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: The Archers of Isca

By Caroline Lawrence - Published 2017


AdventureChildren/Young AdultMilitary

Britannia, AD 95. Fronto, Juba and Ursula, Roman refugees from the Emperor Domitian’s murder squad, are now living in a Belgae village in ...Read Review

Fortune’s Fool

By Albert A. Bell - Published 2017



In this sixth entry in Bell’s mystery series featuring Gaius Pliny the Younger, the story moves the major players out of ancient ...Read Review

Bread of Angels

By Tessa Afshar - Published 2017



Lydia is the daughter of a well-established cloth dyer whose purple is unmatched. When her father is falsely accused of theft, and his ...Read Review


By Adrian Goldsworthy - Published 2017



AD 98. Flavius Ferox is a Briton and a Roman centurion, a Regionarius of a small district at the furthest northern reach of the ...Read Review

Feast of Sorrow

By Crystal King - Published 2017


As a slave about to go on the auction block in 1st-century Rome, Thrasius has few hopes for his future. He hitches his ...Read Review

Fire and Sword: Throne of the Caesars, Book 3

By Harry Sidebottom - Published 2016 (Canada)Published 2017



In 238 AD, the Roman Empire is in chaos. Co-emperors Gordian the Elder and his son have both been killed in Africa. The former ...Read Review

The Mask of Command

By Ian Ross - Published 2016



We are back in the 4th century for this tale about the closing years of the Roman Empire, which has split in two, ...Read Review

Agrippa’s Wake

By Ralph Jackman - Published 2016


Biographical Fiction

Around 27 BC in Rome, after Octavian becomes the first Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, a man stands beside a tombstone inscribed with the name ...Read Review

Arminius: The Limits of Empire

By Robert Fabbri - Published 2017



9 AD. Arminius of the Cherusci leads an alliance of six Germanic tribes against the might of the Roman Empire. The story is told ...Read Review

A Villa Far from Rome

By Sheila Finch - Published 2017


AD 66: the Romans have conquered much of Britain, and the tribes live uncomfortably beside a powerful military force. Insurrections still occur, but some ...Read Review

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