The Argolicus Mysteries

Murder and Politics Collide in Ancient Italy

Zara Altair

Welcome Mystery Reader!
The Argolicus Mysteries set the young, but retired, Roman Argolicus against the politics of a country under foreign rule. Neighbors call him to use his legal wisdom and understanding of human frailty to help solve murders. Murder was not a public crime and each family was forced to discover the perpetrator and consider a just retribution. Argolicus provides the solution to the murder dilemma.

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In the early Sixth Century the capital of Italy was not Rome.  Italy and much of southern Europe was ruled by the self-declared Ostrogoth King Theoderic from Ravenna.  Rome was resentful.  The Roman World, centered in Constantinople, was avaricious. In southern Italy, people want justice for murder.

Argolicus was a real person at the time of Theodoric’s reign in Italy. He is mentioned nine times in Cassiodorus’ Variae (iii 11, iii 12, iii 29, iii 30, iii 33, iv 22, iv 25, iv 29, iv 42) as praefectus urbis of Rome. His childhood and ongoing friendship with Cassiodorus come from my imagination as well as his retirement in the very southern tip of Italy, the setting for the mystery series.

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​Zara Altair

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