A Murder on the Appian Way

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A Murder on the Appian Way
A Murder on the Appian Way.jpg
First edition
Author Steven Saylor
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Series Roma Sub Rosa
Genre Historical
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Publication date
1996
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)
Pages304 pp
ISBN 978-0312143770
Preceded by The Venus Throw  
Followed by The House of the Vestals  

A Murder on the Appian Way is a historical novel by American author Steven Saylor, first published by St. Martin's Press in 1996. It is the fifth book in his Roma Sub Rosa series of mystery novels set in the final decades of the Roman Republic. The main character is the Roman sleuth Gordianus the Finder.

Plot summary

The year is 52 BC, and Rome is in turmoil as rival gangs fight it out in the streets. When the gang leader and radical politician Publius Clodius Pulcher is found murdered on the Appian Way south of Rome, the main suspect is Clodius' rival gang leader, Titus Annius Milo. Gordianus is hired by Cicero, who is Milo's defender, to find the true murderer. In the shadows lurk powerful men such as Caesar and Pompey.


Related Research Articles

52 BC Calendar year

Year 52 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Pompeius and Scipio. The denomination 52 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

First Triumvirate Political alliance between Caesar, Crassus and Pompey during the late Roman Republic

The First Triumvirate (60–53 BC) was an informal alliance among three prominent politicians in the late Roman Republic: Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Titus Annius Milo Papianus was a Roman political agitator. The son of Gaius Papius Celsus, he was adopted by his maternal grandfather, Titus Annius Luscus. In 52 BC, he was prosecuted for the murder of Publius Clodius Pulcher. He was unsuccessfully defended by his friend, Marcus Tullius Cicero, in the speech Pro Milone.

Publius Clodius Pulcher was a populist Roman politician and street agitator during the time of the First Triumvirate. One of the most colourful personalities of his era, Clodius was descended from the aristocratic Claudian gens, one of Rome's oldest and noblest patrician families, but he contrived to be adopted by an obscure plebeian, so that he could be elected tribune of the plebs. During his term of office, he pushed through an ambitious legislative program, including a grain dole; but he is chiefly remembered for his scandalous lifestyle, which included violating the sanctity of a religious rite reserved solely for women, purportedly with the intention of seducing Caesar's wife; and for his feud with Cicero and Milo, which ended in Clodius' death at the hands of Milo's bodyguards.

Fulvia Roman noblewoman

Fulvia was an aristocratic Roman woman who lived during the Late Roman Republic. She gained access to power through her marriage to three of the most promising men of her generation, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Gaius Scribonius Curio, and Mark Antony. All three husbands were politically active populares, tribunes, and supporters of Julius Caesar. Though she is more famous for her involvement in Antony's career, many scholars believe that she was politically active with all of her husbands.

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Steven Saylor is an American author of historical novels. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classics.

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<i>Pro Milone</i>

The Pro Tito Annio Milone ad iudicem oratio is a speech made by Marcus Tullius Cicero in 52 BC on behalf of his friend Titus Annius Milo. Milo was accused of murdering his political enemy Publius Clodius Pulcher on the Via Appia. Cicero wrote the speech after the hearing and so the authenticity of the speech is debated among scholars.

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The Battle of Bovillae was a term that Cicero used to describe a fight between the gangs of Clodius and Milo on January 18, 52 BC. The two were bitter political rivals—Clodius was a candidate for the praetorship and Milo the consulship. They met by accident on the road near Bovillae, both being accompanied by armed supporters. In the fighting that ensued, Clodius was killed, setting off a storm of violence in Rome.

Political career of Cicero

The political career of Marcus Tullius Cicero began in 76 BC with his election to the office of quaestor, and ended in 43 BC, when he was assassinated upon the orders of Mark Antony. Cicero, a Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist, philosopher, and Roman constitutionalist, reached the height of Roman power, the Consulship, and played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. A contemporary of Julius Caesar, Cicero is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.

Cyrus was an architect at Rome from before 60 BC to his death in 52. He was an acquaintance of and erstwhile builder for Cicero and his family, and his unexpected death on January 18, 52 BC, is said to have brought about one of the most tumultuous events of the late Republic, the murder of Publius Clodius Pulcher, which took place on the same day.

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