Authors: Steven Saylor
ALSO BY STEVEN SAYLOR
Twist at the End: A Novel of
Have You Seen Dawn?
ROMA SUB ROSA
The House of the Vestals
Arms of Nemesis
The Venus Throw
A Murder on the Appian Way
Last Seen in Massilia
A Mist of Prophecies
The Judgment of Caesar
THE FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS
OF GORDIANUS THE FINDER
ST. MARTIN’S MINOTAUR
A GLADIATOR DIES ONLY ONCE. Copyright © 2005 by Steven Saylor. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.
“The White Fawn” first appeared in
edited by Mike Ashley, Robinson (London), 1996, and Carroll & Graf (U.S.), 1997; first publication, EQMM, December 1996. “Archimedes’s Tomb” first appeared in
Crime Through Time,
edited by Miriam Grace Monfredo and Sharan Newman, Berkley, 1997. “Poppy and the Poisoned Cake” first appeared in EQMM, December 1998. “Death by Eros” first appeared in
Yesterday’s Blood: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology,
edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Headline (London), December 1998; first U.S. publication EQMM, August 1999. “The Consul’s Wife” first appeared in Crime
Through Time 111,
edited by Sharan Newman, Berkley, 2000. “If a Cyclops Could Vanish in the Blink of an Eye” first appeared in
(UK), September 2002; first U.S. publication, EQMM, August 2003. “A Gladiator Dies Only Once” first appeared in
The Mammoth Book of Ancient Roman Whodunnits,
edited by Mike Ashley, Constable & Robinson (London), August 2003, and Carroll & Graf (U.S.), November 2003. “Something Fishy in Pompeii” first appeared in
(UK), July 2003; first U.S. publication, EQMM, March/April 2004. “The Cherries of Lucullus” first appeared in EQMM, May 2005.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Saylor, Steven, 1956-
A gladiator dies only once : the further investigations of Gordianus the Finder / Steven Saylor
1. Gordianus the Finder (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Rome—History—Republic, 265-30 B.C.—Fiction. 3. Private investigators—Rome—Fiction. 4. Detective and mystery stories, American. 5. Historical fiction, American. I. Title.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4
who read them first
Natura inest in mentibus nostris insatiabilis quaedam cupiditas veri videndi.
(Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable longing to see the truth.)
Gordianus the Finder, detective of ancient Rome, was introduced in a novel called
first published in 1991.
Over the course of the eight subsequent novels and eighteen short stories of the Roma Sub Rosa series, Gordianus has progressed from the age of thirty to the age of sixty-one. His concubine, Bethesda, has become his wife, and his family has expanded to include a daughter, two adopted sons (one born a slave), and four grandchildren (“a typically Roman extended family,” as the classicist Mary Beard commented in the
Times Literary Supplement).
He has rubbed elbows with the most famous men and women of his time, including Caesar, Cicero, Marc Antony, Pompey, Crassus, and Cleopatra. He has taken part (usually behind the scenes) in many of the most important events of his era, witnessing the final decades of the Roman Republic as it disintegrates into the civil wars that ultimately will give rise to the empire of the Caesars.
Through it all, Gordianus’s adventures and investigations have been followed by readers in fifteen languages, and a fair number of these readers (thanks to the invention of e-mail) have seen fit to contact his creator with comments, questions, words of encouragement, and notification of the occasional typographical error.
The first nine short stories about Gordianus (all of which take place in the eight-year period between the first two novels,
Arms of Nemesis)
were assembled in a collection titled
The House of the Vestals.
Since that book was published, nine more short stories have been written; readers will find them collected in these pages. Like the stories in
The House of the Vestals
, all these tales take place early in Gordianus’s career. Often at his side, rapidly growing up, is Eco, the mute boy he met in
Also here is Bethesda, Gordianus’s Jewish-Egyptian concubine, who eventually becomes his wife. Frequently conferring with Gordianus is his good friend and patron, Lucius Claudius. Cicero, the great lion of the Roman law courts, makes several appearances. Sertorius, the rebel general who set up a rival Roman state in Spain, casts a shadow across the book’s beginning and end, and makes an appearance in “The White Fawn.” Two towering figures of the late Republic who have figured very little in the novels, Lucullus and Cato, appear in the collection’s final story.