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’.
Death to the Emperor
Death to the Emperor is the latest offering from Simon Scarrow in his Eagles of the Empire series. In Britannia in AD 60, Governor ...Read Review
Skull’s Vengeance (Curse of Clansmen and Kings)
Set in Britain and Gaul in 26 CE, Skull’s Vengeance is the saga of Catrin, princess, slave, gladiatrix, druidess. We come in at ...Read Review
Before Beltane: A Prequel to the Celtic Fervour Series
71 AD. Lorcan has been tasked by King Venutius to put out a rally cry for all Brigante tribes to unite. Still torn apart ...Read Review
The Mad Emperor: Heliogabalus and the Decadence of Rome
I adore well-researched reference books that read like novels. In this fast-paced and wide-ranging life of Heliogabalus, who ruled for only four years, ...Read Review
Emperor’s Fate (The Imperial Assassin, 6)
Alexandria, 215 AD. Silus, the emperor’s assassin, finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being employed as a bodyguard for the emperor, Caracalla. ...Read Review
This novel is set after the absolute chaos of AD 69, the Year of The Four Emperors, when Galba, Otho, then Vitellius rose then ...Read Review
Bar Kokhba: The Jew Who Defied Hadrian and Challenged the Might of Rome
Part travelogue yet still solid non-fiction history, this is a story about two fascinating personalities and the doomed attempt of one, Bar Kokhba, ...Read Review
An Evil Planned: Murder in the Roman Empire
Antioch, 100 CE. A young woman is murdered in broad daylight, and her family is withholding secrets from the vigiles. Investigating the murder are ...Read Review
The House with the Golden Door (Volume 2) (Wolf Den Trilogy)
Ancient Pompeii comes to life in the second installment in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den trilogy. The bustling Roman Empire city is the ...Read Review
Caesar’s Lord (Constantine’s Empire)
In 323 AD, Emperor Constantine is on the verge of consolidating the widespread Roman Empire under the Christian God and a unified government, but ...Read Review