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

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  3,073 Ratings  ·  139 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 1992)
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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 Agricola and The Germania by Tacitus
Best Books About Ancient Rome
47th out of 558 books — 891 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
190th out of 1,305 books — 3,412 voters

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Community Reviews

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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

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
3.5/5. Second in the Gordianus the Finder Roman mysteries. Well plotted novel set during the Spartacus slave revolt--72 BC, which is connected to the murder of the cousin-cum-steward of Marcus Crassus and subsequent murder of a philosopher, a member of Crassus's household. Author's strong points are his lively and realistic descriptions of Roman life and a well written, well plotted story. I first read it years ago, but it was worth rereading.
aPriL does feral sometimes
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
May 09, 2011 Kam rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
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
Inês Beato
Mais um livro bastante agradável de Steven Saylor! Devo dizer que esta mistura de policial com Roma Antiga fascina-me, bem como a personagem principal, Geordiano, o descobridor! Nesta obra, passada em plena revolta dos escravos liderada por Spartacus, o protagonista terá de descobrir quem matou o primo de, nem mais nem menos, Marco Crasso! Considerado talvez o homem mais rico que o império conheceu e que mais tarde viria a derrotar Spartacus com o seu exército particular, Crasso tem um papel pre ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Chiggins1066 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 09, 2012 Trish rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 07, 2014 Debra rated it really liked it
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!
Kathy Davie
Jun 10, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, history
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 i
Feb 05, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it
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
Simon Mcleish
Aug 20, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it
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
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
Feb 27, 2009 Djrmel rated it liked it
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
Dec 05, 2014 Gretchen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
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
Sep 08, 2015 Princessjay rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Found this one hard to get through, mostly due to the description of slave life in Ancient Rome. The sheer injustice of it; and to think, every human culture throughout much of History believing enslavement of their fellows to be perfectly acceptable and good. Makes me hate humans. Of course, that it bothered me so much can only be to Saylor's credit. Rather, the 3 stars is because I didn't think this was a good mystery.

Some thriller-like element, much running around and not really picking up c
Apr 19, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff. Saylor is at his best with the tales of Gordianus the Finder. I recently read his Roma novel which attempted to span several generations as Rome rose to a world power - just not nearly as good as his 300 page mysteries such as Arms of Nemesis.

This book read a little like those murder mystery dinner theater shows from the late 80s. A rich Roman's villa with several interesting characters as dinner guests. Who is the murderer? Saylor does a great job of keeping the suspense and surpris
Matthew Perry
Feb 16, 2014 Matthew Perry rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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
Feb 05, 2013 M Scott rated it liked it
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
Sep 09, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was ok
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.

May 29, 2011 Bob rated it it was amazing
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 Collins
Even better than the first one. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series.
Oct 03, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it
This is my first book in this series and I'm suitably impressed. The suggestion from Goodreads prompted me to pick up the book in a library book sale last spring. This is an older copy, so the print is small and dense, but the story fascinates. The author incorporates great historical detail and figures from history into a complex mystery that must be solved in a limited time frame. I've since picked up more in this series, and I recommend it for those who enjoy mystery with their history.
Sep 26, 2016 Sue rated it liked it
This is the 4th of the Roma Sub Rosa series that I've read. I've loved them all, however, this one is my least favorite. Saylor's history really shines, as always. If you want to know something about how wealthy Romans lived in their villas and how their slaves were treated, then this is the book for you. That being said, the mystery in this book is not up to Saylor's usual standards. Gordianus the Finder couldn't seem to find anything or solve the mystery that he was sent to solve. It seemed th ...more
Mar 10, 2011 sabisteb rated it it was amazing
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
Liesl Swardt
Sep 26, 2016 Liesl Swardt rated it really liked it
a Very well written Roman whodunit, has a bit more meat on it's bones than most historical fiction. I will definitely read more novels by this author.
Dec 18, 2014 Gabe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

- interesting and intriguing plot to investigate a murder of a s
Jul 20, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it
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.
John Carter McKnight
Sep 13, 2015 John Carter McKnight rated it really liked it
This second entry in the "Roma Sub Rosa" mystery series is even better than its excellent predecessor. Where the first one gave a bit of short shrift to the mystery plot in favor of atmosphere, here Saylor strikes a perfect balance. We get a rich, reality-tv-level look at the lives of the rich and powerful in their summer homes near Vesuvius, paired with vivid and horrifying descriptions of the status of Rome's innumerable slaves.

On the other side, the mystery is wonderfully convoluted, laden w
David Anderson
Aug 13, 2016 David Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading a collection of short stories around Gordianus the Finder and thinking it was pretty good. This, however, I really liked. I guess this means for me, the characters and stories work better as a novel than short stories. It’s interesting how that works sometimes. In writing a novel versus short story, Saylor was able to do more to develop the characters and ratchet up the tension.
This is the first novel I’ve read in the Gordianus the Finder series, though the second in the serie
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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 class
More about Steven Saylor...

Other Books in the Series

Roma Sub Rosa (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1)
  • Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3)
  • The Venus Throw (Roma Sub Rosa, #4)
  • A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)
  • The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)
  • Rubicon (Roma Sub Rosa, #7)
  • Last Seen in Massilia (Roma Sub Rosa, #8)
  • A Mist of Prophecies (Roma Sub Rosa, #9)
  • The Judgment of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa, #10)
  • A Gladiator Dies Only Once (Roma Sub Rosa, #11)

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