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 Roman Quests: Death in the Arena

By Caroline Lawrence - Published 2017

Genres:

Children/Young Adult

95 A.D. Ursula, Juba and Fronto, who fled Rome and arrest by the tyrannical Emperor Domitian and sought sanctuary in Britain, have been ...Read Review

Deposed

By David Barbaree - Published 2017

Genres:

Is David Barbaree’s debut novel historical fiction, or alternate history? It’s a question Barbaree actively wants us to consider, as he ...Read Review

The Third Nero

By Lindsey Davis - Published 2017

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

September, AD 89. Rome is in turmoil. Emperor Domitian is on the throne and becoming more and more paranoid. Rumours abound that the murdered ...Read Review

Otho’s Regret

By L.J. Trafford - Published 2017

Genres:

Biographical Fiction

This is the third in a tetralogy set in the Year of the Four Emperors, 69 AD, and follows on from Palatine (HNR 72) and ...Read Review

Apollo’s Raven

By Linnea Tanner - Published 2017

Genres:

Fantasy

AD 24. Catrin, a Celtic princess, and Marcellus, a Roman, were ordered to gather information about each other’s families. They were never supposed ...Read Review

Retalio

By Alison Morton - Published 2017

Genres:

Alternate History

This is the sixth in Alison Morton’s alternative history series set in Roma Nova—a recent-history world in which a remnant of ...Read Review

Revolt Against the Romans

By Tony Bradman - Published 2017

Genres:

Children/Young Adult

I can see why Tony Bradman dedicated this book to Rosemary Sutcliff; they are both interested in a clash of cultures and the ...Read Review

Beyond the Wall

By Tanya Landman - Published 2017

Genres:

Children/Young Adult

In 4th-century Roman Britain, 15-year-old Cassia is a slave in the household of Titus Cornelius Festus. After he tries to rape her, Cassia ...Read Review

Death on the Appian Way

By Kenneth Benton - Published (c1974)Published 2017

Genres:

Mystery/Crime

This book begins in 63 BC and tells the story of Rome through the eyes of Marcus Caelius Rufus. The Roman Empire has spread ...Read Review

The Latin Orgy

By Brian Stableford (trans.) - By Félicien Champsaur - Published 2017

Genres:

Biographical Fiction

L’Orgie Latine was originally published in 1904. In this new edition, translated for the first time into English by Brian Stableford, readers are ...Read Review