The Roman Empire

8 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 6,858 ratings

Medicus Publisher's Summary

Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more commonly known today as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and after a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.

Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he's living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.

Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It's up to Ruso (certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire) to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.

©2007 Ruth Downie (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • Medicus

    • A Novel of the Roman Empire
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2,684
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,118
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,117

    Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. After a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner. And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Great listen

    • By Susan on 08-31-07
    • A Novel of the Roman Empire
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
    • Release date: 03-05-07
    • 4 out of 5 stars 2,684 ratings

    Regular price: $29.99

  • Book 2

    • Terra Incognita

    • A Novel of the Roman Empire
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 1,073
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 826
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 827

    The edge of the Roman Empire is a volatile place; the tribes of the North dwell near its borders. These hinterlands are the homeland of Gaius Petreius Ruso's slave, Tilla, who has scores of her own to settle there: Her tribespeople, under the leadership of the mysterious Stag Man, are fomenting a rebellion, and her former lover is implicated in the murder of a soldier. Ruso, once again pulled into a murder investigation, is appalled to find that Tilla is still spending time with the prime suspect.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great book, fabulous reader

    • By Lucy on 05-10-08

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 3

    • Persona Non Grata

    • A Novel of the Roman Empire
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 843
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 648
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 647

    At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home - to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words "COME HOME!" Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family. But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he'll leave.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Scriptor est Notus.

    • By Bruce Nesset on 12-10-09

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 4

    • Caveat Emptor: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 686
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 560
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 561

    Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind - Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper. Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Ruth Downie doesn't dissapoint

    • By Bonnie on 03-04-11

    Regular price: $24.49

  • Book 5

    • Semper Fidelis

    • A Novel of the Roman Empire
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 581
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 523
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 515

    As mysterious injuries, and even deaths, begin to appear in the medical ledgers, it's clear that all is not well amongst the native recruits to Britannia's imperial army. Is the much-decorated centurion Geminus preying on his weaker soldiers? And could this be related to the appearance of Emperor Hadrian? Bound by his sense of duty and ill-advised curiosity, Ruso begins to ask questions nobody wants to hear. Meanwhile his barbarian wife Tilla is finding out some of the answers....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Hadrian is here!

    • By Margaret on 05-13-13

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 6

    • Tabula Rasa

    • Roman Empire Series, Book 6
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 425
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 378
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 377

    The medicus Ruso and his wife, Tilla, are back in the borderlands of Britannia, this time helping to tend the builders of Hadrian's Great Wall. Having been forced to move off their land, the Britons are distinctly on edge. Then Ruso's recently arrived clerk, Candidus, goes missing. A native boy thinks he sees a body being hidden inside the wall's half-finished stonework, and a worrying rumor begins to spread. When soldiers ransack the nearby farms looking for Candidus, Tilla's tentative friendship with a local family turns to anger and disappointment.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • A Pleasure to Read

    • By Jean on 09-17-16

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 7

    • Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire

    • Medicus, Book 7
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 390
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 354
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 354

    Ruso and Tilla's excitement at arriving in Rome with their new baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors - some skilled - but others positively dangerous.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Life in Ancient Rome

    • By Jean on 10-19-16

    Regular price: $27.99

  • Book 8

    • Memento Mori

    • Roman Empire Series, Book 8
    • By: Ruth Downie
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 176
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 165
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 166

    A scandal is threatening to engulf the popular spa town of Aquae Sulis (modern-day Bath). The wife of Ruso's best friend, Valens, has been found dead in the sacred hot spring, stabbed through the heart. Fearing the wrath of the goddess and the ruin of the tourist trade, the temple officials are keen to cover up what's happened. But the dead woman's father is demanding justice, and he's accusing Valens of murder. If Valens turns up to face trial, he will risk execution. If he doesn't, he'll lose his children.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Amazing author, amazing reader

    • By Christian Bonnell on 03-19-18

    Regular price: $31.49