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Roman Blood Paperback – 25 Sep 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson Publishing; Reprint edition (25 Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854879731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854879738
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,537,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking, his writing enthrals." Ruth Rendell "Engrossing... Simmering with eroticism... An absorbing brew of Rome's decay." Publishers Weekly on The Venus Throw "How wonderful, to have a scholar write about ancient Rome; how comforting, to feel instant confidence in the historical accuracy of a novel." Sunday Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The highly regarded first book in Steven Saylor's Gordianus series which is being reissued with brand new covers to tie-in with the highly successful look of Roma and Empire. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wells Glueck on 11 Sep 2003
Format: Paperback
Roman Blood, the first of Steven Saylor's Sub Rosa series of novels, introduces Gordianus the Finder and his family, fictional characters who become increasingly memorable and claim a hold on our affections and sympathetic concern as they interact throughout the series with many famous historical characters, Julius Caesar, Pompey The Great, Cicero, and Spartacus being the best known. The lawlessness of a great city - Rome - without a police force; the brutal treatment of slaves as chattel; the political intrigues and assassinations - all are faithfully portrayed in historically accurate and authentic detail. But perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these novels is their overlay of modern liberal values represented by the fictional narrator, who manumits (frees) and marries his Egyptian concubine, Bethesda, adopts two slaves as his sons, understands and accepts the independence and sovereignty of women, reveres and serves the truth as much as Diogenes, and evinces a genuine religious piety. The characters are memorably drawn and individuated, and the finder's daughter, whose patronymic name Gordiana is shortened to Diana, is perhaps the most appealing daughter in literature since Cordelia. Like all works of a master spirit, these books provide an edifying education, with recognizable allusions to ancient as well as Elizabethan literature, and they contain flashes of sardonic humor appropriate to the anatomy of the human condition that they reveal. They are among the very best of modern recreations of that peculiar combination of greatness and squalor that was ancient Rome.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 1 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book quite by hazard but was hooked from the very first page. Gordianus, 'the last honest man in Rome', is thoroughly believable because - how rare this has become in historical thrillers and novels - he is depicted as a real human being with real emotions (happiness, joy, sadness, jealousy, you name it) instead of a one-dimensional puppet.
The setting is very well drawn and the plot engrossing, the hours you'll spend reading this book will afterwards feel as if you've stepped back in time. What more can one ask for? I for one immediately went after all the other books in the series.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Pailing (Bartlesnipe's Revenge) VINE VOICE on 20 Jan 2004
Format: Paperback
This is, simply, one of the best historical novels I have read (and I've read a few). There's no point in wasting hundreds of words on it - just read it and enjoy a superb story (based on Cicero's first major trial) with a realistic portrayal of Republican Rome.
Then, when you've done with that, read the other Gordianus books - you won't regret it!
So there!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kindlelover on 7 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the things I love about my kindle is the ease with which I can search through many lists of books and discover new authors (new to me in fact). This is how I discovered Steven Saylor and his novel "Roman blood". After coasting through a number of categories of books and much reading of reviews I decided to give this book a try. I found it to be an intriguing story about the "finder" Gordianus who helps to solve a mystery of a horrible crime. The author's style tells the fascinating story woven round descriptions of life in the ancient Rome. I was treated to an interesting history lesson too. This book is a great read with all its twists and puzzles from the start to finish as it brings ancient Rome to life. Greatly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Romilly on 24 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback
No greater praise than my title. Saylor manages to mix a suspenseful thriller with a painstaking and accurate reconstruction of ancient Rome. On more than one occasion I have thought some assertion absurd only to check it and find out it was true. This is a very intelligent book, even dialogues with such literary luminaries as Cicero are convincing. It is a feast for classicists but the lay reader will find much to amuse and instruct.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V. Kucharska on 1 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This item was bought as a Christmas gift and I believe it was greatfully received as the title had been requested.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alchamillamollis on 16 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the first book in the 'Sub Rosa' series. I started reading them out of order and have become addicted. Although Gordianus is a fictional character, the 'real' people of the time, the environment and the proveable historic references are described with an amount of accuracy that reflects the author, Steven Saylor's academic background.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Palmer on 17 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
A superb story, Saylor has successfully captured the tastes and smells of 80 BC Rome . Link this with a detective with a difference, who always gets his man, and one is hooked from start to finish. I'm delighted there are many other books to read in this series.
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