By Steven Saylor
On a kick back January night in fifty six B.C., unusual viewers to Rome - an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest - hunt down Gordianus the Finder whose uniqueness is fixing murders. however the ambassador, a thinker named Dio, has come to invite for anything Gordianus can't provide - assist in staying alive. sooner than the evening is out, he'll be murdered.
Now Gordianus starts off his most threatening case. employed to enquire Dio's demise by means of a gorgeous girl with a scandalous attractiveness, he'll stick to a path of political intrigue into the top circles of strength and the city's such a lot hidden arenas of debauchery. There Gordianus will examine not anything is because it turns out - no longer the damning proof he uncovers, no longer the suspect he sends to trial, now not even the true fact at the back of Dio's demise which lies in secrets and techniques - now not of nation, yet of the heart.
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Additional info for The Venus Throw: A Mystery of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome)
I knew little approximately them. Lucius Herennius Balbus used to be a chum of Bestia’s and extra widely used to me by means of sight than through ear; I had by no means heard him argue a case, however the sight of his well-fed physique scurrying from side to side within the discussion board (like an incredible egg donning a toga, Eco had as soon as stated) was once inspired on my reminiscence. Publius Clodius used to be the 3rd prosecutor—not Clodia’s brother, yet one among his freedmen, who hence bore an identical identify; hence the Clodii have been represented one of the prosecutors in an oblique approach, as they doubtless most well-liked, by way of identify yet now not via blood. Gnaeus Domitius, the presiding Justice of the Peace, fixed his tribunal. The judges have been sworn in. The trial started with the examining of the formal fees. there have been 5 fees in all. the 1st 4 handled incidents of violence opposed to international dignitaries, whose people have been sacrosanct; violence opposed to them used to be technically violence opposed to their protector, the Roman kingdom, and so certified for prosecution below the legislation opposed to political terror. the costs have been grave: that Marcus Caelius masterminded assaults at Neapolis to intimidate the newly arrived Alexandrian delegation; that he instigated a insurrection opposed to the delegation at Puteoli; that he perpetrated arson opposed to the delegation in the course of their remain on the estate of Palla, on their option to Rome; that he tried to poison the pinnacle of the delegation, Dio, and hence took half in Dio’s homicide. to those was once further one other, new allegation: that Caelius had tried to poison Clodia. there have been reactions of shock between many within the crowd, together with Bethesda. “What are they conversing approximately? ” she whispered. I shrugged and attempted to appear ignorant. “You instructed me she used to be in poor health, now not poisoned! ” I positioned a finger to my lips and nodded towards the defendant’s bench, the place Crassus had risen to make a press release. “It can be famous by means of our presiding Justice of the Peace Gnaeus Domitius and by way of the judges that this ultimate cost is a brand new one, appended by means of the prosecution in basic terms the day before today, actually. The protection has infrequently been given the wide-spread period of time to arrange an issue according to so critical an accusation. therefore we'd be inside of our rights to protest the inclusion of this cost, certainly, to insist that or not it's thrown out and argued in a separate trial, or, whether it is to be integrated, to call for a postponement of this trial. additional, on condition that this can be a courtroom convened completely to attempt circumstances of political violence, it not often turns out compatible to incorporate a cost of tried poisoning opposed to a personal citizen. even though, because the prosecution turns out to think that this cost is in truth concerning the others, and as my esteemed pal and colleague Marcus Cicero assures me that he's absolutely ready to safeguard our customer opposed to it, we make no objection to its inclusion during this trial. ” Crassus nodded gravely to the presiding Justice of the Peace and the judges and sat. On Cicero’s face I observed the quiver of a smirk, slightly repressed. It used to be a glance I knew good; the good orator used to be feeling boastful approximately anything.