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Best Books on Ancient Rome

Recommendations from 19 articles, Tim Ferriss, Adam Savage, Naval Ravikant and 10 others.
39 books on the list
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I, Claudius book cover
I, Claudius
From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius
Robert Graves - Oct 23, 1989 (first published in 1934)
Goodreads Rating
Into the 'autobiography' of Clau-Clau-Claudius, the pitiful stammerer who was destined to become Emperor in spite of himself, Graves packs the everlasting intrigues, the depravity, the bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, soon to culminate in the deified insanity of Caligula.I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius...
Rubicon book cover
Tom Holland - Mar 07, 2005 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, S...
SPQR book cover
A History of Ancient Rome
Mary Beard - Sep 06, 2016 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome "with passion and without technical jargon" and demonstrates how "a slightly shabby Iron Age village" rose to become the "undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean" (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating "the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant...
The Twelve Caesars book cover
The Twelve Caesars
Suetonius - Nov 18, 2014 (first published in 121)
Goodreads Rating
The Twelve Caesars--Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian-created an empire which dominated the then known world and influenced it for a millennium. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Suetonius, personal secretary to Emperor Trajan, used the Imperial Arch...
The Storm Before the Storm book cover
The Storm Before the Storm
The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic
Mike Duncan - Oct 16, 2018 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in centra...
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David Priess
Imperium book cover
A Novel of Ancient Rome
Robert Harris - Aug 07, 2007 (first published in 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Ένα κρύο χειμωνιάτικο βράδυ, ο Τίρωνας, έμπιστος γραμματέας ενός Ρωμαίου συγκλητικού, ανοίγει την πόρτα σ' έναν έντρομο ξένο, βάζοντας έτσι σε κίνηση μια σειρά γεγονότων που σπρώχνουν τελικά τον κύριό του σε ένα από τα περιφημότερα δικαστικά δράματα της Ιστορίας. Ο ξένος είναι Σικελός, θύμα του διεφθαρμένου Ρωμαίου κυβερνήτη της Σικελίας Βέρρη. Ο σ...
Roman Diary book cover
Roman Diary
The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave (Historical Diaries)
Richard Platt - Apr 22, 2014 (first published in 2009)
Goodreads Rating
Relive the drama of the Roman Empire through the eyes of a young Greek slave in this latest installment in an acclaimed historical series.Iliona never imagined that her sea voyage from Greece to Egypt would lead her to Rome. But when her ship is boarded by pirates, that’s where she ends up — as a slave. Separated from her brother, Apollo, Iliona is...
The First Man in Rome book cover
The First Man in Rome
Colleen McCullough - Apr 07, 2020 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
With extraordinary narrative power, New York Times bestselling author Colleen McCullough sweeps the reader into a whirlpool of pageantry and passion, bringing to vivid life the most glorious epoch in human history.When the world cowered before the legions of Rome, two extraordinary men dreamed of personal glory: the military genius and wealthy rura...
City book cover
A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
David MacAulay - Oct 24, 1983 (first published in 1974)
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Text and black and white illustrations show how the Romans planned and constructed their cities for the people who lived within them....
The Roman Revolution book cover
The Roman Revolution
Ronald Syme - Aug 22, 2002 (first published in 1939)
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The Roman Revolution is a profound and unconventional treatment of a great theme - the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. The transformation of state and society, the violent transference of power and property, and the establishment ...
Twice Freed book cover
Twice Freed
Patricia St. John - Jan 20, 2014 (first published in 1970)
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Onesimus is a slave. Eirene is a rich merchant's daughter. Onesimus longs to gain his freedom and Eirene's love. However, he doesn't realize where true freedom lies. He wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ. His master, Philemon, may follow the teachings of the Christ and his apostle Paul... but Onesimus has other plans. Onesimus is a slave. Eirene...
The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard
Pagans and Christians by Robin Lane Fox
The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence
Letters from a Stoic by Lucius Annaeus Seneca
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 Forgotten Legion by Ben Kane
The Course of Honour by Lindsey Davis
Escape from Pompeii by Christina Balit
Pompeii... Buried Alive! by Edith Kunhardt
Ruthless Romans by Terry Deary
Ancient Rome by Simon James
Fun with Roman Numerals by David A. Adler
The Eagle by Rosemary Sutcliff
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
Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfeld
Roma by Steven Saylor
Domina by Guy de la Bédoyère
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
Cicero by Anthony Everitt
The Last Assassin by Peter Stothard
Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Jérôme Carcopino