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’.

Otho’s Regret

By L.J. Trafford - Published 2017


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



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


By Alison Morton - Published 2017


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


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


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



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


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

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

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