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The Venus Throw (Roma Sub Rosa, #4)
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The Venus Throw (Roma Sub Rosa #4)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  2,403 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
On a chill January evening in 56 B.C., two strange visitors to Rome—an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest—seek out Gordianus the Finder whose specialty is solving murders, but the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, has come to ask for something Gordianus cannot give—help in staying alive. Before the night is out, he will be murdered.

Now Gordianus begins his most dan
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1995)
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Simon Mcleish
Oct 02, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it
Originally published on my blog here in November 2000.

The Venus Throw is probably the best of Saylor's series of novels featuring Roman private detective Gordianus the Finder. Once again, its subject is one of the famous cases for which Cicero was an advocate at the trial. Rome in the first century BC was a fascinating place, full of interesting people and tumultuous events leading to the formation of the Empire. It is a good illustration of the Chinese curse about interesting times; it was a su
Aug 20, 2008 Chiggins1066 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chiggins1066 by: Victoria
I've read almost all of Saylor's Roman mysteries (save for Myst of Prophecies), and I think this one is the best. In this novel, the author turns his attention towards Alexandria, and the crisis facing the Ptolemaic dynasty. We will remember from history that an unofficial Alexandrian delegation tried to reach the Roman senate (which included the philosopher Dio), only to be assassinated outside of Rome. Since the delegation was against Ptolemy, he has long been suspected. But Saylor offers a fi ...more
Inês Beato
Mais um volume extraordinário da série Roma Sub Rosa, protagonizada por Gordiano o Descobridor. Com muito mais mistério e acção que o livro anterior, "O Mistério de Catilina", este "Lance de Venus" mantém o leitor completamente agarrado à história e na expectativa até ao final surpreendente, passando, durante as investigações, pelos meandros da política e dos tribunais da Roma Antiga.

Acho fantástica a forma como Steven Saylor consegue combinar ficção e factos históricos, bem como misturar person
Nov 17, 2009 Tita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meus, livros-2014
Mais um livro da série Roma Sub-Rosa, desta vez o quarto volume.
Gordiano o descobridor é contactado por um antigo mestre egípcio, Díon, que lhe pede ajuda pois acredita que corre perigo de vida. Mas Gordiano recusa pois está de partida para ir visitar o seu filho Meteo. Quando regressa, descobre que Díon foi assassinado pouco depois de sair de sua casa e acaba sendo contactado por um conhecimento comum para que investigue o crime.

Mais uma vez, Steven Saylor criou uma excelente história, cheia d
Jul 25, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Another good read from Saylor. I was on the fence re a 4 star rating (leaning toward something a little less, mainly because it dragged a bit in the middle) -- but once again he pulled it off at the end. You know its a good mystery when you think you've figured it out several times along the way, but at the end the real solution surprises you and also makes complete sense . . . all the clues were there from the get go, you just didnt see it.

Also classic Saylor in bringing Ancient Rome to life al
Fernando Delfim
"Os Deuses adoram surpreender os homens com o inesperado - e são famosos pela crueldade do seu regozijo."

"As coisas raras e belas que a riqueza e o poder podem comprar não passam, muitas vezes, de decorações que escondem o modo como essa riqueza e esse poder foram adquiridos."

"A oratória serve para as ocasiões em que não existem factos."

"Se viveres o suficiente, perceberás que eles nunca acabam (problemas com as mulheres)"

Leonardo Etcheto
Sep 20, 2009 Leonardo Etcheto rated it really liked it
Very good, a great invocation of the world. The story was a little too convoluted but quite interesting. The main annoyance is that saylor has his character be extra dense sometimes so as to supposedly maintain the surprise, but often the outcome is fairly obvious and has been foreshadowed. Still I very much enjoyed this book, Rome was a crazy place at the end of the Republic.
Cáitlin O'ruadhán
Jun 05, 2010 Cáitlin O'ruadhán rated it it was amazing
The short and the sweet of it is that if you ever loved Catullus, read this book, for Saylor brings one of THE greatest, and certainly Rome's greatest, poet of love vividly to life. And Saylor's sensuous portrayal of Clodia Pulcher makes you feel much like Catullus felt for her, and that is no mean achievement!
Beatrice Gormley
I liked this and all of Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa mysteries, but then I'm a sucker for ancient Rome, and Saylor really knows it, as if he'd spent a few years there in the Peace Corps. Saylor's P.I,, Gordianus, is sympathetic and entertaining.
This book starts with a good deal of humor when the philosopher and the eunuch disguise themselves as a man and a woman respectively. Like when Bethesda tells Gordianus about the various obscene speeches and rhymes that were made in the Forum while he was away visiting with his son Meto: "'Judges, I do not point the finger of guilt - I point at the guilty finger!'" in reference to a case Marcus Caelius prosecutes where he brought up the deaths of the defendant's wives, possibly from having a poi ...more
Kathy Davie
Aug 24, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
Fourth in the Roma Sub Rosa historical mystery series set in ancient Rome and revolving around Goridanus the Finder.

My Take
It's sad to read of Rome's descent into such corruption. It started with such wonderful ideals, and now it's just a sewer. I hate to say it, but the U.S. seems to following the same path.

Reading Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa provides a more personal look at why the Republic fell. It's one thing to read historic tomes and memorize dates, but to read even a fictional account of a fa
Sep 30, 2008 Bruce rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Steven Saylor fans
"Take a winding pathway to the foot of the Palatine, to a spot just behind the Temple of Castor and Pollux. Turn left. Proceed down the narrow alley (stinking of urine, and black as pitch at night) that runs behind the buildings on the north side of the Forum. As the slope of the Palatine curves away on the left-hand side, letting the alley open a bit, you will come to a cluttered area of little workshops and warehouses south of the Forum, east of the cattle markets and the river. Look for the l ...more
Twayne Tur
May 20, 2017 Twayne Tur rated it really liked it
May 07, 2017 Hko rated it liked it
mooi historisch perspectief (alweer) en verrassende ontwikkelingen. blijft tot het einde cultuurgeschiedkundig interessant en kent onverwachte wendingen
Donald Schopflocher
Feb 24, 2017 Donald Schopflocher rated it really liked it
As always, Saylor tells an interesting story at a leisurely pace, embedded in real history and bringing the Roman Republic alive.
Feb 19, 2017 Ted rated it really liked it
Gordianus is faced with an interesting puzzle.
John Carter McKnight
Oct 09, 2015 John Carter McKnight rated it really liked it
Saylor seems to alternate between heavy mystery plots and historical fiction with a mystery twist: this one is all about the mystery, though with the usual heavy political consequences and historic turning points.

A mission of 100 Egyptian nobles to Rome is subject to harrassing attacks all the way up the coast, until only one man is left in Rome, the philosopher Dio. He turns up on Gordianus The Finder's doorstep, terrified, seeking protection - from the king of Egypt and Pompey, the most power
Mar 28, 2011 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Roma Sub Rosa series and the 5th I've read. Like the other books it is based on actual incidents in Roman history and the characters (with the exception of the protagonist, his family and a few others) are historical figures.

In this book Gordianus the Finder is contacted by an Egyptian philosopher, Dio, who was his teacher for a time when Gordianus was in Alexandria. He is accompanied by a gallus (a eunuch), a priest of Cybele. Dio had been part of a group of 100 A
Feb 06, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it
One night in Rome, 56 BC, Gordianus’ old philosophy teacher, Dio, comes to his door pleading for help. He is the last of the hundred Alexandrians come to Rome to demand the Senate’s recognition of Queen Berenice over Ptolemy; the other have fled or been killed, and Dio is a hunted man. When he dies, Gordianus is hired by Clodia, a woman of ancient heritage and very bad reputation, to find out his killer. Who is it? Marcus Caelius, the unscrupulous young neighbor of Gordianus, and enemy of Clodia ...more
Feb 27, 2010 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Shelves: spring-2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2014 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
I am trying to remember off the top of my head if I have declared a favorite Gordianus book. If I have, I'm changing my mind. If I haven't, this book is my favorite.

The story in this novel was so much more complex and fast paced than the previous novels. It was a good novel to follow Catilina's Riddle, as the previous novel left me feeling rather underwhelmed.

I might be a little biased here but my favorite addition to Gordianus' expanding brood is the twins. I wish I had as much serenity as Men
Nov 28, 2012 Ian rated it really liked it
One of the better of the Gordianus series. Here our noble Finder is caught in a complex web of misunderstandings and half-truths, which he consistently ploughs through, until he finally uncovers the truth—in his own house hold!

In this story the great figures of the late Republic play only a peripheral role, we hear a few names, but they are mostly off stage. It is the second level "great Romans" we see this time, plotting and scheming for power and status.

The story concerns 100 Alexandrian sch
I'm not sure how I got this book (probably from my aunt's shopping bag full of paperbacks she's always passing around). I'm also not sure how I got into reading all these mystery books that take place in ancient Rome. What I do know is: a) I know a lot more about the political and social environment around the time before Julius Caesar became dictator than I ever imagined and b) the lead character in this series (Gordianus "the finder") is not as fun as Decius Cecillius Metellus the Younger from ...more
Mar 20, 2013 Lianne added it
"The Venus Throw" is #4 in the Steven Saylor series set in ancient Rome. The title refers to a particular dice throw.It is set eight years after the previous book. Cicero's career has weathered several successes and failures. He has been forced into exile, and returned. Caesar has been successful in expanding the empire and has been elected consul. Events in Egypt are heating up as the Romans are contemplating the takeover of the breadbasket of the Nile, and hoping to displace the last of the Pt ...more
Feb 08, 2017 Imogen rated it liked it
I've enjoyed other books in this series, but while this started off interestingly, it soon got bogged down in endless exposition through dialogue, speeches blah blah. There were some good set pieces but it was all a bit lost amongst the historical re-enactment.
Well, I didn't particularly enjoy the last book by Steven Taylor but I did have this novel on hand so I figured I might as well read it. Suffice it to say that I wasn't all that enamored with this tale either, although it does improve on Catilina's Riddle as far as I'm concerned. The story actually has a real mystery in it and the resolution is interesting. Then again, if you paid attention (in difference to the main character) you could see the end coming a long way off. The life of Rome is por ...more
Vicki Cline
Oct 18, 2009 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: roman-mysteries
One of Gordianus' teachers from his days in Alexandria has come to Rome as part of an Egyptian delegation, most of whose members have been scared off. He's worried he will be killed. Gordianus can't do anything for him, and the next day, he is found dead. While trying to solve that case, Gordianus is hired by the infamous Clodia, sister of the equally infamous Publius Clodius Pulcher, to get evidence that Caelius, a former lover, has tried to poison her. This is based on an actual court case whe ...more
On a normal evening an old Egyptian philsopher, 'ambasador' comes to visit the Roman 'Finder', together with a Eunich priest. The priest is an old friend, but doesn't come for a friendly chat about old times. He is worried and afraid for his life.
The priest comes to ask help to the only person he thinks he can fully trust in Rome.
During the story we get to know different characters from Roman history and all are aprt of a great, really well told story.
The story itself and the way it was written
Daniel Bratell
Jun 15, 2012 Daniel Bratell rated it it was ok
I do like historical fiction. Ellis Peters and Ken Follett are both favourites and Steven Saylor's first two books about Gordiano the Finder were intriguing.

This is the fourth book in the series Steven Saylor wrote, and the ninth if read in chronological order, but it seems to me to be a lot worse than the first two books. The only interesting aspect is the descriptions of Roman life, but it's no longer any news.

The long recitations by Catullus and Cicero are in particular fatiguing. The author
May 19, 2015 Kenny rated it liked it
Another entertaining read in the Gordianus series, this one flows along easily, and has a bit of fun with the almost pantomime Clodia and Clodius - who keep popping up in various books (fiction and non fiction as pretty awful people). So there's some entertaining background, which stays just the right side of plausibility. Unusually for some of the genre, there's a few memorable twists and characters in this - particularly the final chapters that should make the rest of the series more interesti ...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 class
More about Steven Saylor...

Other Books in the Series

Roma Sub Rosa (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • 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)
  • 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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