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Summary

He has no money, no reputation and no famous ancestors.' The love story of the Emperor Vespasian, who brought peace to Rome after years of strife, and his mistress, the freed slave woman Caenis, this book recreates Ancient Rome's most turbulent period - the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero and Vespasian's rise to power.

As their forbidden romance blossoms, Caenis is embroiled in political intrigue, while Vespasian embarks on a glorious career. Years pass, then Vespasian risks all in the climactic struggle for power - bringing hope for Rome, but a threat to the relationship that has endured for so long.

©1997 Lindsey Davis (P)2014 Audible Studios

What listeners say about The Course of Honour

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What a lovely story!

I have reach this and listened to it overcame over again! One of my top 10 stories - ever!

4 people found this helpful

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excellent love story

I first heard this over 10 years ago and have read and listened many times since. It is just one of the best written love stories I've come across. Fitting well with the record of history, it brings one of Rome's great characters to vivid life as well as giving a believable voice to his lady love.
It also taught me my Emperors down to Domitian.
Whether you'll be as taken with it we'll have to see!

4 people found this helpful

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A Roman 'Triumph' for Lindsey Davis

A strong heroine illuminates the rise to power of Emperor Vespasian from such an unusual angle. We get the politics but also a story that touches the heart. Charmingly narrated by Diana Bishop I couldn't wait to listen to the next instalment. I absolutely loved this book. Accolades and wreaths to everyone involved.

2 people found this helpful

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The best book I ever had from Audible.

I have just finished The Couse of Honour for the third time. I also finished it in flood of tears for the third time. The two main characters are strongly drawn as real people. I respect Diana Bishop for her ability as a writer and for the amount of research she has put into this book.

1 person found this helpful

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Truly original

I have for years liked the Roman detective stories in this novel we see an historical saga in new light. I have been interested in Roman history for 40 years but I learnt some new things and was hugely entertained at the same time.

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Spoiled

This is a good story but completely spoiled by the narrator. What a pity! Totally incoherent in many parts

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Fascinating and engaging

Excellent story well told
Great combination of Roman social history with an engaging storyline.
I would highly recommend this

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Well told moving story

a wonderful love story about real people in a true background of Imperial Rome. Very moving.

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Unexpected delight

Surprisingly enjoyable mix of documentary and story telling style. Really engrossing novel.
Was expecting a Falco storyline, this was better.

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what an amazing story

I just loved this book from start to finish. Beautifully narrated. A tender love story set against the hard times of the Roman Empire.

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  • Julie
  • 04-05-20

Great love story

Great love story framed as ever when Lindsey Davis writes by historical accuracy down to the smallest details. A feast for the story lover and classical history lover alike.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Denise McMahon
  • 13-12-19

Marvelous!!

I have read this incredible and well written story three times before deciding that it might be interesting to hear someone else’s voice tell me the story. It was so much better! The repartee between our hero and heroine took on a whole new level of nuance and delight for me. Thank you Audible for adding gilding to this already bright treasure!!

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  • Paul Houser
  • 25-03-22

The Story of a Slave Girl in 1st Century Rome

Slave-scribe Caenis and her lifelong relationship with Vaspasian from teen to freed woman of 60+.

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  • DFK
  • 31-10-21

Great fictionalized history

I called this “fictionalized history” rather than “historical fiction”, the latter often being totally fictitious characters in a historical setting. In this case, Davis is writing about real historical characters and events, but, of course, a fictionalized version of what transpired between the characters. That Vespasian and Caenis had a long-term relationship is a matter of historical record. The dialog between them (or intimate details) are not, but what a delightful imagination we find here! This is a wonderful way to learn (or refresh one’s memory of) the sequence of a number of the Roman emperors, the intrigue and murder in the palace. As Lindsey Davis does in the delightful Falco series, here, too, she provides a wealth of detail about life in Ancient Rome. I’m always impressed by some of what the Romans did and horrified by other aspects. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The reading was also excellent.