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’.

Brigantia (Vindolanda)

By Adrian Goldsworthy - Published 2019

Genres:

Military

Britannia, AD 100. Flavius Ferox is a centurion charged with keeping the peace on Britannia’s frontier with the barbarian tribes of the North. ...Read Review

The Lost Ten

By Harry Sidebottom - Published 2019

Genres:

MilitaryThriller

An exciting standalone historical thriller, The Lost Ten is set in 3rd-century Rome and has all the attributes of a top war movie. ...Read Review

In the Shadow of Heroes

By Nicholas Bowling - Published 2019

Genres:

Children/Young Adult

1st-century AD, Rome. The power-crazed Emperor Nero is determined to get his hands on the fabled Golden Fleece, and his armed guards will ...Read Review

The Scorpion’s Strike (Empire series)

By Anthony Riches - Published 2019

Genres:

Military

AD 186. The Scorpion’s Strike continues the story of Marcus Aquila’s fight for justice for himself and his family. Fresh from their ...Read Review

Commodus (The Damned Emperors)

By Simon Turney - Published 2019

Genres:

Biographical Fiction

My all-time favourite kind of historical novel is the kind where I learn about a real person I know very little about, and ...Read Review

Triumph in Dust (Twilight of Empire)

By Ian Ross - Published 2019

Genres:

Military

Triumph in Dust is the sixth and final instalment of Ian Ross’ popular Twilight of Empire series. While not exactly set in the ...Read Review

Simon’s Wife

By L.M. Affrossman - Published 2017

Genres:

70 AD. Shelamzion is only 19 years old as she awaits death in a Roman prison. When Fabius Cornelius Grammaticus enters her cell, the last ...Read Review

Arrius: Volume III, Enemy of Rome

By Preston Holtry - Published 2019

Genres:

Military

This third novel in the Arrius trilogy finds the Romans expanding northwards into Scotland from Hadrian’s Wall. Arrius, once a career Roman ...Read Review

A Capitol Death (Flavia Albia 7)

By Lindsey Davis - Published 2019

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

Lindsey Davis is putting ancient Rome to rights again with the help of Flavia Albia. The Emperor Domitian is on the throne and ...Read Review

Fire and Sacrifice

By Ms Victoria Collins - Published 2018

Genres:

Rome, 114 BC. On the verge of being publicly executed by her cruel master, Secunda is saved by a Vestal virgin claiming she’s ...Read Review

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