[download pdf] Mars the Avenger: A Mystery in Ancient RomeAuthor Alan Scribner – Z55z.co

Mars the Avenger is an historical mystery set in the yearCE, during the reign of Antoninus Pius, a period often called the height of the Roman Empire It is also a daily life in ancient Rome and a sojourn into the world of Roman life, criminal law, police and courts Marcus Flavius Severus, a judge in the court of the Prefect of the City of Rome, investigates the disappearance of a senator s wife and the finding of the body of a murdered man thrown on the steps of the Temple of Mars the Avenger As the investigation unfolds, the two cases become connected to a love affair seventeen years before in the Roman orient The investigation leads Judge Severus and his court and police aids through the City and the society of ancient Rome, into a slave market, wealthy villas, taverns, tenement apartment houses and the Circus Maximus There are also scenes in Roman courts and the book is accurate as to the criminal laws of the time, including the use of judicial torture All laws, rescripts and legal procedures are from Roman law sources The novel also introduces a perspicacious new detective in the person of Roman judge Marcus Flavius Severus


10 thoughts on “Mars the Avenger: A Mystery in Ancient Rome

  1. Ozymandias Ozymandias says:

    This is a very accurate Roman mystery with a believable protagonist Not some informer or rich dilettante detective, Severus is a Roman judge tasked with solving a crime by the urban prefect Such things must have happened with great regularity, although not necessarily in this way The functioning of the Roman legal system is probably the most interesting part of this book Formal Roman justice is not something we often witness outside the grand public trials of the Republic, and it makes for a This is a very accurate Roman mystery with a believable protagonist Not some informer or rich dilettante detective, Severus is a Roman judge tasked with solving a crime by the urban prefect Such things must have happened with great regularity, although not necessarily in this way The functioning of the Roman legal system is probably the most interesting part of this book Formal Roman justice is not something we often witness outside the grand public trials of the Republic, and it makes for an interestingly new angle Some parts seemed very questionable I doubt in the strongest terms that they had official police artists For the most part though, the book sticks to the facts and includes frequent references to imperial laws and judicial torture.If I don t rank the book higher it s because the character work needs work I know nothingabout Marcus Severus leaving than I did going in Who is he What is his sense of justice What is his relationship to his children These questions andget no real answer Other characters are a little better developed Severus two assistants, Straton the ex slave and Vulso the brutal former centurion, at least have distinct personalities and skills But at the end of the day we don t know much about them either And we never really feel for them or get involved in their stories Also, the book is short and the ending intentionally unsatisfying Unsatisfying and morally ambiguous endings are great, but you really need to justify them thematically This one never landed at full force


  2. Jane Jane says:

    Interesting novel with this detective , a judge in the Roman court system, aided by his support staff and two officers of the court, a centurion and a tesserarius The wife of a senator disappears and a man s dead body is discovered on the steps of the temple to Mars the Avenger The judge, Marcus Flavius Severus, is tasked with solving the mystery by the Urban Prefect As the novel progresses it growsandcomplicated, stretching from the senator s villa to the slums of the Subura An Interesting novel with this detective , a judge in the Roman court system, aided by his support staff and two officers of the court, a centurion and a tesserarius The wife of a senator disappears and a man s dead body is discovered on the steps of the temple to Mars the Avenger The judge, Marcus Flavius Severus, is tasked with solving the mystery by the Urban Prefect As the novel progresses it growsandcomplicated, stretching from the senator s villa to the slums of the Subura An amulet with a strange engraving of a queen and a fisherman and a wax tablet with the same drawing tie the senator s wife and the dead man together Judge Severus sends his staff on legwork, and we learn a lot about Roman law of that period that of Antoninus Pius in the 2nd century A.D. Severus does face a moral dilemma when it comes to naming the culprit or culprits and is torn between two possible solutions In several places in the novel he sets down his reflections To Himself , anticipating Marcus Aurelius MEDITATIONS by a few years We also see his domestic life and family.This was a promising beginning to a new series to me, at least I learned a lot about the law and court system the author is a former Assistant District Attorney in NY County and criminal lawyer with a keen interest in ancient Rome So I imagine that is pretty accurate In the last few pages though, Severus mentions he got an award from the emperor The Privileges of the Father of Three Children there was no mention of a third child or even a pregnancy and childbirth in this book he and his wife only had a son and a daughter Did I miss something I couldn t imaging Artemisia, Severus wife, schlepping herself to the chariot races heavily pregnant I did like the last few paragraphs Severus in remorse over the judicial decision finally reached and its gruesome outcome, really did something extremely admirable for his slave secretary, Alexander


  3. Vann Turner Vann Turner says:

    Mars the Avenger is a pleasant read, even one with some heft to it in its ponderings on justice versus morality, but I assign it only three stars The author never weaves a world that the reader feels, sees, hears and tastes I personally like to be immersed in a world, not told about it On the first page an alarm sounded in me when the author speaks of the scent of a freshly scrubbed marble floor Marble has no scent, so any scent would come from what it was scrubbed with The author didn t me Mars the Avenger is a pleasant read, even one with some heft to it in its ponderings on justice versus morality, but I assign it only three stars The author never weaves a world that the reader feels, sees, hears and tastes I personally like to be immersed in a world, not told about it On the first page an alarm sounded in me when the author speaks of the scent of a freshly scrubbed marble floor Marble has no scent, so any scent would come from what it was scrubbed with The author didn t mention what the scent was Although Running the Roman Home mentions only water used in washing marble floors and mentions no additives, if he needed a scent he could have mint leaves or thyme in the water That would at least clue the reader as to what the sensory experience was The novel is modeled in the Sherlock Holmes fashion of mystery in which the climatic scene is the solving of the murder through the acumen of the detective He notices something others don t As such the experience for the reader is an intellectual one, not a visceral one That method of structuring a who done it is widely used But I am not overly fond of that formula It was a pleasant read, but a bit thin in providing an experience for the reader And isn t that what it s all about To experience other lives, other worlds Isn t that why we take time from our lives to read fiction


  4. Erik Bloom Erik Bloom says:

    While I enjoyed the book s plot, the book suffers from some what wooden dialogue To my mind, the dialogue seemed a bit too formal and it is hard to imagine real people actually talking that way Although the book is primary a mystery, it provides a good background and a lot of nice speculation on Roman law and philosophy during the reign of the Good Emperors The protagonist, Judge M Flavius Severus, is a judge and an intellectual He thinks quite a bit about the relationship between ethic While I enjoyed the book s plot, the book suffers from some what wooden dialogue To my mind, the dialogue seemed a bit too formal and it is hard to imagine real people actually talking that way Although the book is primary a mystery, it provides a good background and a lot of nice speculation on Roman law and philosophy during the reign of the Good Emperors The protagonist, Judge M Flavius Severus, is a judge and an intellectual He thinks quite a bit about the relationship between ethical decisions and the law As happens in many stories in the Roman Mystery sub genere, slaves are suspected of murder which could potentially lead to a death sentence for all slaves in the household Despite my concerns about the dialogue, I liked the characters The story is not just built around the detection of the main character the third person narrator shows us the actions of Severus and all of his associates The contrast in characters is quite interesting I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see how the author develops


  5. Nicholas Finch Nicholas Finch says:

    I tried really hard to like this book Seriously I do enjoy a good detective story, and a good central character.And as a follower of the books by Steven Saylor Gordianus the Finder is very cool , this series about Judge Marcus Flavius Severus by Alan Scribner was recommended, but I just couldn t finish it.It was lacking in something I really couldn t put my finger on to start with, but by the time I put it down, rolling my eyes, I came to the conclusion that it was just addressed in far too I tried really hard to like this book Seriously I do enjoy a good detective story, and a good central character.And as a follower of the books by Steven Saylor Gordianus the Finder is very cool , this series about Judge Marcus Flavius Severus by Alan Scribner was recommended, but I just couldn t finish it.It was lacking in something I really couldn t put my finger on to start with, but by the time I put it down, rolling my eyes, I came to the conclusion that it was just addressed in far too modern terms for a story set in the Roman Empire.I kept seeing Columbo in a Toga, and that wasn t a particularly pretty image


  6. Amanda Amanda says:

    2.5 3 stars for storyline, 2 stars for the writing The writing was very bland for the most part, and included some sentences so bad they made me laugh, eg He embraced her and they exchanged lustful smiles and began running their hands all over each other on the way out Particularly at the start, the way he gave information about ancient Rome was far too info drop ish, and could have done with being writtenorganically I bought this as a kindle ebook for around a dollar, and at that pr 2.5 3 stars for storyline, 2 stars for the writing The writing was very bland for the most part, and included some sentences so bad they made me laugh, eg He embraced her and they exchanged lustful smiles and began running their hands all over each other on the way out Particularly at the start, the way he gave information about ancient Rome was far too info drop ish, and could have done with being writtenorganically I bought this as a kindle ebook for around a dollar, and at that price, I would try the second to see if the writing improves Otherwise not going to bother


  7. Stephan B. Collins Stephan B. Collins says:

    Well plotted and executed book Satisfying readPlot is tight The author, an attorney, presents the reader with a number of ethical and philosophical questions along with the mystery Characters are likable.


  8. Karen Pirelli Appelbaum Karen Pirelli Appelbaum says:

    This series is fun It is set in ancient Rome, and it is really interesting to travel around at that time.


  9. Nancy McLaughlin Nancy McLaughlin says:

    Rough justiceWhile I understand the reasoning that sorted the guilt, I can t justify the horrifying deaths of the slaves Thankfully, I don t have to make those decisions.


  10. Joe Joe says:

    A legal procedural and ethical drama in Rome A short novel, an easy read yet it still provides a good sense of place and time.