The Venus Throw, by Steven Saylor, is about the death of the head of a delegation of 100 Alexandrians, Dio, sent to the Roman Senate to request that they stop meddling in Egyptian affairs, and to ask for their recognition of Queen Berenice. The delegation wanted to relieve King Ptolemy, who was currently in hiding, of his throne.
The delegation arrived in Italy in the autumn of 57 B.C. They stayed the night in the housing and lodging of friends from the Academy in Neapolis. That night, an organized assault was carried out upon the delegation, killing and injuring many. They believed that "Agents" of King Ptolemy were responsible for the attack, and some of the Alexandrians left the next morning, sailing back to Alexandria. The rest of the delegation set forth to Puteoli, settling in somewhat safer quarters.
More attempts were carried out to kill the delegation before they could confront the Roman Senate, so much, that only six of the original one hundred made it to Rome.
The six who made it to Rome slept at the houses of acquaintances and friends that, they thought, could trust. Divided, they were found and killed on by one by bribed slaves who either poisoned or stabbed them to death. As the members of the delegation were assassinated one by one, Dio soon becomes the very last of the one hundred Alexandrians sent forth to confront the Senate in Rome. Staying in the house of Lucius Lucceius, he survived a poison attempt by having his remaining slave taste his food. The slave almost instantly fell to the floor writhing in pain and gasping, moments after he tried some soup served to Dio in his private room.
Suspecting that a visitor, who came to the house earlier, of delivering the poison,