Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)” as Want to Read:
The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The House of the Vestals

(Roma Sub Rosa #6)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,949 ratings  ·  101 reviews
These tales tell the story of Gordianus's adopted son Eco's childhood, Gordianus's relationship with Bethesda (first his slave and now his wife), Bethesda's own background, and, perhaps most important, the history of Rome from the end of Sulla's dictatorship up until the time of the Spartacan slave revolt.
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published July 1st 1997 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The House of the Vestals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The House of the Vestals

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
rating: 4/5

Even though his full length novel mysteries are better than these short stories, I think its just the way of mystery writing. Mysteries are better the more involved and complex they are. Saying that, these short stories were still filled with amazing characters, back stories, the sights and sounds of ancient Rome, interesting ancient Rome and Egypt trivia, cats, and Eco solving his very own first case at the age of 10! I can't help but be captivated by the world Saylor weaves, a world
Vicki Cline
Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-mysteries
This is a series of short stories dealing with Gordianus' life between the end of Roman Blood and the beginning of Arms of Nemesis. Eco is still mute but can communicate well with Gordianus by gesture. Lucius Claudius, Gordianus' patrician friend who leaves him a farm in Catilina's Riddle is in many of these stories. The final one, "The House of the Vestals" includes Catilina as well as Cicero, where Gordianus has to solve a murder committed in the House of the Vestals. Another good one is "King ...more
Timons Esaias
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth of the Roma Sub Rosa series, featuring Gordianus the Finder (Gordianus Inventor?), and the sixth that I have read. The others were novels, but this is a collection of short stories that fill in some of the gaps between the earlier novels.

Each of the stories stems from some ancient reference: from a detail in Cicero's speeches, or an incident in Herodotus, or a tale from Plutarch or Suetonius. I do admire that turning of history into story; and I like Saylor's general conceit of
In The House of the Vestals, Rome’s best finder Gordianus is back in a series of short stories full of political intrigue, murder, theft, and mystery. Set in between the novels Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis, The House of the Vestals update readers on what Gordianus has been up to in the years that pass between the two books.

In Death Wears a Mask, Gordianus tracks a murderer who targeted an actor in between play scenes. Bethesda tells the story of a King’s missing treasure in The Tale of the Tr
A collection of short stories may not have been the best way to experiment with this series. Perhaps Saylor does a better job when he has time to develop his mystery and his setting in a full-length book, but this collection of stories I found underwhelming.

Its setting in ancient Rome was my sole reason for buying The House of the Vestals, but I don't think the author succeeded in transporting me to this world. After all, the reason for telling a mystery in a different time period is the thrill
A book of stories featuring Gordianus the Finder, set after the first novel in the series and before the second. The stories, presented in chronological order relative to Gordianus:

“Death Wears a Mask" – a tale of murder at the theater

“The Tale Of the Treasure House" – Bethesda tells an Egyptian tale of a courtesan who captured the thief who robbed King Rhampsinitus

“A Will Is a Way" – a story of a fraudulent will and a murder; this story is given a lot of color by the introduction of Lucius Clau
Inês Beato
Este livro dedicado a Giordiano, o Descobridor, é um pequeno doce para os amantes da série, já que, através de pequenos contos, o autor dá a conhecer vários pormenores da vida do protagonista no início da sua carreira, tais como o que o levou a adotar Eco, a sua relação com Betesda, como conheceu o seu escravo e guarda-costas Belbo, etc. Todos estes contos estão ainda pautados por acontecimentos históricos reais, que o autor sempre faz questão de entrelaçar nas suas obras e que demonstram um tra ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved with these short stories! Short murder mystery stories can go very wrong (boring, predictable or just all over the place), but these were absolutely great. An important factor was, I think, the fact that the victims weren't big political persons or affiliated with them. I think the characters were very well-rounded and their own person which I appreciated greatly.

Happy reading!
Mar 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah… Gordiano, o Descobridor… o primeiro detective cínico mas com um profundo sentido de justiça, da história. Admito que esta é sempre uma daquelas personagens que me dá um enorme prazer reencontrar. Não se pode dizer que a escrita de Saylor seja genial (há vários momentos em que é óbvio, por demais, que as personagens estão a falar para dar informações ao leitor e não umas às outras) mas isso é mais que compensado pelos retratos detalhados e vivos que temos de Roma durante os últimos anos da Re ...more
Overall this a wonderful collection of short stories. It's better than the other book of short stories that connect the books Roman Blood and Arm of Nemesis, A Gladiator Dies Only Once. Most of the stories have elements of humor, mystery and history - everything necessary for a great read. Individual reviews and summaries of the stories follow.

In Death Wears a Mask Gordianus takes Eco to see a play for the first time but their day out is interrupted when a murder is committed backstage. I love
Vicki Kondelik
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The House of the Vestals is a collection of nine short stories by Steven Saylor, featuring his ancient Roman detective, Gordianus the Finder. The stories take place between 80 and 72 BCE and fill in the gap between the first two novels in the series, Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis. In this collection, you see Gordianus’ adopted son, a mute boy named Eco, grow up and help him solve some of the cases. Gordianus’ Jewish-Egyptian slave and mistress, Bethesda, also plays a prominent role. We also le ...more
I have once read a couple of stories about Gordianus and haven't really enjoyed them that much. It seems I needed to read some of the novels first for me to truly enjoy the short stories, because this time I really liked them.

They were lighter than the novels but still had the 'justice of Rome isn't really that just' vibe in the background. And I loved the fact that they filled the pretty long gap between the first two novels.

Each story, despite being rather short, sets up (and resolves!) an in
James Wirrell
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of numerous short mystery stories. I believe they were originally published separately but brought together in this book. Their general timeframe of these stories puts them between Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis, even though this is technically Book 6 in the series. These stories are quite varied. Some are mysteries Gordianus investigates and solves, others are more puzzles he figures out, and others are mysterious stories recounted by others. These are not edge of seat thr ...more
Sara G
This collection of short stories fills in some of the blanks for Gordianus the Finder in between his big adventures. Chronologically, it falls between the first two books, and explains some of the events of those several years. The stories were fun but I think the full length novels are much better.
Dennis Fischman
A good set of tales to while away the hours, and a generous gift to readers who wondered where certain characters in the series of novels could have come from. The puzzles themselves are slight, and the historical setting is a small pleasure but cannot be enjoyed enough in short stories and novellas.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gordianus never disappoints! The full-length mysteries are obviously more developed, but these are still really fun to read and keep you guessing! I love the interaction between Ancient Rome and mysteries, and Gordianus, Bethesda, Eco, and others are great characters.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting short stories
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely not what I expected. It was much lighter. Easy to follow (which was great as some of the names are tough). I can definitely read more of the series.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gordianus is just as good in solving apparently less complicated mysteries as he is in solving the more complex ones. Loved these short stories.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this thoroughly. I love mystery short stories. Also loved the way these filled in the gaps in the novels' chronology.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this author ,he takes you back in time and on a journey which brings excitment ,saddness, and all other emotions . Love then all.
Virginia Adi
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
entertaining stories with some good history
Akos Toth
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of short stories from Saylor that perfectly fits into the Roma Sub Rosa series. Gives an excellent insight to Roman culture BC.
Fancied a lot.
This collection of short stories fills in some of the long spaces between the early Gordianus novels. Excellent writing and historical detail, just as in the full-length episodes.
Kathy Davie
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, history
"Death Wears a Mask", 1.3
"The Tale of the Treasure House", 1.2
"A Will is a Way", 1.4
"The Lemures", 1.5
"Little Caesar and the Pirates", 1.6
"The Disappearance of the Saturnalia Silver", 1.7
"King Bee and Honey", 1.8
"The Alexandrian Cat", 0.75
"The House of the Vestals", 1.9

An anthology of nine short stories with one short story that takes place well before this book's publication (as #6 in the series) and the other eight taking place between the first and the second in the Roma Sub Rosa anci
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taylor puts you in the well oiled sandals of Gordianus.
PJ Who Once Was Peejay
This is a collection of short stories centering around Gordianus the Finder, Saylor's Ancient Roman "detective" first featured in his novel, *Roman Blood.* Chronologically, these stories fall within the eight years separating the first novel and the second, *Arms of Nemesis.* The collection is useful in finding out what has happened in Gordianus's life in the interim (and some events which will come into play in later novels): how Gordianus met his noble friend Lucius Claudius and Belbo the body ...more
Vasco Ribeiro
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Uma série de 9 short stories sobre o investigador Gordiano, o Descobridor que mostram aspetos da sua vida anteriores ou entre os romances da série Roma sub-rosa (sub-rosa significa segredo ou coisa parecida), onde explica a origem do relacionamento de Gordiano com outras personagens da série: Ecco o jovem protegido mudo; Betesda, a escrava mas também amante, meio judia meio egípcia; o seu escravo e guarda costas Belbo, a sua amizade com o nobre e quase protetor Lúcio Cláudio; aparecendo também C ...more
Oct 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, shorts
If you haven't read any of Steven Saylor's novels about Gordianus the Finder, these short stories would be an uneven introduction. Go read one of the other books first. Or get someone to pick the stories that will be most appealing and rely least on knowing the characters already.

If you are already a fan of Gordianus, these stories are loads of fun. They are more in the "old detectives reminiscing about cases" tradition than the novels are, which might put some people off. Several stories are to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Time to Depart (Marcus Didius Falco, #7)
  • Saturnalia (SPQR, #5)
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)
  • Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2)
  • Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3)
  • The Venus Throw (Roma Sub Rosa, #4)
  • A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)
  • 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)