JUSTA, a novel of
Ancient Rome

justa
images from Justa
images from Justa

REVIEWS

***** A Roman Heroine

JUSTA is first of all an involving and exciting story set in Ancient Rome, full of local color that vividly recreates ordinary life in Herculaneum in the first century AD. Two pairs of star-crossed young lovers, daring to challenge the powerful Roman class boundaries by falling in love with fascinating but "inappropriate" lovers, a dramatic legal case, the embattled situation of early Christians—all this is capped by the terrifying eruption of Vesuvius that buried Herculaneum, as well as Pompeii, preserving for archeologists the world described here.

But the history and archaeology behind the romantic plot make this novel more than just entertaining, the details of Roman life more than just local color. Embodied in its attractive heroine and her dangerous legal situation are insights about the position of slaves and women in Rome, an attempt to ask what a feminine hero might be like in a world so different from ours, but the ancestor of so much of our culture, politics and law. Adults and young adults can read this novel for fun, but they will still come away with a living picture of the Roman legal system and social life in Herculaneum.
Revew by EDC


**** Buried Treasure

In her historical novel, JUSTA, Susanna Deiss has performed a modern miracle. Through the act of imagination she has resurrected and excavated the lives of some of its people. Her story is based on an actual lawsuit whose legal tablets were preserved. Using the known facts about a group of patricians and slaves, she has invented the rest, bringing her characters to vivid life. Those interested in how people lived in the first Century A.D.--a crucial moment in time when some of the inhabitants of the Roman empire first began turning to Christianity—will find this a wonderful modern introduction to ancient but still living history.
Revew by NBS