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A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)
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A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa #5)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  1,966 ratings  ·  70 reviews
In a Rome torn by riots and pulled apart by rival factions, Gordianus the Finder must uncover the truth about the murder of Publius Clodius, a populist politician whose assassination threatens to destroy the Republic. The fifth in the highly praised "Roma sub Rosa" series set in ancient Rome.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 1994)
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These books become even more fascinating as the time line approaches the period of Roman period of history I'm most familiar with. This is a fine mystery, without too much of Cicero's rhetoric to bog down the action, and I admit to experiencing a small thrill when Gordianus first encounters Mark Antony.

If you're annoyed when a novelist contrives for his protagonist to interact with famous historical figures then this series isn't for you. In this book alone Gordianus meets with Caesar, Pompey, M...more
When politician and friend of the people Publius Clodius is murdered on the Appian Way, his enemy Titus Milo is accused. While Cicero goes to Milo’s defense, Gordianus and Eco are hired by Pompey to look into the matter, even as the streets of Rome descend into anarchy, rival gangs clashing by night and the Senate House burned to the ground.

This book may be the best yet in the Rome Sub Rosa series. Gordianus, obsessed with the truth and with protecting his family, is a fine, all too human charac...more
Oct 08, 2008 Bruce rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans and Romaphiles
Hey, a Saylor book I liked, how about that? In this one, fictional detective Gordianus gets mixed up in uncovering the details behind populist demagogue Publius Clodius' murder in 52 BC (the "year of no consuls"). As I understand it, there are those who see the murder as the Republic's Rubicon, the beginning of a story whose midpoint comes with Julius Caesar's assassination, crests at the Battle of Actium, and is completed when Augustus takes power. In this context, events follow inevitably from...more
This book is the third Gordianus the Finder mystery I've listened to on CD, and I like Saylor's combination of good writing, good storytelling, and fairly accurate Roman history. The center historic event of this book was the murder of Clodius (Claudius) by Milo on the Appian way, a real event. Milo's defense by the Roman orator Cicero is still extant, and Saylor used it in constructing his novel. In the previous novel, Roman Blood, I was introduced to Cicero as a young, idealistic lawyer and ad...more
This was a very exciting addition to the series. Marc Anthony is moving in and Cicero is being pushed out of the Roman spotlight. There was even mention of a young Cleopatra. I can't wait to read the next book.
Entretenida aproximación a un hecho histórico, esta novela perteneciente a la serie de Gordiano el Sabueso se centra en el episodio de la muerte de Clodio, supuestamente a manos de Milón, en una Roma en la que empiezan a sentarse las bases para la lucha de poder entre Pompeyo y Julio César.

La combinación de personajes históricos y ficticios está bastante conseguida, y la trama fluye sin mayor problema, pero a pesar de todo no es una gran novela histórica, tal vez porque la didáctica es excesiva...more
I can't stop reading these books. They're like crack.
This is the 5th in the Saylor series featuring Gordianus the Finder. In each novel Saylor showcases one or two aspects of Roman politics, life and society through the plot. "Murder on the Appian Way" Saylor explores the end of the republican period when there is a struggle for power and control both of the aristocratic old families, who dominate the tribunes and senate as well as the rising power of demagogues who control the streets . Publius Clodius, whose roots are patrician has become the ch...more
Kathy Davie
Fifth in the Roma Sub Rosa historical mystery series set in ancient Rome and revolving around Gordianus the Finder, senior.

My Take
I definitely should not have read John Maddox Roberts' King's Gambit , I when I started this series. It's got me all confused with the different Milos! I kept expecting Saylor's Milo to be the same person as Roberts', which is silly, but, well, there ya go…

The drama swirls around power. Wanting it, having it, getting it back. Gaining power over another. But the underl...more
Jul 05, 2008 Matt rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History addicts
I was enjoying this book far more than I wanted to, given the fact that ultimately it was a murder mystery that failed to satisfy in any fashion. Fortunately, the story let go of me before I got to the end.

The reason I was enjoying this book so much is that I'm a sucker for history, and even such well picked over carrion as the final days of the Roman Republic managed to be pretty gripping and interesting for me in the author's hand.

But at the same time, one of my pet peeves in historical fictio...more
Bridgette Redman
Steven Saylor is on my list of authors to purchase whenever he publishes a new novel. My husband and I first discovered him through the short stories he published in Ellery Queen and hurried to buy his first novel, Roman Blood when it was first published. We have rarely been disappointed in any of Saylor's offerings.

This novel, Murder on the Appian Way combines the best aspects of Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series. His "detective"--Gordianus the Finder--is a Roman citizen who has worked for many of...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(cliche alert) Steven Saylor makes the past come alive. In every sense of the word. All his historical fiction about the Roman Empire that I've read so far is incredibly rich in details concerning the day to day life of all but especially the upper classes, as well as the everchanging political climate. While in some author's hands this might make for heavy reading, Saylor has a light touch and a gift for fully engaging the reader.

Murder on the Appian Way concerns the killing of a high-ranking...more
Shawn Thrasher
Like John Maddox Roberts, Steven Saylor often takes real mysteries or murders from Roman history and adds his own twists. The death of Clodius Pulcher takes center stage in this murder mystery, as Gordianus the Finder is hired by both Fulvia (wife of Clodius) and Pompey the Great to find out what exactly happened. This is definitely more of a political thriller rather than a traditional murder mystery - but there are several mysteries (both great and small) that Saylor explores. Who murdered Clo...more
Matt B.
Gordianus the Finder is at it again, pulled into the complex and dangerous politics of Rome in 52 B.C.
The web of political rivalries in this one were a bit tedious for Saylor to convey as effectively as in several of his other books.
However, he brings the era to life like no one else.
A solid if a bit lengthy read.
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
I wish we could use half-stars, as I'd really like to give this book 3.5 stars.

The murder mystery itself is interesting, but not excessively so. The same can be said for the characters. The writing is good overall, but the author is prone to very clunky info-dumps.

However, this book is a great way to get a feel for Ancient Rome. I learned a lot more about 52 B.C. than I knew before, and I enjoyed learning it. My husband purchased a couple more books in this same series and I'm sure I'll eventual...more
Good, but not his best. The way Saylor tells this story means a lot of the action unfolds through dialogue rather than action, so it can feel more like exposition than storytelling.
Lance McMurchy
This is another quality book by Saylor. I found out just how good they are, when I read other authors writing on similar topics. I am now determined to read the rest of the series.

Each of the books are written with a different approach to solving the murder. Murder on the Appian Way, is no different. It is written from the view of the witnesses of the incident, more so than the physical evidence. It shows the how you can have many witnesses, but not the full story. While still learning more of w...more
I enjoyed reading the book, mostly because I am fascinated by Greece. However the writing style was so so. Plot and originality was excellent.
Vicki Cline
All the books in the Roma Sub Rosa series are based on events in Roman history. This one is about the murder of Publius Clodius Pulcher, a popularis politician and gang leader, supposedly by his mortal enemy Titus Annius Milo, another politician and gang leader, but on the side of the optimates. Clodius' death occurred just after the two men and their entourages encountered each other on the Appian Way, about 15 miles south of Rome. Everyone assumes that Milo or one of his men did in Clodius, bu...more
As an aspiring author of historical fiction based on ancient Rome, I find Saylor's work an inspiration. His characters and plots remind us of how very much we are the product of this time in history. He illuminates the differences of the culture and the commonality of human experience across the centuries. He is especially adept at incorporating the actual events of the time without breaking the pace of his story and without being pedantic.

I recommend the whole series.
learn a lot about ancient Rome
Whenever I can take the time and thoroughly immerse myself in one of Saylor's books - I am content, entertained and taken to another era. Slowly and happily making my way through this series - not to be rushed - just to be enjoyed!
This is a delightful flowing read that reminds me of Colleen McCullough whose work I love. Saylor omits much of the historical detail that McCullough deems necessary for her novels. Of course, since a murder mystery does not need the same historical grounding there is no comparison. I truly enjoyed this tale for what it is - a murder mystery with a hero who investigates and determines what really happened. This is a good read with interesting characters against the background of imperial Roman l...more
Monica Davis
Better than 4 stars, but less than 5. (The optimist in me goes with 5 stars.) The danger in creating a series is that the current book is compared to prior ones. The author's challenge is to continue creating cohesive characters and rich stories to carry the reader from one book to the next. After what I thought was a letdown with the last in his Sub Roma series the author is back on track with an intriguing tale filled with twists and turns. Will continue on with this series.
A solid Gordianus the Finder read. Our hero follows the trail of the murder of Publius Clodius, finding clues chapter by chapter. Some mild surprises but fairly straight forward. This book does do a good job of building up some of the characters we have seen in previous and will see in later books in this series.

A compelling "middle" read or "glue" book in the Roma Sub Rosa series. I would give it 3.5 stars. The last 200 pages much better than the first 200.
I have really come to enjoy books by Saylor and his main character, Gordianus the Finder. These books are basically mystery books set in Rome with Gordianus as the detective. Along with the mystery, a whole lot of Roman history is tossed in to make this a readers delight.

This particular mystery dragged a bit, but the final 10% of the book made up for the parts that seemed to stretch out. Looking forward to the next one.
Oh I really love this series about Gordianus the Finder, taking place in ancient Rome at the time of Cicero - asides from thrilling murder mysteries there's a lot to learn about Roman history and customs -for everybody who is interested in ancient cultures I recommend these books warmly.
Btw it's advisable to read them in chronlogical order (see also Steven Saylors homepage:
I really enjoy Steven Saylor's novels about Rome, especially since they are based on historical incidents. This one I found very interesting. This book takes place near the end of the Roman republic. The factionalism, demagoguery and corruption portrayed in the novel, as well as the ambitions of such men as Pompey and Caesar helped to bring down the republic. Really, one can see some parallels in our time.
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Historical Fictio...: Saylor's "A Murder on the Appian Way" 6 30 Nov 24, 2012 03:01PM  
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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) The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)

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