Last Seen in Massilia (Roma Sub Rosa, #8)
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Last Seen in Massilia (Roma Sub Rosa #8)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,393 ratings  ·  49 reviews
In this mystery set in Marseilles in 49 B.C., master detective Gordianus the Finder is on a personal quest to learn the truth about his missing son, Meto. Plunged into the midst of the bloody Roman civil war, the well-connected Gordianus and his son-in-law Davus survive adventure after adventure as they penetrate the Gaulic city Massilia, which is walled against Roman inva...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published 2001 by Robinson (first published October 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

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Georgina Ortiz
Last Seen in Massilia, like the other books in the Roma Sub-Rosa series, is like a bag of Kirkland's fruits and nuts--you can't just stop devouring it (the sweetness of the fruits--eaten alternately with the salty nuts--is extremely addicting).

Learned a lot about ancient Massilia (modern-day Marseilles in France) and its people:
1) "Without wealth, a man in Massilia is nothing" (p.83)
2) "Massilians were said to love money above all else and to exemplify the concomitant virtues--diligence, shrewdn...more
Kathleen
This is the first one of the series that I have read. It is a great historical mystery in a time and place not often written about. Set in Massilia (now Marseilles) during the Roman Empire, it is a fascinating look into an ancient culture. Wonderful combination of mystery and history.
Matthew Perry
I do not want to give this away but this book was a huge installment in this series because of the changes that take place in his family. With the family changes that this book has it is a must read of course for the fans of the series but my favorite thing about this book was that it had my favorite mystery for Gordianus to solve so far. He is charged with trying to find his son Meto in Masillia a besieged town in present day France. While he is there is meets a doomed scapegoat and whitnesses...more
Kayeb
I have read some of these before and missed this one previously. His "disowning" his adopted some came as quite a surprise to me! I guess I will have to read further now......



[close:] In this mystery set in Marseilles in 49 B.C., master detective Gordianus the Finder is on a personal quest to learn the truth about his missing son, Meto. Plunged into the midst of the bloody Roman civil war, the well-connected Gordianus and his son-in-law Davus survive adventure after adventure as they penetrate t...more
Lianne
May 11, 2013 Lianne added it
The civil war in the territories continues in #8 of the Steven Saylor series about ancient Rome. It's 49 B.C. and Gordianus the Finder has received an anonymous message from the city of Massilia (Marseille) declaring that his son Meto is dead. Is Meto a double agent for Caesar? Massillia has declared iloyalty to Pompei Caesar's rival. Gordianus does not trust the news and resolves to find out the truth about his son's life. He sets out with his son-in-law Davus as bodyguard and companion. Togeth...more
Ian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eli
Jul 05, 2013 Eli rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: rome
This was a very well written and entertaining read. I am quite a fan of historical fiction, and Steven Saylor does a convincing job of recreating the world of the ancient Mediterranean as we know it, while adding in his little fictional side-show, playing along simultaneously with the real historical events, yet without conflict between the two. His characters are not prominent enough figures to pose any real problems in this regard, at least in this book.

That is one element of this era that wo...more
Christina
Last Seen in Massilia is a book that would not normally be on my radar, but I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the historical fiction novels I read are centered around strong female characters. Last Seen in Massilia takes place in what would be Marseille, France today but it is called Massilia in ancient Rome. It centers around a Roman Citizen, Gordianus the Finder who is also a detective. Gordianus receives word from an anonymous source in Massilia that his son may be dead, so he travels there...more
Kim Headlee
Hemmed inside the walls of ancient, Greek-controlled Marseilles, Pompey's sympathizers besieging your loyalties even as Julius Caesar's legions blockade all access by land or sea, what would you expect to find? Starvation and hysteria, certainly, as well as suspicion and political intrigue in abundance. But if you happen to be Gordianus the Finder, renowned sleuth of the Roman Empire, murder finds you.

In 49 B.C., civil war embroiled Rome's vast empire. Caesar crossed the Rubicon to assert his re...more
VP Chandler
The first book of Saylor's that I read was A Twist at the End. I was so impressed, I decided to read this one.
I was not dissapointed. Saylor is a master at balancing mystery, intrigue, history, and setting. I learned so much about the place and time without getting bogged down in extraneous details.
I will definitely be reading all of his books! He is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Dev
After a great book 7, Saylor stays on a roll. My only complaint w/these novels is that the characters are too kind hearted and a little too 21st century in their ideas on individual liberties. Similarly, Gordianus has managed to avoid some of the stickier moral issues that would result from a man living in a place like Rome in such a morally barren time. After effectively dealing w/my concerns in book 7, "Last Seen" delivers a surprisingly good mystery with a personal coda that disturbs for all...more
Elizabeth Theiss
First a confession: I am a Rome geek. I will read almost anything, fact or fiction, about life or people in Rome or its colonies. Last Seen in Massilia is part of an outstanding series written by a classics scholar, so the books get the details right from what's for dinner to the actions in battles seen from afar. Saylor's fictional characters have conversations with historical characters from the famous (like Caesar) to the not so famous (the roman architect Vetruvius).

In this book, Gordianus...more
Shawn Thrasher
You have to say one thing for Steven Saylor, his historical accuracy seems pretty spot on. You always feel like you are in ancient Rome, battling with Caesar. Occasionally it feels like the mystery itself is overshadowed by the bigger historical picture (which isn't necessarily a bad thing with writing and research as good as Saylor's), in this particular case the siege of Massilia (modern Marseillais) by Caesar's forces. But I have to say, just when I sort of thought "What a third rate mystery,...more
Denise
Steven Saylor developed a passion for all things "Roman" as an adolescent. He's spent years reading and researching everything he could find on this time period and writes stories based on historical events and characters. He doesn't sugar-coat the past nor does he write under the influence of any religious dogma. If you're easily offended by depictions of gladiatorial games, bloodshed, and sexual attractions and situations, do NOT read this series. If however, you're an adult who accepts that a...more
Phair
I have now read a Gordianus from the start of his career and this one from his elder years. I was not really drawn in to the first book and wish I could say that the experience here was better. I did not particularly like the reader's voice on this audio but after a while he grew on me more. If I was more familiar with G's backstory I might have felt more involved here in the family drama and even some of the political involvements. A good job of presenting the setting so it was easy to visualiz...more
Barbara
I am completely and hopelessly addicted to Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa novels. Last Seen in Massilia was pretty poignant to be reading on Father's Day for reasons I won't write about here to avoid spoilers that might give away too much of the plot to folks who have not read but want to read Last Seen in Massilia.

My mind is creating theatrical tapestries from the Roma Sub Rosa novels where Rob Tapert produces either for TV or movie versions of these stories, perhaps with Lucy Lawless playing B...more
Michael Wagner
A good book on Caesar's rise to power, and his opposition aligned with the disbanded Roman Senate.
Mike
Another quality offering from Saylor in the Gordianus the Finder series, but not one of my favorites. This story sees Gordianus traveling to Massilia (modern day Marseilles) to find his son Meto. It takes place during the historical siege of Massilia by Ceasar's forces. The mystery in this story was not difficult to figure out for me, but there were a few twists that I did not see coming. Overall I found the tone of this novel to be rather negative (although it was during a siege and involves th...more
Matt Thias
This novel occurs during a relatively little known period in Roman history, Caesar's Siege of Masillia. Its short as well compared to Stephen Saylor's other works, which isn't too big a deal since the setting doesn't lend itself to pages of historical narration. However the intimacy of the setting, the city of Massilia and the tension of being in a city under siege makes this a fantastic read. Only a few of the main characters in Gordianus's story make appearances, which makes everything seem ne...more
Djrmel
Definitely better than the previous book, but that might be because I took a break between reading Saylor's Sub Rosa series. Perhaps the negatives (anachronistic ethics) aren't so noticeble if you don't immerse yourself in the series, or perhaps Saylor did a better job of writing characters that lived in the 40s BCE. Either way, this was a simple little mystery set in a fascinating time and place. Add in the return of Meto and I was hooked in a "junk food with some redeeming qualities" sort of w...more
Margaret
These books become less and less about the mystery wrapped in Roman history and more about Gordianus and his family. This mystery is very simplistic and less interesting. Saylor also spends a great deal of the book discussing Massilia's culture which is interesting, but drags the narrative a bit. However, the ending of the book is spectacular. Gordianus' family difficulties and the realization he arrives at is both crushing and understandable. As a continuation of the previous book (Rubicon) thi...more
Florencia
I really enjoy the re-creation of the Roman world and the Empire. And Giordanus is a great character. This Roman who persist in finding the truth in the myst of corruption, even when he knows well that the Truth will not set him free ... or maybe in some way it does. While Caesar, Pompey, Domitious and the rest fight and kill each other for power, Giordanus the Finder is able go through each of their little empires and observe. The mystery was weak, but I still love the characters and the world...more
Csaba
Pretty good, but it didn't make me want to read the rest of the series.
Rob
My favorite of the Roma Sub Rosa series to date (I have now read 4). Gordianus finds himself in the city of Massilia while it is under seige by Caesar's army. Neat depiction of modern day Marseille in 49 BC. A bit of a change of pace from the previous novels I read which focused more on Rome. I loved the scapegoat character and the controversy with the ruling classes on Massilia. Some awkwardness or clunkyness with Meto's role in the book, but overall a solid 4 star rating.
Vicki Cline
Gordianus has come to Massilia looking for his younger son Meto. He's received word that Meto is dead, having betrayed Julius Caesar, his general. Gordianus is sure this isn't true, and is determined to find out what happened. He is invited to stay with Hieronymous, the scapegoat, who will be sacrificed soon to expiate the city's sins. Lots of strange goings-on, naturally, with a satisfying ending. This is one of my favorites of the series.
Ensiform
Gordianus goes to the Gaulish town of Massilia, under siege by Caesar, to find out whether his son Meto is alive or not. The usual scholarship abounds; the Roman world, from siege-craft to commerce, comes alive. Unfortunately, Gordianus is again not so much the detective as the observer in this story, no deducing but being led to the solution. While it’s an interesting historical fiction, I prefer the Finder aspect of the Roman Sub Rosa stories.
Marie
This is another great mystery by Saylor. At first I was nonplussed about the change in setting from Rome, but Saylor's usual vivid descriptions of place and culture pulled me in. I also like that Saylor's mysteries are not like classic whodunit mysteries that you try to figure out yourself, but instead the main and historical characters' stories all come together at the end in a manner reminiscent of Greek tragedies.
Michelle
Liked, but didn't love it. It was an interesting tale but why do historical fiction writers feel the need to have their characters speak with with dorky curse phrases like "By Artemis!" or "What the Hades?" Do they really think it adds verisimilitude? I refuse to belive that ancient Romans actually spoke like that. And if they did, they deserved to be overthrown by the barbarian hordes.
Sherry
Great book, great writer really make the ancient culture come alive!
Dusty
I loved Massilia. To see it in a state of panic and defense, a mere ghost of itself in its glory, is the only disappointment. Historically it came to the end that was expected. From a fictional stand point: Saylor once again proved himself a master of plot twists. A master of mystery. On to A Mist Of Prophecies.
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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...more
More about Steven Saylor...
Roma (Roma, #1) Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1) Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2) Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3) A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)

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