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Emperor Domitian is hosting a banquet for the senators in honour of fallen soldiers, and it's an invitation Aelianus and Justinus Camillus dare not refuse.
On arrival, they enter a black-painted room furnished with couches resembling those found in mausoleums, complete with a tombstone bearing each of the senators' names. As the evening progresses the brothers conclude that Domitian has finally turned against them for their uncle's part in a plot to oust his father and start to wonder if they'll ever see the light of day again....
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- Janis E Klavins
Davis reasserts her ability as a story teller. Can we look forward to more stories like this?
1 person found this helpful
This is like the first course
This short story about Falco's brothers-in-law, both senators at this point (best to know the characters in the Falco series before listening to this) and an episode while Domitian was Emperor. Domitian was at sharp odds with the Senate, and this story would be an example of his tyranny towards them. I found an academic article by Jane Levi, "Melancholy and Mourning," from which we can see that this story by Lindsey Davis is quite historically accurate, even if not to the last detail (or the actual characters). I gather from what I've read that Domitian was a more complex character, however, and was not necessarily bad for Rome. That does not come across in this short story, but I do plan on listening to another book by Lindsey Davis about Domitian's reign. It will certainly be interesting. This short story has no complex plot - it basically tells of an event, interesting and rather disconcerting, especially if you didn't read the history first and know the outcome (I didn't - only after). The narration was good, but Lindsey Davis has had better narrators. If you are a fan of stories about ancient Rome, then I'd highly recommend this short listen.