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Best Books on Ancient Rome

Recommendations from 22 articles, Anna Kendrick, Arianna Huffington, Tim Ferriss and 30 others.
42 books on the list
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I, Claudius book cover
I, Claudius
From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius
Robert Graves - 1989-10-23 (first published in 1934)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the enduringly fascinating intrigues, depravity, and cruelty of ancient Rome's Augustus and Tiberius reigns, culminating in the utter madness of Caligula, through the eyes of the unlikely Emperor, Claudius. Robert Graves' I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God, are celebrated historical novels, packed with bloodshed and political machinations that will keep you gripped until the end.
SPQR book cover
A History of Ancient Rome
Mary Beard - 2016-09-06 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the rise and fall of Rome in SPQR, as Mary Beard offers a passionate and detail-oriented narration of the history of the ancient empire. From a humble beginning to becoming the masters of the Mediterranean, Beard challenges the traditional historical viewpoints and sheds light on often overlooked aspects such as class struggles and democratic movements. Spanning nearly a millennium, this highly informative and engaging read will leave your hair standing on end, earning its place as a modern classic - shaping our view of Rome for many years to come.
The Twelve Caesars book cover
The Twelve Caesars
Suetonius - 2003-05-06 (first published in 121)
Goodreads Rating
Delve into the history of the Twelve Caesars who created an empire that left a lasting impact for a millennium. Suetonius, personal secretary to Emperor Trajan, portrays how power corrupts and absolute power corrodes in this captivating read.
Rubicon book cover
Tom Holland - 2005-03-08 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
Step back in time to witness the twilight of the Roman Republic and the rise of an empire. Tom Holland's Rubicon takes you on a journey with some of history's most legendary figures, from Julius Caesar to Cleopatra. Holland brings this pivotal era to life with a unique mix of scholarly depth and engrossing storytelling. You'll be enthralled by the extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, and the world-shaking ambition that shaped one of the greatest civilizations of all time.
Imperium book cover
A Novel of Ancient Rome
Robert Harris - 2006-09-19
Goodreads Rating
This historical fiction novel follows the journey of a young lawyer, who seeks to achieve the imperium, the highest power and authority in the country. After being caught up in a corrupt political scandal involving a Sicilian victim, he becomes embroiled in one of the most famous legal dramas in history. Through the eyes of his loyal secretary, the author depicts the violent and deceitful world of Roman politics in a captivating manner.
The Storm Before the Storm book cover
The Storm Before the Storm
The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
Mike Duncan - 2017-10-24
Goodreads Rating
Explore the events leading up to the fall of the Roman Republic in this engaging and informative book. Focusing on the years 146-78 BC, the author brings to life the bloody battles, political struggles, and societal issues that paved the way for the Republic's downfall. Chronicling the rise of economic inequality, corruption, and political ambition, The Storm Before the Storm provides a stark warning about the dangers of a civilization that has lost its way.
The Roman Revolution book cover
The Roman Revolution
Ronald Syme - 2002-08-22 (first published in 1939)
Goodreads Rating
Discover a profound and unconventional exploration of the fall of the Republic and the rise of Augustus in ancient Rome. This book presents a controversial perspective on the transformation of state and society, with an unconventional narrative that directly quotes from ancient evidence. With little reference to modern authorities, The Roman Revolution is a fresh and compelling read that offers new insights into ancient history.
Roman Diary book cover
Roman Diary
The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave (Historical Diaries)
Richard Platt - 2009-05-12
Goodreads Rating
Experience life in ancient Rome through the eyes of a young Greek slave in this thrilling historical novel. Separated from her brother and forced into servitude, Iliona learns to navigate the intricacies of Roman society and revels in the city's lavish offerings. Immerse yourself in the world of gladiators, senators, and extravagant feasts with this meticulously researched and entertaining diary.
Pagans and Christians book cover
Pagans and Christians
Robin Lane Fox - 1986-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Explore the transformation of the ancient world from pagan beliefs to the rise of Christianity. Follow the historical shift from the second to the fourth century A.D. and witness the transition from the gods of Olympus to the spread of Christianity in the Mediterranean. A captivating and insightful read that sheds light on a crucial period in the history of religion.
The First Man in Rome book cover
The First Man in Rome
Colleen McCullough - 1991-08-01 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Delve into the epic history of Rome with this powerful novel. Follow the stories of two exceptional men, Marius and Sulla, as they fight for glory, power, and their own personal agendas amidst the backdrop of one of the most iconic eras in human history. With intricate and ruthless machinations, they face off against enemies from all sides in a bloody battle for the most coveted honor the Republic can bestow. Get swept up in the pageantry and passion of this incredible tale.
City book cover
David MacAulay - 1983-10-24
Twice Freed by Patricia St. John
The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard
Cicero by Anthony Everitt
The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence
Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Emperor by Conn Iggulden
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Caesar by Adrian Goldsworthy
Under the Eagle by Simon Scarrow
Dynasty by Tom Holland
The Darkening Age by Catherine Nixey
The Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane
The Course of Honour by Lindsey Davis
Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit
The Eagle by Rosemary Sutcliff
Pompeii... Buried Alive! by Edith Kunhardt
Ruthless Romans by Terry Deary
Ancient Rome by Simon James
Fun with Roman Numerals by David A. Adler
Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak
Galen and the Gateway to Medicine by Jeanne Bendick
Fire in the East by Harry Sidebottom
Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster
Domina by Guy de la Bédoyère
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
Roma by Steven Saylor
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Jérôme Carcopino
The Last Assassin by Peter Stothard