Friday, March 15, 2013

Beware the Ides of March

Since today is March 15th, the Ides of March, the day Caesar died, and the day that Shakespeare picked for his Caesar to be warning of with disastrous results, I thought I would dedicate this post to crime fiction set in Rome. 


It's only fair if I start out with Caesar himself and the excellent HBO TV series, ROMEWhile specifically a crime drama, ancient Rome was filled with crime, including the eventual murder of Caesar.  This series follows the adventures of two men - Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, two soldiers that take us to the heart of the Roman Empire and many times find themselves kicking off historic events. 

The series was cancelled after the second season leaving a bit of a cliff hanger, but it is still worth watching. It was cancelled because of the big budget, not because of the poor quality. Grey's Anatomy fans will recognize, Kevin McKidd in his starring role. Game of Thrones fans will recognize Caesar (Ciaran Hinds) as the actor who plays Mance Rayder, and Marcus Brutus who plays Edmure Tully in the upcoming season of GOT. The series is available on Netflix.

The I, Claudia series by Marilyn Todd
This series features a strong female protagonist who has married up and doesn't take a backseat role in society. Her wisecracking and independent ways are refreshing, especially in a historical mystery. She's beautiful, selfish and smart. A bit like All My Children's infamous Erica Kane -- only without the class and in ancient Rome. The best book of this series is the first, I Claudia and it came out in 1995, so you will probably have to go to a used book website to find it. 

Sub Rosa series by Steven Saylor

This series follows the investigations of Gordianus the Finder starting in 80 BC working with a young advocate named Cicero. These books have amazing detail that brings you right back to ancient Rome. I would start with the first book - Roman Blood

If this isn't enough ROME for you, you can make authentic ancient Roman recipes for the perfect Ides of March dinner party. 

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