Enemies at Home

Enemies at Home

Book - 2014 | First U.S. edition
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In Ancient Rome, the number of slaves was far greater than that of free citizens. As a result, often the people Romans feared most were the "enemies at home," the slaves under their own roofs. Because of this, Roman law decreed that if the head of a household was murdered at home, and the culprit wasn't quickly discovered, his slaves, all of them, guilty or not, were presumed responsible and were put to death. Without exception. When a couple is found dead in their own bedroom and their house burglarized, some of their household slaves know what is about to happen to them. They flee to the Temple of Ceres, which by tradition is respected as a haven for refugees. This is where Flavia Albia comes in. The authorities, under pressure from all sides, need a solution. Albia, a private informer just like her father, Marcus Didius Falco, is asked to solve the murders.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2014
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250068484
1250068487
9781250023773
1250023777
Branch Call Number: x
Characteristics: 342 pages : map ; 25 cm

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a
andreareads
May 26, 2015

These two well-dressed women from ancient civilised provinces, Spain and Greece, regarded me as a wild barbarian since I came from Britain. Meline had a habit of teasingly calling me a druid. The Romans had invited, cajoled and coerced most gods of the Mediterranean into their city, no doubt to cover themselves in case the Olympic pantheon were not truly the tops. At no point had they brought the druids. Nor would they.

a
andreareads
May 26, 2015

My mother once read me a poem about witches haunting this sinister spot under a lonely moon, a terrifying piece of work where cruel hags murdered a young boy: Horace, in spooky mode; he did it gruesomely. I was going through a mystic period at the time, a teen myself, in love with the supernatural without seeing its true menace. Now I despised horrors.

a
andreareads
May 26, 2015

I was a grown woman. I could do what I liked. It wasn’t as if we had set fire to a scroll box of Virgil’s _Aeneid_ in order to fry a Lucanian sausage.

a
andreareads
May 26, 2015

I knew Rome. ‘In this city, under our present emperor, helping a prosecution succeed is highly prized.’ I did not say that under Domitian this was prized even if the proffered evidence was invented.

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m
merlinsilver
Jul 26, 2015

Another terrific book by Lindsey Davis. I did not feel that the slaves lived in a miserable legal status. Ms. Davis showed several sides to the situation back in Roman times. I hope others will also enjoy this book and how it shows a woman taking control of her own life.

a
andreareads
May 26, 2015

This book reminded me of why I don't often read mysteries: murder, and the sordid details around it, make for unappealing reading at times. In this particular mystery the miserable legal status of slaves is sobering. On the other hand, the book is written with compassion and humour, there's a puzzle to be solved, and ancient Rome is brought vividly to life. These characters are not living long ago and far away in their own minds, any more than we are. I can't really fault the book for showing how rotten human beings can be towards one another, but I prefer the Davis books where the non-mystery aspects are more prominent.

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