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"Conhaim presents scrupulously rigorous research . . . and powerfully dramatic writing. Spurius is an able narrator whose political judgments are remarkably sensitive and whose devotion to a Rome spiraling into decay is heartbreaking."

Kirkus Reviews

"In D. László Conhaim’s Memoirs of Spurius the 'Bacchanalia,' as practiced by devotees of the Roman wine god, devolves into drunken orgies and emerges as a mortal threat to Rome . . . this novel makes ancient history accessible as we learn of a Roman leader’s largely unreported efforts to crush the Bacchic cult and preserve the republic."

                —The Paris Insider


book cover of Memoirs of Spurius by D. Laszlo Conhaim about the Bacchanalian Conspiracy otherwise called the Bacchic Conspiracy

Does Spurius represent Rome’s return to normalcy or is he the last gasp of a dying republic?


While occupying Rome’s highest office, Spurius makes an alarming discovery: the priests devoted to the god of wine and ecstatic transformation really oversee a secret society that “threatens the very heart of the state”—or so he tells the Roman Senate. With the Sacred Fathers’ approval, he rounds up some 7,000 Bacchanalians and executes half of them. Is Spurius drunk on conspiracy theories and power? Or does he indeed "save the state"?

“A powerful exploration . . . The political and social struggles that unfold, and the moral and ethical questions that arise, offer countless discussion topics for book clubs . . . Under Conhaim’s hand, Memoirs of Spurius is lively, timely, and holds so many possibilities for debate that it earns top recommendation for libraries and readers alike.”

Midwest Book Review

“At first glance, contemporary readers—particularly those who are not intrinsically attracted to the genre of historical fiction—might not realize the gem they hold in their hands with Memoirs of Spurius. The story features a figure who lived in second-century BCE Rome, and whose actions crushed the cult of Bacchus . . . Our narrator, Spurius Postumius Albinus, thus comes to life as a believable character whose actions as Rome’s consul are understandable within the context of his circumstances and which surprisingly foreshadow the politics of today.”

Donovan's Bookshelf


Photo: Nicole Nodland

“It will take an open mind to new possibilities in historical writing and the surprising connections between ancient and modern worlds to uncover the delights embedded in Memoirs of Spurius . . . from terrorism and cult beliefs to the actions of Spurius Postumius Albinus, whose choices not only influenced but transformed his world.”

California Bookwatch

The author takes the considerable narrative skills he’s developed in his tales of the American West and shines them on the Roman Republic of the 2nd century BCE . . . Spurius uncovers plots to amass wealth through blackmail and usurping of land and property of new cult members. Finally, he’s convinced the existence of the republic itself is at stake. Sound familiar? Spurius’ Rome is in danger from without and within, and from its own apathy. The edge-of-seat drama combines with worthy scholarship and an upright, thoughtful hero, to make this novel an appealing reading experience.”                                                                             

–Historical Novel Society

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