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 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

Caligula

By Simon Turney - Published 2018

Genres:

Biographical Fiction

Everyone knows his name, and everyone thinks they know what he did while Emperor. This is an account from his youngest sister, Julia ...Read Review

Memento Mori

By Ruth Downie - Published 2018

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

Ruso, a Roman army medic living a life of bucolic domesticity with the family of his British wife, receives a desperate plea from ...Read Review

Hadrian’s Wall

By Adrian Goldsworthy - Published 2018

Genres:

Nonfiction

The Landmark Library is a series of books published by Head of Zeus, each devoted to ‘a crucial theme in the history of ...Read Review

Rome’s Sacred Flame

By Robert Fabbri - Published 2018

Genres:

Military

Rome, AD 63. Vespasian has been made Governor of Africa. However, this is no reward for faithful service by an increasingly unpredictable Emperor Nero. ...Read Review

Blood Forest

By Geraint Jones - Published 2017

Genres:

Military

Minden, Germania. 9 AD. Found by the 17th Legion naked and covered in sacrificial blood, he has no name. He has no recollection of ...Read Review

Onslaught

By Anthony Riches - Published 2017

Genres:

Military

This is the second volume of Riches’ new series, The Centurions, following his successful Empire series comprising nine novels. In this saga, the ...Read Review

Day of the Caesars

By Simon Scarrow - Published 2017

Genres:

AdventureMilitary

Day of the Caesars is the latest novel in Simon Scarrow’s long-running Eagles of the Empire series, set in the 1st century ...Read Review