Saturnalia

Saturnalia

Book - 2003?
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Every culture has its wild entertainment, but the Roman Saturnalia is looked upon as the granddaddy of them all.

Roberts's vivid fictional account of the annual event takes place in first century Rome is a historically correct picture of excess, with the city's ordinary life shut down, all rules and most laws inoperative, and even slaves permitted to celebrate without restraint. At the same time, the noted family of Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger have reluctantly summoned the young playboy, banished to the island of Rhodes for his wild ways, to seek his help in solving a crime that touches themdirectly and dangerously. They need him to use his investigative talents to look into the poison death of a politically powerful relative and the suspicion that it is the man's wife who administered the dose. Decius, convinced she is innocent (of this murder, at any rate) looks further for the killer---a quest that leads him to a secret, banned cult of witchcraft being practiced by highborn Romans of both sexes. With the witches at his heels, Decius plunges into the maelstrom of Rome at the height of Saturnalia, and barely escapes with his life.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur, [2003?], c1999.
ISBN: 9780312320188
0312320183
Branch Call Number: M ROBERTS
Characteristics: 275 pages : map ; 21 cm.

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Moe1259
Dec 11, 2016

A vivid account of the annual event that toke place in Rome during the Roman festival of Saturnalia (17 to 23 Dec). The activities described in this criminal tale of political intrigues take place towards the end of the Roman Republic (61BCE). During the Saturnalia celebrations, the hero conducts an investigation of a murder of a family member and Roman citizen. The differences between the social classes and the existence of old religious rites that are pre-Roman in origin are explored. Some of the activities surrounding Saturnalia can be seen in the customs of our Christmas celebrations. A good read.

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