Falco – The Official Companion

Falco, the Official Companion, is the last book (maybe) in the Marcus Didius Falco series. The author has recently completed two novels in the Flavia Alba series -The heroine is Falco’s adopted daughter, Flavia Albia, who has grown from a troubled teenager to a feisty widow and who is an investigator in her own right. Meanwhile, this book, Falco, the Official Companion is chock full of interesting information about Falco’s Rome.

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Leadership Reflections

Book Cover, The Iron Hand of MarsIn this part of examining the issues raised in Lindsey Davis’s novel The Iron Hand of Mars, we will be taking a look at Leadership, or more specifically, leadership by historical and fictional characters as presented in this work of historical fiction. Due the nature of the environment (Rome and its military legions, and the activities thereof) observations about the nature of leadership generally, are raised.

You may wish to read The Iron Hand of Mars.
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Falco, Family and Business

Book Cover, Ode to a Banker

“[The creditor] examines your family affairs; he meddles with your transactions. If you go forth from your chamber, he drags you along with him and carries you off; if you hide yourself inside he stands before your house and knocks at the door.

If [the debtor] sleeps, he sees the moneylender standing at his head, an evil dream … If a friend knocks a the door he hides under the couch. Does the dog bark? He breaks out in a sweat. The interest due increases like a hare, a wild animal which the ancients believed could not stop reproducing even while it was nourishing the offspring already produced.” Basil of Caesarea

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Falco and Family

FalcoWhen Falco was but a tyke, his family consisted of his father Marcus Didius Favonius (aka Geminus), his mother Junilla Tacita, and seven children: Festus, Vittorina, Maia, Falco, Junia, Allia and Galla. At the time of this novel his older brother Festus, late of the Legio XV Appolinaris, has been dead three years. We may hear more of how Festus came to his end in the Judean War. His older sister Vittorina died during December of AD71 whilst Falco was in Free Germany, serving the Emperor. Vittorina died of ‘womens troubles’; the remainder of his sisters are alive.
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Values and Virtue

Book Cover, Poseidon's GoldPoseidon’s Gold is somewhat focussed around relationships within the Falco family. It also reveals Falco’s determination to make an honest woman of Helena Justina and bring no dishonour to her family, by marrying out of station-in-life. Due illegal trading by Festus and probing by centurions of his Legion, Falco is charged by his mother to protect the good name of his family; he also takes up the task of protecting his Father’s good name as an auctioneer against the overweening possessiveness of the art collectors, who seek to ruin him, and that, feloniously.
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Character and Values

Book Cover, Venus in CopperWe have looked at the basic plot and the landlord’s fiddles which Lindsey Davis raised in Venus in Copper, and examined some of the characters, albeit with a quick glance. We take the opportunity to look at some of the actions of the main characters as the narrative unfolds. On page 290, Falco makes a broad conclusion that all landlords are bullies. Why does he say this, and what bears the weight of Falco’s comment in the narrative?
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