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THE TRIBUNE'S CURSE: SPQR VII

John Maddox Roberts, Author
John Maddox Roberts, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-30488-1
Reviewed on: 01/27/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-0-312-30489-8
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-0835-1
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In this delightful historical, the seventh of Roberts's SPQR books (after 2001's Nobody Loves a Centurion), Decius Caecilius Metellus has left service in Gaul with his uncle (by marriage), Julius Caesar, and returned home to Rome. As a candidate for the office of aedile, he's busy cultivating voters by paying for expensive games and contests. The murder of the tribune Ateius, after he publicly places a dreadful curse on consul Crassus and his army, stirs up civil unrest. The consul Pompey charges Decius with finding the tribune's killer before the mobs burn the city. Through the engaging, humorous voice of Decius, the author portrays such prominent figures of the Roman Republic as Cato and Cicero, while bringing to life the ancient city with its sights and smells, manners and customs, politics and religion. (Decius confesses that he's confused by the monotheism that exists in the eastern Mediterranean provinces.) Despite a predictable ending, readers will surely look forward to Decius's future adventures. (Mar. 12)

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