The best books on Roman history

Gordon Anthony Author Of In the Shadow of the Wall
By Gordon Anthony

The Books I Picked & Why

Eagle of the Ninth

By Rosemary Sutcliffe

Eagle of the Ninth

Why this book?

This was the book which really sparked my interest in Roman history. I read it as a teenager, and loved it. This book has made such an impression on people that the story of the lost Legion is now established as a “fact”, even though the historical evidence is against it. That’s the power of fiction.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Eagle in the Snow

By Wallace Breem

Eagle in the Snow

Why this book?

Another work of fiction which had a powerful impact on me when I first read it. Written with such assurance, the Roman world seems to come to life in this dramatic story of the fall of the western Empire. The principal character is a man to whom honour and duty are the most important things in his life, compelling him to do his duty despite insurmountable odds.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Pompeii

By Mary Beard

Pompeii

Why this book?

We all love Mary Beard, and this superb book looks into the daily life of the people who lived in Pompeii before its destruction, revealing plenty of fascinating detail, and excellent explanation and commentary. Definitely one of the best books about daily life in an ordinary Roman town.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Maximinus Thrax: From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome

By Paul N. Pearson

Maximinus Thrax: From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome

Why this book?

I found this book very easy to read yet packed with historical detail. Paul Pearson presents superbly researched history in an engaging narrative style. This book provides a fascinating insight into the life of one of Rome’s least known emperors, and suggests some thought-provoking theories about his character and reputation.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Twelve Caesars

By Suetonius, Robert Graves

The Twelve Caesars

Why this book?

For anyone looking for an introduction into the lives of the early emperors, Suetonius provides plenty of gossip and scandal. The Penguin translation is a rollicking good read. From Julius Caesar through to Domitian, the lives and deeds of the first dozen Emperors are subjected to scrutiny. Some of the tales may be hearsay, some may be exaggerated, some may even be invented, but Suetonius knows how to portray characters in an entertaining way.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists