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The Triumph of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa #12)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,438 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews

The Roman civil war has come to its conclusion – Pompey is dead, Egypt is firmly under the control of Cleopatra (with the help of Rome’s legions), and for the first time in many years Julius Caesar has returned to Rome itself. Appointed by the Senate as Dictator, the city abounds with rumors asserting that Caesar wishes to be made King – the first such that Rome ha

Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Triumph of Caesar is the 12th in the Gordianus series of novels set in ancient Rome. 'Gordianus the Finder' is a kind of private detective who started his career working for Cicero on a case of parricide. Now 30 years later Gordianus has acquired a house on the Palatine and is well known to the upper reaches of Roman society.

The year is 46 B.C.E. and Caesar has returned from the Civil war, the war in Africa, and the war in Asia. His wife Calpurnia is convinced that his life is in danger, and
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction and specifically historical mysteries
I had read all the books in this series about Gordianus the Finder, but it had been so long since the last one I read - "A Gladiator Only Dies Once" - that I found I had forgotten a lot about the history of the characters and I had a hard time picking up the thread here. Once I did, I just couldn't get that interested somehow. The writing seemed flat.

I think part of the problem is that, since I last read this series, I discovered John Maddox Roberts and Lindsay Davis, both of whom are much bette
Georgina Ortiz
Hieronymus, Gordianus' Massilian friend, sums up what I think of The Triumph of Caesar (p.288): "You used to appreciate a puzzle, Gordianus--the more baffling, the better. What's become of your powers of deduction? Gone to Hades, along with your powers of observation, I suppose."

Maybe it was the author's intention to lay down the groundwork for Gordianus' eventual retirement. After all, he has been Rome's number one private investigator for three decades. But still, I found the plot a little thi
Jul 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of mysteries and/or historical fiction
Recommended to Linda by: Myself
This is the 12th book in Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series, which is set in Ancient Rome. I'm an historical fiction addict, and this is one series that I particularly enjoy. Not only have I learned a tremendous amount about the times, but Saylor's realistic characters make the ancient world something we can actually relate to today. He mixes imaginary characters with real historical figures, and the result is that names I had to memorize as a kid now are comprehensible as living, breathing human bei ...more
Eric Secoy
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Great to read Saylor's description of the Roman forum just after I spent a couple of days wandering around the forum in Rome myself. Not much suspense in the mystery solved here, but the characters in this series are well established and Saylor's knowledge of ancient Rome makes this series one of my favorite mystery reads.
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. In this book, there is a discussion about the Roman calendar and the need for a new calendar. My husband asked me if Methuselah's life years were the same as ours and, based on this book, it seems they might not have been. I will need to find more on the topic. I also realized that burial in Roman times was really different from now - no embalming, cremation. The stench must have been prominent! Finally, the main character (Gordianus the Finder) i ...more
Fernando Gonzalo Pellico
Última novela de la saga de Gordiano en cuanto a hechos. Amable y fácil de leer, quizá con más ingredientes del policial y menos de la histórica que a lo que nos tiene acostumbrados Saylor.

No es la mejor novela del autor, a ratos se me hizo lenta, pero vale la pena. Espero que a Saylor le de por sacar una sobre los Idus de Marzo del 44, pero nunca se sabe. Gordiano no podrá darnos a conocer a través de sus ojos a Octavio y sus alborotados tiempos, pero tal vez, sólo tal vez, Saylor opine que Ec
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoy this series and this last book before jumping back in time of the life of Gordianus was a pleasant break from my recent non-fiction run of books. Once again the characters come to life - while I would always like to see more Bethesda in the book - I really enjoy the entering of their daughter Diana into a more major role. Her character, which is a great melding of both her parent's characters is well done and enjoyable. I know I'm a little behind on the series but I enjoy know ...more
Lance McMurchy
well, this one just felt tired. maybe Gordianus needs an afternoon nap - since he is getting old. After all the other books, this one would be the bottom of the Saylors' barrel. It seemed that histoty got in the way of a good story. And that magical realism bit, well, that came out of left field. the last book was a bit mystical, too. the book needed a spark, but the a mystical element didn't really work. Better luck next time, Saylor.
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Triumph of Cesar" by Steven Saylor Gave this 5 stars. Like how this Authors uses 1st person. Writes as if he were talking to the reader. A bit of advise read on a reader or have your computer close so you can look up local, countries and many of the Roman terms he uses. Ceasars wife Calpurnia engages Gordianus "the finder" (Roman version PI) to discover who is piloting to kill Ceasar. 
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable mystery set in the times of Julius Caesar. I figured out the murderer early on but it was still very entertaining.
Twayne Tur
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Des mots a la vie
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Une immersion totale dans la Rome Antique avec des personnages très divers et pourtant très proche des personnes qu'ils incarnent. C'est un roman très sympathique, et qui se lit très vite, mais qui ne constitue pas un coup de coeur ! Pour quelques heures de détente et un changement d'air, Le triomphe de César est parfait !
Faith Justice
I read a Gordianus the Finder mystery a few years ago, but don't remember which it was (there are eleven books previous to this one in the Roma Sub Rosa series.) I do remember mildly enjoying it and the series got a thumbs up from several people on this board. I picked The Triumph of Caesar out of the bargain bin because I truly enjoyed Steven Saylor's Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (review here) and thought I'd give this one a shot.

In the beginning of the story, Gordianus has returned to Rome
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little put off this work by the scads of mildly negative reviews here on grs, however, I found it to be on par with the earlier Gordianus adventures. It is true that the four triumphs celebrated by Caesar (46 BCE) dominate the novel, but Saylor weaves his tale of intrigue and murder with his usual skill between these public elements to create an entertaining story.

Here Gordianus uncovers, just in the nick (literally) of time, a plot to assassinate Caesar, and manages to save the Dictator
Gordianus has returned from Egypt, and Bethesda has been cured of her illness in the sacred Nile. Pompey has been defeated and Cleopatra is Queen of Egypt, thanks to help from Caesar and his legions. Caesar has returned to Rome and no one knows whether he plans to be a dictator, like Sulla or whether he plans to become a King after seeing how convenient it is to be so close to the gods as Cleopatra can claim to be. Rome buzzes with intrigue because the Senate and Consuls will not let go of their ...more
Read this backstage at the Blood Asylum during Howl-O-Scream 2013. Gotta say the sounds of torture and screams in the background really helped get me in the mood for a murder mystery. I'm not a huge fan of the mystery genre and I haven't read any of the other historical fiction mystery novels from this author, but the idea of a Roman age detective is a pretty good one and I think a TV show featuring the antics of such an investigator would be pretty good. From the mysteries I've read I'd say tha ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
That's it?!?! There's no more?!?! Now what am I going to do?

I had been putting off starting this novel knowing it is the final book in the Gordianus the Finder series. Well, I started it and now I'm finished with it. I feel slightly empty. I feel slightly disappointed. There were a few things the bothered me about this novel. One was the lack of Eco. Eco has more or less disappeared from the novels since that whole deal with Catalina. I was always a little bummed out by that aspect of the story
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As an author of historical fiction, Steven Saylor assumes the challenge of insinuating his detective in the everyday life of the high and the low in ancient Rome.

At its best, his work is captivating. At it's worst, Saylor's work is tedious and contrived. Perhaps the most interesting comments in The Triumph of Caesar can be found at the end of the book in the author's notes.

Considering historically inexplicable behavior by Julius Caesar, Saylor says, "Caesar's installation of the statue (of Cleop
Vicki Cline
Oct 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: roman-mysteries
In 46 BC, Caesar has returned to Rome after concluding the civil wars and is about to celebrate four triumphs. His wife, Calpurnia, has been consulting a haruspex who predicts that Caesar is in great danger. She tasks Gordianus the Finder to uncover the plot and protect Caesar. She had previously used Gordianus' friend Hieronymus (from the book Last Seen in Massilia) for this, but he was killed. Gordianus looks through Hieronymus' notes and interviews all the people he had been checking out, a s ...more
Karen Wyle
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rounding up a bit.

Unless Saylor picks it back up again, the Roma Sub Rosa series ends with this book, and I'm in withdrawal. I would happily read the next, if it existed.

While this book does not delve as deep into Gordianus' character as some of the others do, I appreciated the time spent with Gordianus and (much of) his family, as well as the vivid descriptions of Caesar's various "triumphs" (grand processions, not victories). I also liked the realistic touch of the aging Gordianus' difficu
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed this whole series and have learned a great deal of Roman history while enjoying Gordianus and his friends and family. I have a considerable amount of empathy for Bethesda, who may not be able to read and has a different set of superstitions from the Romans but is a good and loving person, ready to do whatever is necessary for her family. The descriptions of Rome are incredibly clear and change with the changing events. You watch Caesar's temple to Venus go up, you sit in the stand ...more
Mar 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steven-saylor
It is probably inevitable that a series as lengthy as sub-rosa has to have one offering that doesn't quite live up to the others and this is it. Still, reading sub-par Steven Saylor is preferable to reading the best efforts of most of his contemporaries. Saylor often takes chances with his character development and that can be a risky move when fans are so invested in the Gordianus clan. The mystical elements used to rapidly tie up the mystery were an unexpected and jarring choice. It was either ...more
This is the first time I read a book in this genre and setting. While I enjoyed reading the detailed descriptions of the characters, I felt that parts of the story were repetitive (read Triumphs). Also, the pace of the story felt uneven since Gordanius' deductions did not keep up with the speed of the happenings in the story. It was only in the end that the Finder played an active role instead of a passive one.

On the plus side, the style of writing was succinct but still managed to pack large am
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think I am only deducting one star because this is the last book and I feel like it doesn't quite get there, but if it wasn't I might not have been so hard on it. The story itself takes place over a short period of time and Caesar's wife is worried someone might be trying to kill him and wants help to stop it. This provides a nice reason to look in on some of the best families and see what they were up to when Caesar was having his triumphs. The Finder does seem a bit haggard and off his game ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read -- not quite on a par with earlier books but still very good. It was also a thinner volume than usual. This is about Caesar's Triumphs through Rome (there are 4 in the book) and Gordianus is asked to investigate a possible threat to Caesar. As usual, the pace is slow but the book is very readable and engaging nonetheless. Saylor's knowledge and portrayal of Rome is amazing. He is very adept at weaving significant characters into his plot and we meet Cleopatra and Marc Anthony w ...more
My second Saylor book and the first of Gordanius. I found the idea of private eye going about his business 2000 years ago an interesting concept. They must have existed , wouldnt they?
SAylor says that he is perplexed by Julius Caeser. In this book, I found him generally critical of him. Having been brought on ROman things through Colleen McCulloughs Masters of Rome, I did not like that bit. The writing is interesting though I found the end a little too esoteric to be thrilled with.

Overall good b
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the final book in the Roma Sub Rosa series with Goridanus the finder now returned from Egypt. He is dragged out of retirement once again by the death of a friend. In some wways the book seems an excuse for Saylor to describe the 4 triumphs that Caesar celebrates (they've been accummulating while he was off fighting other wars.) Caesar survives as the fatal Ides of March are not reached although the Roman Calendar does play a significant part in the plot. As always Saylor's descriptions o ...more
Byrdman50010 Minor
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Mr. Saylor has creates a very intriguing mystery surrounding the celebratory triumphs of Julius Caesar. It seems Caesr's wife has become convinced he is in danger. She enlists the aid of Gordianus, The Finder, a Roman citizen with a history of digging up the truth, to get to the bottom of things. we get to follow the Finder through his investigation and learn something of the city and the customs of Rome. I must admit I didn't see the solution, but then I rarely do. I like to go for a ride with ...more
In this installment, Gordanius the Finder is retained by Ceasar's first wife, Calpurnia, to ferry out a plot against him as he parades the grandest triumphal processions that have ever been seen throughout Rome. Saylor is once again spot on with his descriptions of Roman events seen through the eyes of a cynical outsider/insider like Gordanius, who, though retired, gets involved when he finds an old friend of his "The Scapegoat" murdered in his investigation of the same thing. This lacks some of ...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)
  • 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)

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