100 books like A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening

By Mario De Carvalho, Gregory Rabassa,

Here are 100 books that A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening fans have personally recommended if you like A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Eagle in the Snow

Edoardo Albert Author Of Edwin

From my list on overlooked or largely forgotten historical fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer and historian, specialising in the early-Medieval period and the fractious but fruitful encounter between the Christian and Islamic worlds. My fiction is informed by my non-fiction work: it’s a great help to have written actual histories of Northumbria in collaboration with some of the foremost archaeologists working on the period. I regard my work as the imaginative application of what we can learn through history to stories and the books I have selected all do this through the extraordinarily varied talents of their authors. I hope you will enjoy them!

Edoardo's book list on overlooked or largely forgotten historical fiction

Edoardo Albert Why did Edoardo love this book?

For writers of historical fiction, Eagle in the Snow has attained almost mythical status. First published fifty years ago, the book is still in print mainly through the enthusiastic recommendation of readers. Wallace Breem wrote only two other works and died in 1990, so there will be nothing more from his pen. It adds piquancy to the themes of the story: it’s a tale of the passing of things and the dying of an empire. It’s the tale of a man struggling against the fading of the light, even though he knows the struggle is hopeless. It’s a story of endings in a world that does not understand its mortality.

By Wallace Breem,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Eagle in the Snow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A novel about General Maximus, one of the inspirations behind Ridley Scott's massively successful film GLADIATOR.

'Behind me I left my youth, my middle age, my wife and my happiness. I was a general now and I had only defeat or victory to look forward to. There was no middle way any longer, and I did not care.'

In the year AD 406 Rome was on the defensive everywhere, and a single Roman legion stood desperate guard on the Empire's Rhine frontier. Maximus, the legion's commander, is urged to proclaim himself emperor, but he stands by his concept of duty…


Book cover of Emperor

Ian Ross Author Of War at the Edge of the World

From my list on novels set in the later Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ian Ross was born in England and studied painting before turning to writing fiction. He has been researching the later Roman empire and its army for over a decade, and his interests combine an obsessive regard for accuracy and detail with a devotion to the craft of storytelling. His six-novel Twilight of Empire series follows the career of Aurelius Castus as he rises from the ranks of the legions to the dangerous summit of military power, against the background of a Roman world in crisis.

Ian's book list on novels set in the later Roman Empire

Ian Ross Why did Ian love this book?

There are a great many novels about Roman emperors, and even a few about the rulers of the later age – Gore Vidal’s Julian, for example – but this one stands out for its originality. The emperor of the title is Constantine, one of the towering figures of Roman history, and incidentally quite important in my own books too. The novel covers the two months leading up to the battle of Milvian Bridge in AD312, but rather than giving us a panoramic view of the military campaign in Italy, Thubron chooses to tell the story as a collection of letters and diary entries. So we get the internal thoughts and reflections, ambitions and fears of a range of protagonists: Constantine himself, his wife Fausta, a Christian bishop, and several competing imperial ministers and servants. The central dilemma is the emperor’s own crisis of faith, which will lead up to his…

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Emperor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Emperor Constantine crosses the Alps at the head of a great army from the Rhineland in AD 312, and marches south to take Rome from the tyrant Maxentius. As he lays siege to the city of Verona, Constantine waits for the arrival of his wife, Fausta - his enemy's sister - whose cool detachment torments him. Emperor is a superbly imaginative reconstruction of the dramatic weeks leading up to Constantine's triumph in Rome. Written in the form of extracts from his own journal and letters from his empress, her frivolous female companion, his cynical secretary and a Christian bishop…


Book cover of Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore

Ian Ross Author Of War at the Edge of the World

From my list on novels set in the later Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ian Ross was born in England and studied painting before turning to writing fiction. He has been researching the later Roman empire and its army for over a decade, and his interests combine an obsessive regard for accuracy and detail with a devotion to the craft of storytelling. His six-novel Twilight of Empire series follows the career of Aurelius Castus as he rises from the ranks of the legions to the dangerous summit of military power, against the background of a Roman world in crisis.

Ian's book list on novels set in the later Roman Empire

Ian Ross Why did Ian love this book?

The Empress Theodora is one of the most colourful and notorious figures in eastern Roman (or ‘Byzantine’) history, and in this book, and the sequel The Purple Shroud, Stella Duffy brings her brilliantly to life. After spending her early years in the coarse and brutally competitive demimonde of performers, dancers and prostitutes surrounding the Hippodrome of Constantinople, Theodora scales to the heights of imperial power with tenacity and determination. But she always appears as a figure of her age, immersed in the complex and often bewildering culture and society of the 6th century AD. Duffy uses the travails of Theodora’s life to take us on a tour of the eastern Mediterranean, from the slums and palaces of Constantinople to the desert monasteries of Egypt. It’s an engaging tale of rags to riches, to rags again to riches again, and remains scrupulously close to the few historical sources that survive, while…

By Stella Duffy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Theodora as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two of the most famous mosaics from the ancient world, in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna, depict the sixth-century emperor Justinian and, on the wall facing him, his wife, Theodora (497-548). This majestic portrait gives no inkling of Theodora's very humble beginnings or her improbable rise to fame and power. Raised in a family of circus performers near Constantinople's Hippodrome, she abandoned a successful acting career in her late teens to follow a lover whom
she was legally forbidden to marry. When he left her, she was a single mother who built a new life for herself as…


Book cover of At the Ruin of the World

Ian Ross Author Of War at the Edge of the World

From my list on novels set in the later Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ian Ross was born in England and studied painting before turning to writing fiction. He has been researching the later Roman empire and its army for over a decade, and his interests combine an obsessive regard for accuracy and detail with a devotion to the craft of storytelling. His six-novel Twilight of Empire series follows the career of Aurelius Castus as he rises from the ranks of the legions to the dangerous summit of military power, against the background of a Roman world in crisis.

Ian's book list on novels set in the later Roman Empire

Ian Ross Why did Ian love this book?

The end of the Roman Empire in the west is a fascinating but notoriously vague saga, which often seems to be composed entirely of footnotes. In this novel John Henry Clay takes a handful of those footnotes and rebuilds mid 5th century Gaul and Italy on a grand scale. The empire is on its knees, but the aristocratic elites of the southern provinces are still living the good life on their villa estates, until all is thrown into turmoil by the invasion of Attila and his Huns. Part family drama, part broad-canvas military and political epic, the first half of the novel reaches a climax in the defeat of the Hunnic hordes by General Aetius. But in its second half the story accelerates dramatically, as Avitus, the father of the central pair of characters, leads a Romano-Gothic army from Gaul to seize power in Rome. The ramifications of Avitus’s bid…

By John Henry Clay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked At the Ruin of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A.D. 448. The Roman Empire is crumbling.

The Emperor is weak. Countless Romans live under the rule of barbarian kings. Politicians scheme and ambitious generals vie for power.

Then from the depths of Germany arises an even darker threat: Attila, King of the Huns, gathering his hordes and determined to crush Rome once and for all.

In a time of danger and deception, where every smile conceals betrayal and every sleeve a dagger, three young people hold onto the dream that Rome can be made great once more. But as their fates collide, they find themselves forced to survive in…


Book cover of Quo Vadis?

Vincent B. Davis II Author Of The Man With Two Names

From my list on set in Ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been mesmerized with ancient history since I was in high school. Since then, I’ve kept myself inspired by reading the best historical fiction I can get my hands on. Each and every time an author gives me the opportunity to be teleported to the ancient world, I am so grateful. There are so many things we can learn from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and that’s exactly why I and other authors continue to write about that time period. 

Vincent's book list on set in Ancient Rome

Vincent B. Davis II Why did Vincent love this book?

I’ve read a lot of books in my life, and this might be the only one that’s ever made me cry. The story follows an ambitious young Roman as he meets members of a strange new cult. At first, he’s opposed to them, but slowly falls in love with one of the new religion’s adherents, and joins them in their struggle against the oppressive Roman government. I’ve never been a big fan of romance, but this book showed me why love is so integral to good storytelling. It also gives a great example of how to weave religion or morals into a historical narrative without being overbearing or taking away from the story itself.

By Henryk Sienkiewicz, Jeremiah Curtin (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quo Vadis? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This glorious saga unfolds against the backdrop of ancient Rome-from the Forum to the Coliseum, from banquet halls to summer retreats in Naples, from the luxurious houses of the nobility to the hovels of the poor, Quo Vadis richly depicts a place and time still captivating to the modern imagination. This radiant translation by W.S. Kuniczak restores the original glory and richness of master storyteller Henryk Sienkiewicz's epic tale.

Set at a turning point in history (A.D. 54-68), as Christianity replaces the era of corruption and immorality that marked Nero's Rome, Quo Vadis abounds with compelling characters, including:

Vinicius, the…


Book cover of A Voice in the Wind

Nancy Kimball Author Of Unseen Love

From my list on that put the Roman in romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I watched the Ridley Scott film Gladiator for the first time, I knew then my heart belonged in Ancient Rome. Countless books, films, research papers, museums, and shenanigans later, that is still true. I was a master of make-believe by age ten, and when the time was right, both passions fused into my debut novel, also set in Ancient Rome. I don’t want to just read or write a good book. I want to experience Ancient Rome vicariously through powerful characters that linger in my memory long after the last page. If that’s you too, give these a try. 

Nancy's book list on that put the Roman in romance

Nancy Kimball Why did Nancy love this book?

This is the gold standard of Ancient World Christian Fiction for a reason. The author is an RWA Hall of Fame recipient and ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award winner. This first book in the Mark of the Lion series is so much more than a book about early Christianity and why Rome hated it. Words to describe Hadassah and Marcus’s story are… epic, profound, life-changing, powerful, captivating, and I could go on and on. It still freaks me out and totally awes me when reviews for my novels mention her in the same sentence. I want to be flattered and offended on her behalf at the same time, which is completely crazy. If you’re only going to invest in one book from my list, it should be this one. 

By Francine Rivers,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Voice in the Wind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book 1 in the 3-book historical Christian fiction series by the New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love and The Masterpiece.

The first book in the beloved Mark of the Lion series, A Voice in the Wind brings readers back to the first century and introduces them to a character they will never forget―Hadassah.

While wealthy Roman citizens indulge their every whim, Jews and barbarians are bought and sold as slaves and gladiators in the bloodthirsty arena. Amid the depravity around her, a young Jewish slave girl becomes a light in the darkness. Even as she’s torn by her…


Book cover of The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm

Sarah Covington Author Of The Devil from Over the Sea: Remembering and Forgetting Oliver Cromwell in Ireland

From my list on history’s villains and their surprising reputations.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a professor of history at the Graduate Center and Queens College at the City University of New York, where I'm also director of the Irish Studies program and the MA program in Biography and Memoir. My specialty, covered in five books that I’ve authored or co-edited, is English and Irish history in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; my new book represents the culmination of a decade’s research devoted to Ireland. In addition to teaching British and Irish history, I offer more unusual and wide-ranging classes including the history of the devil, the history of crime and punishment, and the history of the body. My life is divided between New York City and mid-coast Maine.

Sarah's book list on history’s villains and their surprising reputations

Sarah Covington Why did Sarah love this book?

I was always interested in how the emperor Nero was associated from antiquity onwards with the Antichrist: the world-destroying and tyrannical son of Satan who would prevail until the final victory of God. Only Judas matched him as a villain in the Christian imagination. Malik traces the Nero-Antichrist “paradigm” across centuries, exploring the ways in which Christians viewed Nero as an arch-fiend, the beast in the Book of Revelation, and a figure of evil who tested their mettle and faith. While recent scholars have softened the traditional picture of Nero, his afterlife continues to wield its menacing power, based in no small part on these Christian traditions.

By Shushma Malik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nero-Antichrist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It has traditionally been assumed that biblical writers considered Nero to be the Antichrist.. This book refutes that view. Beginning by challenging the assumption that literary representations of Nero as tyrant would have been easily recognisable to those in the eastern Roman empire, where most Christian populations were located, Shushma Malik then deconstructs the associations often identified by scholars between Nero and the Antichrist in the New Testament. Instead, she demonstrates that the Nero-Antichrist paradigm was a product of late antiquity. Using now firmly established traits and themes from classical historiography, late-antique Christians used Nero as a means with which…


Book cover of Pagans and Christians

Rebecca I. Denova Author Of Greek and Roman Religions

From my list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up, I could never “get” the secrets of math or science. If I could, I would have been an archaeologist. But I was always interested in “origins;” where do our modern ideas come from? My passion for reading led me to begin to uncover “origins” (or, the element of “looking for clues” in a “murder mystery”). Uncovering “ancient origins” entails thoroughly exploring ancient society. I continue to daily keep up with the research and new interpretations in the study of these fascinating worlds.

Rebecca's book list on the religious lives of Greeks and Romans

Rebecca I. Denova Why did Rebecca love this book?

I first encountered Lane Fox when I was working on my dissertation in graduate school. Working on “Gentiles” in the New Testament, I had to thoroughly understand the historical background. This book became my “pagan Bible,” in effect. The first half fully details ancient concepts and rituals, and the second emphasizes which elements were absorbed by the rise of Christianity and which were rejected and why.

By Robin Lane Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Pagans and Christians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explores the character of early Christianity, with details on religious life, secular daily life, and the condition of paganism at the time of its defeat


Book cover of A Week in the Life of Rome

Carlo Kennedy Author Of Time Signature

From my list on fiction with a Christian worldview.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an Irish-Italian-American, I’ve got a lifetime of cultural and family traditions to bring to the table, and I want that in the books I read. I love books that celebrate the beauty of life, love, family, and creation. A novel can open up the world, and uplift the reader, adding joy to life – that’s what I’m looking for when I read, and I imagine others, too, want uplifting stories. That doesn’t mean preachy or sanctimonious – stories should be about real imperfect people who sometimes fall short of the ideal – but I definitely want stories that take place in a universe where God, and right and wrong, exist. 

Carlo's book list on fiction with a Christian worldview

Carlo Kennedy Why did Carlo love this book?

The setting is Rome, in the year 50 AD, when Christianity was not yet even on the radar of the Romans.

And yet, to be a Christian meant going against the grain of the culture, and it could get you fired from your job, or worse.

Meticulously researched (the author is a professor – but the book is not dry and boring), the book tells a compelling story about the early Christians in Rome, and includes info boxes to tell you all about Roman culture, life in Rome, and other stuff you’ll want to know.

The story is fiction, but the setting, and all the historical details are spot-on. If you want to know what life was really like for the earliest Christians, you need to check out this book.

By James L. Papandrea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Week in the Life of Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In first-century Rome, following Jesus comes at a tremendous social cost. An urbane Roman landowner and merchant is intrigued by the Christian faith-but is he willing to give up his status and lifestyle to join the church? Meanwhile his young client, a catechumen in the church at Rome, is beginning to see just how much his newfound faith will require of him. A Week in the Life of Rome is a cross section of ancient Roman society, from the overcrowded apartment buildings of the poor to the halls of the emperors. Against this rich backdrop, illuminated with images and explanatory…


Book cover of The Ecclesiastical History of the English People

Richard Shaw Author Of How, When and Why did Bede Write his Ecclesiastical History?

From my list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Professor of History at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Canada. Previously a journalist and a diplomat serving in the Middle East, since returning to academia I have published several books and a wide variety of academic articles – winning the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize. My work is focused on source analysis and the use of sources to reconstruct the truth of the past – especially in the early Middle Ages: as a result, I have been able to discover the date of Augustine of Canterbury’s death; the underlying reasons behind the need to appoint Theodore of Tarsus as bishop; and the essential story of how Bede produced his Ecclesiastical History.

Richard's book list on Bede and his Ecclesiastical History

Richard Shaw Why did Richard love this book?

This is the basic text. You can’t study early Christian Anglo-Saxon England without Bede’s Ecclesiastical History – and why would you want to?

Bede’s History was an instant classic, popular from the moment it was published. Bede’s scholarship and clear prose – as well as his eye for detail, chronology, and a good story – mean this book will always be engaging, intriguing, and relevant.

The version recommended here is an updated translation including an Introduction to get you going with the History, together with some other helpful texts – especially Bede’s Letter to Ecgberht, which is vital for grasping the context in which Bede completed his magnum opus.

By Bede, Judith McClure (editor), Roger Collins (editor) , Bertram Colgrave (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ecclesiastical History of the English People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731 AD) is Bede's most famous work.
As well as providing the authoritative Colgrave translation of the Ecclesiastical History, this edition includes a new translation of the Greater Chronicle, in which Bede examines the Roman Empire and contemporary Europe. His Letter to Egbert gives his final reflections on the English Church just before his death, and all three texts here are further illuminated by a detailed introduction and explanatory notes.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each…


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