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Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2)
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Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,428 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The hideously disfigured body was found in the atrium. The only clues are a blood-soaked cloak, and, carved into the stone at the corpse's feet, the word Sparta . . . The Overseer of Marcus Crassus's estate has been murdered, apparently by two slaves bent on joining Spartacus's revolt. The wealthy, powerful Crassus vows to honor an ancient law and have his ninety-nine rema ...more
Paperback, 321 pages
Published February 15th 2001 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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I, Claudius by Robert GravesThe First Man in Rome by Colleen McCulloughClaudius the God And His Wife Messalina by Robert GravesThe Twelve Caesars by SuetoniusThe Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough
Best Books About Ancient Rome
43rd out of 417 books — 668 voters
The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
171st out of 1,013 books — 2,699 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kim

This is the second book in a series featuring Gordianus “the Finder”, a Roman citizen during the period of the Republic, who makes a living as a private detective. In this episode, which takes place some years after the events of the first book in the series, Roman Blood, Gordianus is engaged to discover whether the murderer of Marcus Crassus’ cousin is someone other than household slaves suspected of having joined Spartacus in his revolt.

Saylor makes use of his Classics degree to write an enga
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Jemidar

More like 3.5 stars.

Although I didn't like this as much as the first book in the series, Saylor still managed to bring the Roman culture vividly to life for me. The historical parts were excellent but IMO the mystery was a little lame. Gordianus 'The Finder' stumbled through this one and didn't seem to do much finding, always seemingly on the back foot, reacting instead of being proactive right up until the final big reveal. Despite this, it was still an enjoyable addition to the series and I'm
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aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
If you want to understand the horrors of slavery, book two in the Gordianus the Finder series will completely satisfy your curiosity. Vividly.

Gordianus is comfortably asleep in bed with his slave, Bethesda, in the glorious city of Rome, about 72 bc., in his dilapidated home. Eco, his mute adopted son, taps him awake. There is a visitor! So begins a life-changing case that will completely turn the detective Gordianus' life upside down.

Marcus Mummius, a respectable soldier, employed by the riches
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Kam
After reading Roman Blood, I was in a good enough mood that I drifted over almost immediately to the next book in the series, Arms of Nemesis. Instead of sticking it out in Rome, Gordianus heads on over to the nearby resort town of Baiae to investigate a murder - and in the meantime, Spartacus's slave rebellion is tearing up the countryside, forcing slave-owning Romans everywhere to look askance even in their own households, in case their own slaves decide to murder them.

And that's precisely why
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Chiggins1066
Steven Saylor succeeds where many writers of historical fiction fail, largely because of strong character development and the ability to make ancient society seem natural -not just a picturesque backdrop. While the murder mystery is entertaining and keeps your attention, it is the little details; political intrigues, conflicting philosophies, and secondary events such as the Spartacan slave revolt, which bring this novel to life. Gordianus is a true Roman, with the sensibilities of a Roman citiz ...more
Trish
Again, the author has shown a splendid way of transporting the reader back in time and has shown an intimate look into the world of a roman citizen - Gordianus the Finder.
The second novel plays 10 years after the first, during the time of Spartacus' revolt and has a somewhat more disclosed ambiance (a nice alternation that proves he can set different plots in different ambiances in a splendid way). Again the plot is highly thrilling and the ending (although in some way very tragic) is also high
...more
Debra
I'm glad I got into the series. I'm learning a lot about a time in history I knew little about and getting some page-turning mystery with the bargain. On to the next one!
Ensiform
The second novel of Gordianus the Finder, ancient Rome’s premier detective. This time, he (reluctantly) goes to work for the wealthiest man in Rome, Marcus Crassus, to investigate the death of Marcus’ estate manager. As Spartacus prowls the countryside, Crassus is convinced that escaped slaves did it, but others aren’t so sure. Gordianus probes, and soon everyone is either a suspect or has something else to hide.

Well, I was slightly disappointed with this entry in the series. This is very much m
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Lianne
Mar 04, 2013 Lianne added it
This is my first in the Roman Mysteries series by Steven Saylor. I studied Latin for five years both in high school and college so have a good orientation to minutiae of Roman life from writings we had to translate. Steven Saylor adapts the idea of a detective for the historical context. His main character is Gordianus the Finder. In this novel, Gordianus is summoned by Marcus Crassus, whose is "rich as Crossus" to unravel a mystery in Southern Italy not far from Pompei and Herculaneum, the reso ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 2000.

The second novel to feature Gordianus the Finder takes place during the slave revolt led by Spartacus. The man with a reputation for being the richest in the world, Marcus Crassus, hires Gordianus to find the murderer of his cousin. This appears to be easy, since the body was found with the word "Sparta" scrawled on the floor next to it, as though the murderer had been disturbed while writing the name of Spartacus, and two slaves have gone m
...more
Kathy Davie
Second in the Roma Sub Rosa history mystery series set in Ancient Rome at a time when Spartacus is raging through the countryside, terrifying the populace and revolving around Gordianus, a Finder, who brings his son, Eco, along.

My Take
It's years after Roman Blood , 1, and much has changed in Gordinaus' life. He has a son, for one, who follows Gordianus through life---rolling his eyes---even as we follow Gordianus around as he detects---a fascinating education in the politics of the day, slave in
...more
Djrmel
The second of Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa novels featuring Gordianus the Finder as ancient Rome's favorite Private Eye. This time his abilities are requested by the widow of Marcus Crassus' cousin. Widow tells you what the mystery is that needs to be solved and if you're familar with the First Triumverate you'll know that Crassus will be mixed up in it and probably not in a good way. In this fiction, he's invoked a out of fashion punishment of killing all the slaves in a household if the one guilty ...more
K Srikrishna
I've read every one of Steven Saylor's novels, but for the first two - and the Arms of Nemesis (#2 in the Roma series) was therefore required a little bit of stepping back for me. What made this book very strong for me was the history - a whole lot of information about Crassus (amongst the ten richest men who's ever lived!) that I did not know - such as his military history and the inside look at roman slavery, which a number of other reviewers have alluded to. Also a somewhat tentative and self ...more
Matthew Perry
I read this as the third book in the series. This is the second novel and is just about as good as Roman Blood. This is about a rich man that is hellbent on killing his 100 slaves because he believes two slaves were responsible for killing a man. Also in this novel Gordianus' son Eco goes on the case with his dad and we really start to see his family take shape, which in my opinion makes this novel better because we get to see Gordianus' home life.
M Scott
On your wedding, you probably won't serve hot dogs. Saylor's book is Dan Brown in Ancient Rome, though Saylor might be the better scholar. Clearly well researched, and quite a page turner for those who like histories and mysteries. This isn't going to be one the best books I read this year (I hope), but it may be one that I read the fastest. I give it a Goodreads 3-star "I liked it." Sometimes you're just looking for a good hot dog.
ave atque vale
Stephanie
In my opinion, the author needs to do a bit more research on Ancient Rome. To me the story is anachronistic. There are problems with setting (Rome v. Italy), class-based interactions (the Finder v. Crassus), and reasonable emotions/motives re: slavery during the Roman Republican era.

Bob
This is a great series intro'd to me by kfurr. I went and bought the whole Sub Rosa series at abebooks and I'm now on the last one. Great mysteries set in historical context I can believe.
Jamie
Even better than the first one. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series.
Argum
This book features very little of Rome and focuses on a secretive case taking place in the wealthy enclave of Baiae. The ancient tradition of killing all the slaves when one kills a master is to take place in less than a week unless of course Gordianus can track down the real culprit. I had not figured out the whole thing before the big reveal but it made sense on reflection. I still find the whole tone of the series a bit strange given the characterization as a softie who adopts random children ...more
Lesa
am certain that true classicists will view the Roma sub Rosa series with suspicion and more than a little disdain.
In my view they are intellectually undemanding but rollicking good mysteryiwa none the less. - Think Hercule Poirot in a toga with a smattering of historical figures sprinkled in for added spice.

Gordianus the Finder grows into a fully-realised all too fallible human being and reminds us that whilst times and cultures do indeed change, the human condition remains essentially unalter
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Gabe
Interesting style, a murder investigation back in the old Roman empire during the ancient times, so with no DNA databases,no fingerprint identification, no super computers, no modern days forensic techniques of investigation, just a clever detective of his time, calling himself "the finder" while he is making himself available for hire by others who may need his type of services in that setting, sounds interesting and promising.

Pros
- interesting and intriguing plot to investigate a murder of a s
...more
Lauren
I keep "discovering" mystery novels set in Ancient Greece and Rome and each one has felt like a newly-excavated treasure. The Arms of Nemesis has almost everything I could possibly want in such a novel: realistic main characters, historical events and people, and a vivid interpretation of the world during that time period.

This book is the sequel to Roman Blood, the second in a series about Gardianus the Finder, a stubborn detective who has worked for many important people from his time period.
...more
Ed
This is the second book in the Gordianus the Finder series. I didn't like it as much as some of the later ones even though Saylor does a great job of setting the scene and developing the characters.

In the midst of the Spartacan slave revolt, the disfigured body of the overseer of one of Marcus Crassus's estates has been found in the atrium. Gordianus is summoned from Rome to find the truth about the murder in three days to forestall Crassus's vow to honor an ancient law and have his ninety-nine
...more
sabisteb
Die Geschichte spielt 10 Jahre nach Band 1 (Steven Saylor: Roman Blood) und es treten viele vertraute Figuren auf, die sich mittlerweile weiterentwickelt haben, so z. Bsp. Eco und Bethesda.

Im Vordergrund steht diesmal weniger der Kriminalfall sondern die Unmenschlichkeit der Sklaverei.
Besonders die grausamen Zustände der Rudersklaven werden geschildert und die doch sehr andersartige Sicht auf die Menschenrechte zur damaligen Zeit. Sklaven werden als Dinge angesehen, was uns heutzutage sehr graus
...more
Leigh-ann
Another amazing, fabulous book by Steven Saylor. Although the plot is fairly simple (rich man is murdered... whodunit?), it's wrapped in Saylor's wonderfully intricate descriptions of life in ancient Rome. The novel is worth reading just for the few pages which describe the short and brutal lives of slaves assigned to row a trireme warship. My only complaint about this novel (and the series, I guess), is that I find the character of Eco to be a bit hokey, and so far, he hasn't added anything to ...more
Mike
An entertaining read for the second book in the seriers about Roman "Gordianus the Finder." I think I enjoy these books more for the Roman History than I do for the mystery. The mystery in this book involves the murder of a man and the response of the man's benefactor and his desire to kill all slaves in the house as an example to the all slaves about what happens when slaves murder their master. The catch is that there is great doubt by many in the house that slaves comitted the actual murder. ...more
Denise
Another experience for Gordianus the Finder in ancient Rome during the slave revolt of Spartacus. The author builds a very credible story by showing readers the hysteria experience by Romans of all income levels. Food is scare in Rome so the poor are desperate to feed their families (no refrigerators during this period so the daily meals had to be purchased and eaten each day). Shop owners are seeing an increase in thefts, shoplifting, vandalism. Wealthy Romans lock their bedroom doors from even ...more
Jennie
This is not a fast read - and for that I am grateful. Steven Saylor has a way of immersing you in Ancient Rome - and the real world just disappears. As one of my favorite characters, Bethesda, has now become a wife - it made for a happy ending!
Deirdre
Full of period details, Gordianus the Finder is involved in a case that touches several people. Crassus' brother is dead and one of the slaves is blamed, as that slave has absconded Crassus decides to kill all the slaves in the Villa. Not an unusual thing to do in the time. Set during the period of Spartacus' revolt this is not a surprising reaction.

Giordanus is convinced that there are plots within plots but can he find out what's happening before the funeral games that will have the slaves all
...more
Gretchen
3.5 stars (Goodreads stop screwing with my notifications and the ads that appear in my sidebars and work on a half star rating system!) This novel was the weakest of Saylor's novels featuring Gordianus the Finder. The story didn't seem to move alone as rapidly and flawlessly as the previous novels. I thought Crassus was a pretty big tool. The story had promise but I just felt like it fell short. I really enjoyed the addition of some of the supporting cast member. I loved little Meto. I think he ...more
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Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel.

Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classi
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More about Steven Saylor...
Roma (Roma, #1) Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1) Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3) A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5) The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)

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