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

(Roma Sub Rosa #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,721 ratings  ·  190 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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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,721 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it

Why have I waited so long to read the second book in this series?! Fool of a Took!

This story is basically an Agatha Christie style murder mystery played out in Ancient Rome with some heavy hitting historical figures in play e.g. Marcus Crassus (who was kind of a big deal). The setting is one of the main attractions in this book, so expertly woven into the story that you don't realise how easily you've been transported to ancient times. The style of writing makes it an easy read and the myste
Blaine DeSantis
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine effort by Saylor. This time we move from Cicero as a client to Gordianus the Finder now finding himself in the employ of the richest man in Rome - Marcus Crassus. We find Gordianus the Finder summoned to the Bay of Naples to investigate the murder of Crassus' cousin Lucius Licinius.
Despite the appearance that Licinius was murdered by slaves, Gordianus is not quite so sure and thus begins the detective mystery. Saylor also provides us with a history lesson of the Servile Wars in Sici

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
Moshe Mikanovsky
Great sequel to Roman Blood. Gordianus the Finder continues with another adventure, filled with a murder mystery, slaves, Sybils, ruthless politicians and Spartacus' rebellion as the political background. Great entertainment, will read more!
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 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
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

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.
Aug 20, 2008 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
Apr 30, 2012 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
Kathy Davie
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, mystery
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
Oct 03, 2014 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!
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
This is essentially an Agatha Christie mystery novel set in Ancient Rome, a particular time I am fascinated by. I loved the detective formula, with the unique setting near modern day Naples. The atmosphere was perfectly described and the characters were all intriguing.
For me, this series (so far) is second only to the Matthew Shardlake for best in the historical mystery genre.
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Another detective book with the same main character as the previous
Roman Blood

A murder, an investigation and a glimpse into the life of Romans of all levels.

While I found some of the descriptions of Roman life interesting, I did not care too much for all the religious and mythical parts of the book.
The detective part was not as impressive as the first book either.

Jun 07, 2010 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 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 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 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
Jul 09, 2014 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 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
Oct 08, 2011 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
Vicki Cline
Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-mysteries
This one isn't quite as good as the first in the series, Roman Blood, but then Crassus isn't as interesting as Cicero. You do get a good feel for life in a seaside estate, with the many, many slaves required to run it. Also, there was the quite legitimate underlying fear of slaves at this time, since many owners and their families were murdered by their slaves during the Spartacus revolt. Naturally, there's a happy ending for (almost) all but the culprit.
Matthew Perry
Feb 16, 2014 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.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in 73 BCE at the time of the slave revolt under Sparticus. Gordius the Finder is engaged by Crassus to uncover the killer of his cousin. Crassus suspects it is one of his slaves and prepares to deliver Roman justice.

Excellent use of ancient sources. Plotting of the mystery was a bit weak.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
I found this mystery series set in Ancient Rome by accident. This is the second book. Our investigator has to solve a murder. The lives of all of the slaves in the household are on the line. He befriends a particular small boy to sneak around the premises to look for clues. The little boy is adorable. There are a handful of suspects picked out at the first. Quite enjoyable is not quite nearly suspense
M Scott
Feb 05, 2013 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 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.

Jamie Collins
Even better than the first one. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this series.
May 29, 2011 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.
Aricia Gavriel
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, glbt, mystery, rome
Ye gods, what a depressing book. Not boring or poorly written, but ... depressing. I read this for the first time 25 years ago, when it was new, and as a much younger reader, apparently I failed to connect with the tsunami of human suffering and misery which is the real gist of this novel.

This time around, at my advanced age, what I saw -- and simply couldn't get past -- was the suffering, misery, cruelty, injustice, stupidity, arrogance; all of which made the book about 70 pages too long (for
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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

Other books in the series

Roma Sub Rosa (1 - 10 of 13 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)
“Mummius?” “His right hand,” 0 likes
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