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 Emperor’s Exile (Eagles of the Empire 19)

By Simon Scarrow - Published 2020



This is the latest book in the saga of Macro and Cato, books which have taken them far and wide in the Roman ...Read Review

Sons of Rome (Rise of Emperors 1)

By Gordon Doherty - By Simon Turney - Published 2020


Biographical FictionMilitary

The first of a projected series called The Rise of the Emperors, this book details the intertwining lives of two major figures of ...Read Review

Betrayal of a Republic: Memoirs of a Roman Matrona

By Joost Douma - Published 2020


Biographical Fiction

The life of Cornelia Africana, daughter of famed Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus and mother to the Gracchi brothers, is recounted through ...Read Review

Dawn Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome (The Theodosian Women)

By Faith L. Justice - Published 2020


Biographical Fiction

In 404 AD in Constantinople’s imperial palace, Emperor Arcadius of the Eastern Roman Empire pulls his five-year-old daughter, Pulcheria, into her dead mother’...Read Review

The Last Assassin: The Hunt for the Killers of Julius Caesar

By Peter Stothard - Published 2020



From its first pages, The Last Assassin is a trustworthy and compelling read, qualities the best histories share. I thought I’d dipped ...Read Review

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome

By Emma Southon - Published 2020



This is a witty and erudite summary of murder and death as a part of Roman daily life. Emma Southon’s work spans ...Read Review

The Conqueror (Constantine’s Empire)

By Bryan Litfin - Published 2020



In the early 4th century AD, Rome is ruled by the Tetrarchy or “rule by four.” The empire is divided into geographic quadrants ...Read Review

The Wall at the Edge of the World

By Damion Hunter - Published 2020



When surgeon Postumus Justinius Corvus performs an act of bravery and gallantry, he is awarded an honour, a promotion, and a reassignment from ...Read Review

The Time Travel Diaries: Time Travel Diaries 1

By Caroline Lawrence - Published 2019


Children/Young AdultTime-slip

When London schoolboy Alex is asked to travel through time to Roman London with a paycheck of one million pounds on offer and ...Read Review

The Grove of the Caesars: Flavia Albia 8

By Lindsey Davis - Published 2020



This is the eighth book in Lindsey Davis’s mystery series featuring Flavia Albia, daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, an investigator in ancient ...Read Review

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