(From the publisher):
Cicero speaks for the defense in this novel based on one of the strangest murder trials known to history.
Before Cicero loom, not only a storm of social controversy, but the black malevolence of a beautiful woman: Sassia, secret priestess of Osiris, accusor of her own son.
His name is Cluentius. He is known to all Rome as a man of benevolence and rectitude. Yet he fears the shrewdness of his own advocate. "You answer much," says Cicero to his client, "but you evade." Cluentius seeks, in fact, not an acquittal but an absolution. Under the lawyer's inexorable probing, Cluentius at last reveals himself. Much is revealed to him in turn. Not only his cause but his personal happiness gain from the help of young Asuvia, niece of an old friend. On a dangerous mission, she passes from childhood into a wise and courageous maturity.
As Cicero plans his unorthodox defense, the motives and methods of a great trial lawyer are tested. Personal intrigue surrounds him; political cross-currents menace his future. For Cicero must try his case in the tumultuous Forum of a city newly freed from the dictatorship of Sulla: the young Republic of Rome.
Yet in this turmoil Cicero nobly maintains his sense of the one permanence: "the gift of Rome; a structure built out of men's many answers to the question: what is justice?"
Original title: The Gift of Rome
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Legal Thriller
Fiction→ Historical→ Ancient World (Greece, Rome, etc)→ Rome