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’.


By Anthony Everitt - Published 2001Published 2002



Marcus Tullius Cicero was born in 106 BCE to a well-connected provincial family. Throughout his early years, he immersed himself in reading and studies. ...Read Review

Imperial Governor

By George Shipway - Published (c1968)Published 2002



The narrator is the Roman general and Governor of Britain, Suetonius Paulinus. In 59 A.D. the Emperor Nero posts him to Britain with ...Read Review

A Mist of Prophecies

By Steven Saylor - Published 2002



The brutal Roman Civil War pitted the followers of the upstart Julius Caesar against the equally determined supporters of Pompey the Great. Rome ...Read Review

Cleopatra’s Heir

By Gillian Bradshaw - Published 2002



This latest tale of adventure by one of our finest historical novelists begins with the premise that Caesarion survived an attempted execution by ...Read Review

Three for a Letter

By Eric Mayer - By Mary Reed - Published 2001



It is 539 A.D. An eight-year-old boy who is being held as a diplomatic hostage by Emperor Justinian and his wife, the treacherous ...Read Review

SPQR I: The King’s Gambit and SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy

By John Maddox Roberts - Published 2001



How glorious!  Finally, the reissue of this fabulous mystery series!   American readers are well aware of how impossible it has been to find ...Read Review

The Love-Artist

By Jane Alison - Published 2001


Biographical FictionLiterary

Ovid, creator of Metamorphoses, The Art of Love and other works which have been lost to us forever, arrives at his place of ...Read Review

Lord of Silver

By Alan Fisk - Published 2000


Alternate HistoryLiterary

In the Museum of London there is a Roman roof tile with a message written into the wet clay just after the tile ...Read Review

Cutter’s Island: Caesar In Captivity

By Vincent Panella - Published 2000


AdventureBiographical Fiction

This short novel retells a story found in Plutarch. Young Julius Caesar was captured by pirates who planned to ransom him for 20 talents; ...Read Review

island of ghosts

By Gillain Bradshaw - Published 1999



This is the story of Ariantes, a Prince of Sarmatia, land of nomadic tribes beyond the Danube. Newly conquered by Rome, their armies ...Read Review