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The Triumph of Caesar (Gordianus the Finder 12) [Paperback]

Steven Saylor
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Mar 2009 Gordianus the Finder 12
The new novel from the internatinal bestselling author of Roma, is set against the background of Caesar’s stupendous quadruple triumphs in Rome in 46 BC, full of colour and spectacle. Having obliterated the opposition, Caesar is now dictator for life. In the upcoming celebrations, Vercingetorix the Gaul is scheduled to be executed, as is Arsinoë, the sister of Cleopatra...and Cleopatra herself is in Rome on a state visit, trying to convince Caesar to acknowledge their son as his heir. Marc Antony and Caesar are at odds; Cicero is making a fool of himself with a new teenage bride; and Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, having fallen under the spell of an Etruscan soothsayer, is convinced of a plot on her husband’s life. Murder and intrigue again draw Gordianus into the vortex of history. Praise for Stephen Saylor 'Saylor is on top form with the latest in his extraordinarily vivid series of crime novels set in ancient Rome.' Sunday Times ‘Saylor’s gifts include authentic historical and topographical backgrounds and… sombre themes set off the brilliant scenery and clever plotting.’ Times Literary Supplement 'Saylor’s scholarship is breathtaking and his writing enthrals.' Ruth Rendell ‘Readers will find his work wonderfully (and gracefully) researched… this is entertainment of the first order.’ Washington Post ‘Saylor has acquired the information of a historian but he enjoys the gifts of a born novelist.’ Boston Globe

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (26 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845298993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845298999
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steven Saylor is the author of EMPIRE: THE NOVEL OF IMPERIAL ROME, a follow-up to the international bestseller ROMA: THE NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME. These two epic novels comprise a multi-generational saga that spans the first 1200 years of the city, from Iron Age trading post to the height of empire under Hadrian.

Steven is also the author of the ROMA SUB ROSA series of historical mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, set in the ancient Rome of Cicero, Caesar, and Cleopatra. The latest book in the series is THE SEVEN WONDERS, a prequel that follows the 18-year-old Gordianus on his journey to the Seven Wonders of the World.


Outside the Roman books are two novels set in Steven's native Texas. A TWIST AT THE END is based on America's first recorded serial murders, which terrorized Austin, Texas in 1885. The chief protagonist is young Will Porter, who later became famous as O. Henry. HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN? is a contemporary thriller set in a small Texas town not unlike the one where Steven grew up.

Steven's books have been published in 21 languages, and book tours have taken him across the United States, England, and Europe. He has appeared as an expert on Roman life on The History Channel, and has spoken at numerous college campuses, The Getty Villa, and the International Conference on the Ancient Novel.

Steven was born in Texas in 1956 and graduated with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and Classics. He divides his time between homes in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas. "If I could have another home," he says, "it would definitely be in London, my favorite big city in the world." When not using his brain, he likes to keep in shape running, swimming, and lifting weights.

Product Description


Suspecting a plot against Julius Caesar, his wife Calpurnia calls on Gordianus the Finder to head it off.Now that he's resolved his Egyptian problems (The Judgment of Caesar, 2004), the Dictator of Rome has returned for four days of no-holds-barred festivals celebrating respectively his Gallic, Egyptian, Asian and African triumphs. Urged on by dire hints from her Etruscan soothsayer Porsenna and her agent Hieronymus, Calpurnia believes that someone is planning her husband's death. Her suspicions harden into certainty when Hieronymus is slain. Since Gordianus has been so successful for so long at finding the truth, she charges him to identify the ringleader Hieronymus was frightened to name even in his private notes. Mingling among a cast that includes the most illustrious people in the world - Julius Caesar, his grandnephew Octavius, his general Marc Antony, the defeated Gallic chief Vercingetorix, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her captive sister Arsinoe - Gordianus swiftly realizes that virtually everyone who's ever dealt with Caesar has sufficient grounds to wish him dead.Gordianus doesn't distinguish himself as a detective, and readers possessed of historical hindsight will easily eliminate most of the high-profile suspects. Still, no contemporary novelist approaches Saylor's continued ability to bring ancient Rome to life. --Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

He conquered an empire. Now, he faces a threat much closer to home.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A poor ending for a great character 19 May 2008
This was a real disappointment. The beauty of Saylor's books was always the sensitive and intricate way he used the mystery stories of Gordianus the Finder to inform and enlighten the reader about Roman society and history. But Gordianus was - to me - always the heart and soul of the story. Saylor clearly knows Rome back and forward, in and out. But its fair to say recent entries in the series have begun to use Gordianus as the device rather than Rome. The low point came with Roma (not a Gordianus book) where Saylor's ambition to write a full story of Rome tried to balance names and dates with stories - much of which didn't work. The same is true here. If this is the last Gordianus book then Saylor seems to want to use it to tie up every storyline (most in two or three pages at the end. But Gordianus is almost forgotten. the "story" is terribly minor. How sad. 3 stars as even poor quality Saylor is still worth reading. But not for new readers. Go back to Roman Blood or Murder on the appian way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I agree with the majority of my fellow reviewer's. This leans more towards description of the history of Rome set in a particular time rather that a Murder mystery for Gordianus to solve. But what a time and what marvellous descriptions of them! I pride myself of thinking I know a lot about Rome at the time of Caesar and the great Julius himself but I was pleasantly surprised by Saylor's vivid descriptions and how he introduced me to events and major description of the times There is a `whodunit' or should that read a 'whowilldoit'? For Gordianus is tasked by Caesar's wife to find out who wants Caesar dead and the side issue of who killed Gordianus' predecessor and was it because he was getting too close to the truth? And that in it self poses another problem. Just like in 'The Day of the Jackal' by Frederick Forsyth we all know that the key figure Caesar like Degaulle does not get assassinated... well not until later.
Along the way Saylor weaves some of the major player's in Caesar's later regicide... I was particularly impressed with his depiction of Marc Antony.. Surely a figure that Saylor will use in a major book later in the Finder's later episodes (or is Saylor teasing us with Gordianus' family taking over).
All in all a cracking read. Not one of Saylor's best BUT dear reader remember that is up against some really stiff competition Saylor is THAT good. An average Saylor book beats the best of others hands down. I'd say a very satisfying book that you finish with regret that the wonderful story has ended. More please!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Saylor 17 July 2008
By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Steven Saylor returns to his Gordianus series and the result, although welcome is something of a disappointment. A somewhat slender and short story offers only transitory pleasures. But Saylor is a master storyteller and sage on all things Roman, so a sub par Roma Sub Rosa novel still eclipses his many rivals. A minor entry in the series and not the best starting point for newcomers, but for completists and fans a must buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gordianus is now getting older (don't we all) but he still manages to solve the problem. His daughter and adopted son (who both appear to be as good at deduction as Gordianus) look as though they are already in the wings and ready to take over when he does eventually 'retire'. Let's hope that he keeps going for a little while yet and then Gordianus's other adopted son Meto can record the deeds of his brother and sister.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It is easy to see why this book generates such a wide range of response from "love it" to "hate it". It has a different feel from most Gordianus the Finder stories, much more like a historical novel than the sort of detective story we have come to expect. Against a background of Caesar's impending triumphal processions, which will set the seal on his ascendancy in Rome, the Finder reluctantly agrees to investigate a threat to the Dictator's life though only because in doing so he hopes to identify the murderer of an old friend. That background is set out in great (and fascinating detail) as are the attitudes and behaviour of many of Rome's key public figures as seen through Gordianus's eyes. It is all very engrossing though one begins to get the feeling that crime and detection aero taking second place to the detailed historical narrative. This is reinforced by the almost dues ex machine way in which the conspirator/murderer is unmarked. I enjoyed reading this book even though I had the distinct feeling that it was a historical tale with some crime and detection thrown in, rather than a crime-detection novel whose setting was ancient Rome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable series 4 Mar 2012
By Miranda
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been re reading the series and I've really enjoyed it all over again. This book is new since I last read them which was an unexpected pleasure. One downside for me in some of the previous books has been the way occasional chunky bits of history and long speeches stall the narrative flow. I disagree with other reviewers in that this book has less chunky bits: Gordianus features on nearly every page and interacts with the history around him. I enjoy exploring Rome and it's people with him and I hope there will be more books.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Below average addition to a fine series 22 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to agree with other reviewers that this was a disappointment. Gordianus is becoming a characterless stooge at the centre of the novels, as sometimes happens with series which go on for a long time (cf Michael Dibdin's Zen), but is not inevitable (cf Dalziel & Pascoe).

The biggest problem for me, though, was how perfunctory the mystery was. The identity of the killer was obvious from an early stage.

The best aspect of the novel is Gordianus's musing over whether Caesar's life should be saved, especially when his son Meto proudly announces at the end the toll of those killed by the 'Dictator' (not a dirty word to Romans) at well over a million, which seems to put him up with the great mass murderers of history.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great tale. I really like this author.
Published 3 months ago by brian
5.0 out of 5 stars The Triumph of Caesar.
The last book of the series.
Gordianus the Finder is called in by Calpurnia Caesar's wife, who is convinced of a plot on her husbands life. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jo
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Roman gem
Saylor paints a vivid picture of Roman life and I often think the murder mystery is secondary to the historical detail and the sense of time and place. Read more
Published 13 months ago by P. J. Ruffell
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking read
Love the series of books. A well written which story flows sweeping you with it. Gordianus and his family are as entertaining as ever. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lesley
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible ending to a great series
Gordianus deserved better.

Not much happens in this book and the plot is laboured.

Having read all the books I feel Saylor lost his way during the series. Read more
Published 18 months ago by T. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm Hooked
For fans of the series a must.

For new readers don't start here as it's very far from being the best in the series and having a bit of the back story from the previous... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Richard Canham
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome resurrected
No greater praise than my title. Saylor manages to mix a suspenseful thriller with a painstaking and accurate reconstruction of ancient Rome. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Samuel Romilly
5.0 out of 5 stars The Triumph of Caesar
Will not read until my holiday, but I know I shall enjoy it. Looking forward to reading it on holiday.
Published 22 months ago by Joanna Jenkinson
4.0 out of 5 stars good history, but a relatively weak end to the series
This appears to be the final Gordianus novel in terms of the character's chronology (though the author has written a prequel set in the Finder's youth published this year). Read more
Published 22 months ago by John Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRIUMPH
Having read all of the series, this was as good as expected. You probably have to be really interested in Roman History to really appreciate this book but it's a good detective... Read more
Published 23 months ago by jilliz
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