Steven Saylor (born March 23, 1956) is an American author of historical novels. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classics.

Steven Saylor
Saylor at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Saylor at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Born (1956-03-23) March 23, 1956 (age 67)
Port Lavaca, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Texas at Austin
GenreHistorical fiction, mystery fiction, novel, short story
SubjectAncient Rome
Notable worksRoma Sub Rosa series
Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome
Notable awardsMystery Writers of America Robert L. Fish Memorial Award
Lambda Literary Award
Writers' League of Texas Violet Crown Award
SpouseRichard Solomon

Saylor's best-known work is his Roma Sub Rosa historical mystery series, set in ancient Rome. The novels' hero is a detective named Gordianus the Finder, active during the time of Sulla, Cicero, Julius Caesar, and Cleopatra. Outside this crime novel series, Saylor has also written three epic-length historical novels about the city of Rome, Roma, Empire, and Dominus. His work has been published in 21 languages.

Saylor has also written two novels set in Texas. A Twist at the End, featuring O. Henry, is set in Austin in the 1880s and based on real-life serial murders and trials (the case of the so-called Servant Girl Annihilator). Have You Seen Dawn? is a contemporary thriller set in a fictional Texas town, Amethyst, based on Saylor's hometown, Goldthwaite, Texas.

Saylor contributed autobiographical essays to three anthologies of gay writing edited by John Preston, Hometowns, A Member of the Family, and Friends and Lovers, and prior to his novel-writing career he published gay erotic fiction under the pen name Aaron Travis.

Saylor has lived with Richard Solomon since 1976; they registered as domestic partners in San Francisco in 1991 and later dissolved that partnership in order to legally marry in October 2008. The couple split their time between properties in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.[1]

Bibliography edit

Roma Sub Rosa series edit

Listed in publication order. For a chronological listing, see the separate Roma Sub Rosa article.

Roma series edit

  • Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (2007), a 1000-year novel of the rise of ancient Rome from its first settlement to the assassination of Julius Caesar.
  • "The Eagle and the Rabbit" (2013) - short story set in 146 BC (collected in Future, Present, Past )
  • Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome (2010) spans several generations with the end of the reign of Augustus in 14 AD through the reign of Hadrian in 141 AD.
  • Dominus (July 2021) spans several generations from 165 to 325 AD

Other books edit

  • A Twist at the End (UK title: Honour the Dead) (2000), based on the Servant Girl Annihilator killings in the 1880s in Austin, Texas, closely reconstructs the murders and the ensuing trials, with young William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) playing a fictional role.
  • Have You Seen Dawn? (2003) is a modern-day thriller set in a small town in Texas.
  • Future, Present, Past (2013) is a collection of three short stories set in different time periods.
  • My Mother's Ghost (2013) is a collection of three autobiographical essays and a short story.
  • A Bookish Bent (2013) is a collection of various essay and articles.
Erotic fiction under the pseudonym Aaron Travis[2]


  • Slaves of the Empire (1985) - set in Rome.
  • The Flesh Fables (1990)
  • Beast of Burden (1993)
  • Big Shots (1993)
  • In the Blood (1995)


  • Blue Light (1980)
  • Beirut (2012)
  • Crown of Thorns (2012)
  • Eden (2012)
  • Kip (2012)
  • Military Discipline (2012)
  • Short, Brainy, & Hot (2012)
  • Slave (2012)
  • Wild West (2013)


  • Exposed (1994)
  • Tag Team Studs (1997) (with Clay Caldwell)
  • Kudzu and Other Stories (2012)
  • Raw (2012)
  • Wrestling Tales (2012)
  • No Shades of Gray (2012)

Anthologies edited

  • QSF x 2 (1995) (with Lars Eighner)

References edit

  1. ^ Rapp, Linda (2005). "Saylor, Steven" (PDF).
  2. ^ The complete works published under the Aaron Travis pen name were reissued in Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook editions in 2012.

External links edit