Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome was a frequent subject of Victorian historical fiction and also popular throughout the 20th century. It was similarly popular in movies, though it fell out of fashion for a couple of decades until the game-changing success of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, released in 2000. Since then the floodgates of fictional Rome have been torn open.

But Rome means different things to different people. For some it is a military story of imperialism and war in foreign lands. For others it is the victim-tale of the conquered (especially if the conquered happen to be British or Judaic). For others it is broadly cultural: how could people be so similar to us and so different? There is a broad strand of historicals that touch on the New Testament stories, including many new ‘gospels’ and a wealth of faith stories, as well as some militantly anti-Christian novels. There are Roman detective novels, military historicals, sea stories, epics, and literary novels.

Biographical novels are perhaps the richest vein – for literature and ‘box office’.

The Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero

By Margaret George - Published 2018Published 2018-11-15

Genres:

Biographical FictionEpic

Margaret George’s epic novel, the second of two about the emperor Nero (after The Confessions of Young Nero), begins with Rome on ...Read Review

Praetorian: Eagles of Dacia: Volume 3

By S.J.A. Turney - Published 2017

Genres:

MilitaryMystery/Crime

This is the third book in a series, but it’s not necessary to have read the first two to enjoy this delightful ...Read Review

Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!

By Gary Northfield - Published 2018

Genres:

Children/Young Adult

This is the third in the bestselling Julius Zebra series. Julius is a gladiatorial champion, a liberator of enslaved beasts, and a rebel ...Read Review

ARRIUS Volume 2: Legacy

By Preston Holtry - Published 2018

Genres:

Military

This second volume of the Arrius saga follows the pattern of Volume 1. Arrius is now military commander of an outpost of Rome in ...Read Review

Clash of Empires

By Ben Kane - Published 2018

Genres:

Military

On the cusp of destroying its bitter foe, Carthage, the Roman Empire is already looking for its next target. In Clash of Empires, ...Read Review

Retribution

By Anthony Riches - Published 2018

Genres:

AdventureMilitary

Retribution is the third and final instalment of Riches’ trilogy covering the Batavian revolt of 69 AD, aka the Year of the Four Emperors. ...Read Review

Fire in the Year of Four Emperors

By Rick Deragon - Published 2017

Genres:

This riveting novel is set in 1st-century Rome following Nero’s rule. Galba, the governor of Spain, declares himself emperor. Four Roman generals ...Read Review

The Encircling Sea

By Adrian Goldsworthy - Published 2018

Genres:

Military

The Encircling Sea sees the return of Goldsworthy’s loveable rogue Flavius Ferox to the northern frontier of Roman Britain in 100 AD. Roughly ...Read Review

The Throne of Caesar

By Steven Saylor - Published 2018

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

Here is the long-awaited next installment of Saylor’s Roman mystery series, featuring Gordianus the Finder, that deals with Julius Caesar’s assassination. ...Read Review

Pandora’s Boy

By Lindsey Davis - Published 2018

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

This is another story in the Falco series set in Rome in the first century AD. It concerns Falco’s daughter, Flavia, who ...Read Review

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