Catilina's Riddle

Catilina s Riddle Using scholarly historical insight and evocative storytelling that brings to life the glories of ancient Rome Steven Saylor takes the reader from the bloody lines of clashing Roman armies to the ba

  • Title: Catilina's Riddle
  • Author: Steven Saylor
  • ISBN: 9780312982119
  • Page: 193
  • Format: Paperback
  • Using scholarly, historical insight, and evocative storytelling that brings to life the glories of ancient Rome, Steven Saylor takes the reader from the bloody lines of clashing Roman armies to the backrooms of the Senate floor, where power hungry politicians wrestle the Fates for control of Rome s destiny With the consular election drawing near, Rome is fiercely dividedUsing scholarly, historical insight, and evocative storytelling that brings to life the glories of ancient Rome, Steven Saylor takes the reader from the bloody lines of clashing Roman armies to the backrooms of the Senate floor, where power hungry politicians wrestle the Fates for control of Rome s destiny With the consular election drawing near, Rome is fiercely divided between the conservative Cicero and the tempestuous Catilina, whose followers are rud to be plotting a blood thirsty siege for power if their leader fails to win office.Gordianus the Finder, retired to his Etruscan farm, is happy to be free of the intrigue and danger of the capital, but when his old friend Cicero enlists the Finder in an elaborate plot to control Catilina, Gordianus is drawn back into a familiar world Now caught in a cloak and dagger political struggle for the fate of the Republic, Gordianus finds himself strangely drawn to the controversial candidate Is Catilina really a subversive renegade, or are Cicero suspicions part of an even greater conspiracy When a headless corpse ominously appears on his farm, Gordianus knows he must unlock the secret of Catilina s Riddle before Rome tears herself apart.

    One thought on “Catilina's Riddle”

    1. This fourth in the Roma Sub Rosa series is nominally a murder mystery, but it's one of the best pieces of historical fiction I think I've ever read. It's certainly the best so far in this series. As Catalina and Cicero scheme and plot against one another in ancient Rome, they both use Gordianus the Finder - now uncomfortably retired - as a pawn in their political games. A murder mystery also hangs over Gordianus as well - why do headless corpses keep appearing on his country farm? Saylor paints [...]

    2. Another great story telling of Ancient Rome. This one is more about the politics surrounding the Catiline conspiracy (enpedia/wiki/Second_), but Gordianus is still in the game to Find.

    3. I accidentally read this one before Arms of Nemesis, but thankfully the stories don't follow each other so closely that I was confused reading book #3 without having read #2. I love Stephen Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa books for the completely opposite reason that I love the Brother Cafael mysteries. Brother Cadfael books are a light, fun mystery with just enough of a solid historical setting to make them really interesting to me but never enough history to slow down the story. The Roma Sub Rosa books [...]

    4. Steven Saylor é um profundo conhecedor da Roma Antiga e um exímio contador de histórias. Para quem, como eu, escolhe os seus livros pela vertente histórica, “O enigma de Catilina” foi certamente um deleite. No entanto, acredito que tenha sido uma desilusão para quem o tiver escolhido pela apregoada parte policial e de suspense, já que nesta obra essa vertente foi muito menos explorada que nos anteriores. Foi, pelo contrário, uma viagem muito mais “teórica” pelos meandros do Impé [...]

    5. Here's the thing. If you're reading something that purports to be a mystery, then you want it to be a bit mysterious. Historical crime fiction that's all history and not much crime makes for a fairly dull read. Saylor is a competent historian who knows all about Ancient Rome and writes decent prose. However, while I learned something about Catilina and Cicero by reading this novel, I didn't care very much about either the real historical figures or the fictional characters. It was good to share [...]

    6. If the previous two novels in the Gordianus the Finder series have given you expectations of another interesting mystery set in a vividly imagined ancient Rome based on real maps and stories, or its conquered cities, well, this one has reversed the order of what the previous plots stress. 'Catilina's Riddle' is a lot of ancient Roman history and some family drama and a mystery, in that order. This particular book is set in 63 B.C and Gordianus is now 47 years old. He is living on an inherited fa [...]

    7. This is the longest, densest, and oddest of the Roma Sub Rosa series. It contains relatively little dialog, much introspection on the nature of Roman politics and Roman virtue, detailed accounts of the processes of Roman government and legal life (voting, debate in the senate, the extremely detailed and obscure campaign laws, coming-of-age ceremonies, process and applications of augury, etc.), and Hamlet-like vaccilation over whether Gorianus, as pater familias is doing the right thing by his fa [...]

    8. Este é o terceiro livro da saga Roma Sub-Rosa de Steven Saylor, um género de policial histórico que me agrada bastante. No entanto, achei este livro um bocadinho mais maçudo do que os dois anteriores.Desta vez encontramos Gordiano retirado numa quinta que herdou de um amigo mas claro está, não tem direito ao sossego que pretendia. Além de um pedido de Cícero para oferecer a casa a Catilina, quando este pretenda, também aparece um corpo sem cabeça, após este pedido. Estará esta crime [...]

    9. Catilina's Riddle, the third book in the Roma Sub Rosa series, is way more historical than mystery. It is an excellent read if you like the historical period and if you are interested in Catilina's conspiracy, but it might be disappointing if you are looking for a complex and intricate mystery.Personally, I really enjoyed it. The second book is still my favourite, but this is close behind. I adore Saylor's portrayal of Ancient Rome. His research is always evident and accurate; he spends a lot of [...]

    10. Gordianus calls himself the Finder. We would call him a gumsandal. He helps politicians uncover scandal about their opponents; he helps advocates collect evidence of an enemy's crimes, but he is discouraged that he seems no longer able to serve truth and justice. Rome has become a city of corruption and evil. Fortunately, he has inherited a lovely farm in the country with an adequate supply of slaves to run it. Such is the setting for Catalina's Riddle. Gordianus has forsaken Rome with its corru [...]

    11. Leider hat dieser Krimi aus dem alten Rom meine Erwartungen nicht erfüllt. Ich war sogar kurz davor, ihn nicht zu beenden, weil die ersten 2/3 des Buches enttäuschend ereignislos waren.Der eigentliche Krimi spielt auf einer Farm in Etrurien (nicht in Rom - eine erste Enttäuschung), die Gordianus, ehemaliger Privatdetektiv, inzwischen bewirtschaftet. Die Handlung dieses "Provinzkrimis" ist extrem dünn und vorhersehbar. Außer dem Fund einer kopflosen Leiche passiert lange Zeit überhaupt nich [...]

    12. Saylor's first Roma Sub Rosa novel was a loving portrait of ancient Rome wrapped in a mystery plot. The second was more a conventional work of genre fiction. His third does away with mystery-novel conventions almost entirely, to deliver a sprawling picture of rural life along with a deeply challenging and intriguing character study of a figure from Roman history portrayed as a cardboard villain by his successful political opponents. Catalina's Riddle takes the nature of the reformist politician [...]

    13. The third episode in the series finds Gordianus on a farm in Etruria, a legacy from a friend. He has decided to turn his back on his life of intrigue in Rome, but soon finds life in the country every bit as difficult. Faced with the enmity of his neighbours (relatives of the deceased who had hoped to inherit) and visited by contacts from his past, he finds himself being dragged back to the life he thought he had escaped.Not my favourite from the series - I didn't really enjoy the farm setting an [...]

    14. Rome during Cicero and Caesar's timelot's of intrigue, waves of manipulating politics (is there any other kind), and a brief brutal battle scene. It was like being dropped into ancient Rome for a few months during a critical election time. The story follows one man and his family as they divide their time between the capital and their farm in the suburbs, both of which provide the setting for conspiracy and murder as "Catilina" vies for a top Senate position. It was an interesting look at a subj [...]

    15. As historical fiction: well researched and evocative. As a mystery: insubstantial and easily guessable.Unfortunately, I was reading it for the mystery side, which is better balanced in Saylor's other novels.

    16. Not much of a mystery and I didn't come away with much understanding of Catilina's conspiracy. However, I did learn more than I cared to about Roman farming!Thank you to my special book Santa!!Buddy read with Kim :).

    17. Third in the Roma Sub Rosa ancient Rome historical mystery series revolving around Gordianus the Finder. It's seventeen years since Roman Blood, 1.My TakeI have to confess this one was tedious, and I kept putting it down. Although, I did love the sound of his farm and the bathsd Gordianus' librarylovelySaylor educates us on the mechanics of campaigning and politics in Rome. And, yes, there's graffiti to protest one candidate or another. It seems the primary purpose of being elected to office is [...]

    18. Though this is not one of the typical Roma Sub Rosa books where a client hires Gordianus to solve a murder or other crime or is still great. This does have a more than just a background of history to a fictional crime so be warned! If you don't find Roman history just as interesting as the solution to the mystery then this probably isn't the book for you. More than most of Saylor's other books Catalina's Riddle stirs up messy emotions for me. I long to get to the solution of at least one of the [...]

    19. I was ultimately disappointed by this book, despite having read Roman blood and the Venus Throw in 2010. While the narrative is set against the backdrop of the vitriolic struggle between Cicero and Catilina in the late Roman Republic, most of the novel is set in rural ancient Etruria, where the protagonist Gordianus the Finder has inherited a farm. In and of itself this would be an okay jumping off point for further intrigue. However, Steven Saylor seems to be more interested in writing long win [...]

    20. As with the previous two books in this series, Catilina's Riddle is a satisfying 'who done it' with a great deal of Roman history that feels natural throughout. Gordianus is now much older, in his forties, and living on a farm left to him by a mentor and friend. His neighbours are not at all friendly, when he is called upon by Cicero, whom he no longer considers a friend, to spy for him. From there, things go from bad to worse.The story is wrapped around the Rome of ancient times, it's customs, [...]

    21. This one wasn't much of a mystery. The "mystery" was easily solved and pretty transparent, and made me feel a little disappointed that Gordianus the Finder was so easily distracted. What it was, though, was a great historical fiction depiction of Catilina and Cicero battling it out.The title is perfect, because I don't think it's possible to know who Catilina actually was, given the lack of real primary source information aside from Cicero's diatribes. I thought the author did a great job with t [...]

    22. I was very impressed with Saylor's use of ancient texts and historical detail, and very glad I started with this particular Gordianus the Finder mystery since it cites the oration of Cicero which I read in my final semester of Latin in college. I was also very interested in Saylor's authorial note which points out how one-sided history's version of Catiline is. The more negative impressions of Cicero were also fascinating.

    23. I am a great fan of Steven Saylor’s books, most especially Arms of Nemesis—though I also love its predecessor Roman Blood. I so looked forward to re-reading Catalina’s Riddle after a gap of about fifteen years, and was surprised to find that—most unusually for Saylor—the characters and storyline felt subservient to the history, and not the other way round. Probably one that’s best left to the fans.

    24. I enjoyed this book despite it being less of a mystery than previous books and more straight up historical fiction. The author clearly has such a love for this time period and the characters (real and imagined) within his novels. Rich with detail and constantly intriguing with a wonderful exploration of father/son relationships to boot. It just loses a star for the fact that the mystery took a bit of a back seat.

    25. The last few chapters had me nervous and excited in a way that few movies make me. Saylor's narratives are stupendously vivid, the climax of the Mystery was so great. I recommend reading any of Saylor's sub-rosa series. However i must warn that a good knowledge of Roman history, politics, and tradition is necessary to fully enjoy the extent of detail in these books, but it's incredibly rewarding.

    26. History mystery and moreThis sets apart from the Sub Rosa series in scope and heft. The historical moment often overtakes the mystery, and is treated with a loving fascination by the author, as the protagonist navigates a particularly thorny period, struggling with his own compass. No easy answers here. A fine mystery and a true achievement as a historical novel.

    27. An evergreen from Saylor on Catilina's role in the Roman history. Interesting theory and profile drawn of one of the most contested actors of the Romans. Very well put, unfortunately criminal line was easily solved bit could be another good read on if you are fond of Romans and a bit of history.

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