Roman emperor Domitian throws a terrifying banquet for the Senators—one that everyone is certain they won't survive—in Lindsey Davis's Invitation to Die: A Novella of Ancient Rome.
The emperor Domitian is paranoid, autocratic, and violent. And he has a special grudge against both the Senate and the Camilli. So when a strange invitation to a banquet appears given by Domitian, it's not good news for Aulus and Quintus, the Camillus brothers. Both are Senators, brothers-in-law of Marcus Didius Falco, a disreputable private informer with his own past with Domitian, and nephews to a man who plotted to depose Domitian's father.
But they dare not refuse an invitation from mercurial and vengeful Domitian. And their concerns were well founded—Domitian has gathered the most powerful men in Rome for what is known to history as The Black Banquet. The place markers are tombstones with names on it, the servers are slaves covered in black make-up, and Domitian speaks only of death. Aulus and Quintus—like all the attendees—are sure they will not survive the night.
Bestselling historical novelist Lindsey Davis explores one of the more famous episodes in the reign of the much-feared 1st Century Emperor, through the extended family of her most famous creations—the brothers-in-law of Marcus Didius Falco and the uncle to his successor, Flavia Albia.