well done nonetheless.

Most of the way into the book I wondered "where is the mystery?

Then when it came along it was executed meticulously. You won't be disappointed with this book. Excellent historical thriller Published by Thriftbooks. When a storm blows his ship off course, Roman investigator Gordianus is captured by the one man who most hopes to see him dead--Pompey the Great. Before he can carry out his threats, however, Pompey himself is killed by the Egyptian king, Ptolemy and Gordianus makes his way to Alexandria just in time to see Julius Caesar taking control.

Cleopatra and Ptolemy both use every persuasion possible to encourage Caesar to chose them as the singular ruler of Egypt. In the course of this persuasion, Gordianus's estranged son, Meto, is accused as an attempted assassin and Gordianus realizes that he will lose his son forever if he doesn't do his best detecting ever. Unfortunately, if Meto isn't the poisoner, either Ptolemy or Cleopatra probably is--and Caesar is unwilling to allow either of them to be accused. Author Steven Saylor spins a convincing and gripping tale of Egypt in the dying days of the Roman Republic.

Egypt's wealth makes it a treasure that Rome must have, but its mysterious religions and its concepts of god-king make it anathema to republican Romans like Gordianus. Saylor deepens the mystery and the reader's emotional involvement in the story by making Gordianus a fascinating and complex character. His love for his wife despite an affair , his torn feelings for Meto, and his wish for the republican virtues of a vanishing Rome engaged my sympathies and increased my investment in the story and in Gordianus finding a solution to what seemed an insolvable problem.

Indeed, the actual Judgment of Caesar comes down to solving the unsolvable.

Novels of Ancient Rome

Saylor's strong writing and fascinating insights into history add to the book's appeal. I've read all Saylor's books since "Roman Blood" over a decade ago, and have watched him deepen in texture and subtlety in the process. His marvelous fictional detective, Gordianus the Finder, is a Roman private eye in Rome during the time of Julius Caesar and the late Republic.

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Saylor has always been unlike many others in the "Roman gumshoe" novels, now so popular meticulous in his research and takes a given historical set of facts, then plays with their possibilities without straying from history as we know it. However, of the history we do know, there is much that can be questioned, and no one is better at finding out the truth than Gordianus. I have noticed, particularly since his "Last Seen in Massilia," that Saylor seems to have lately gone beyond simply writing a good historical mystery, which may account for some reviewers' who don't like this book for precisely the reason I find it one of his best.

Saylor no longer hangs his entire plot around a murder, but has branched out, as his fictional characters have developed, into a more mature and complex web. At the same time, the actual historical period he's entered is one of the most amazing periods in all world history - the Civil War brought on between Caesar and the Republicans, after Caesar crosses the Rubicon. Many long books ago, Gordianus' adopted son, Meto, became a staff aid to Caesar when he was just another ambitious general in the provinces.

Personal events bring Gordianus and his wife, Bethesda, to Alexandria just at the time that Pompey has fled there after his defeat by Caesar at Pharsalus, seeking to grasp Egypt's riches to save his cause. Caesar follows hot on his heels, with much the same plan. Gordianus, Meto - even Bethesda - are caught in this web of shifting allegiance, lies, betrayal, high politics, and stunning world characters; thus this book becomes much more than just a simple murder mystery.

Gordianus is strengthened in his character of the staunch Republican who prefers truth to diplomatic truths and integrity to self-aggrandizement - but you will see what it brings him in this new, raw, Roman world. I've studied much about Alexandria in Caesar's time, but I recall no book that made me 'see' its magnificent streets and temples, its tempestuous mobs and tortuous rulers, as clearly as Saylor does in "The Judgment of Caesar.


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Whether adversaries succeed in twisting his judgment, is part of the fun of the story. The murder is integral to the story and I found it well written and well solved; but it's only one of the pleasures of this book. I've written at length on Caesar, Pompey, and Cleopatra in my own web site, but Saylor also finds a. Corrections Libraries. ThriftBooks sells millions of used books at the lowest everyday prices.