100 books like A Monument to Dynasty and Death

By Nathan T. Elkins,

Here are 100 books that A Monument to Dynasty and Death fans have personally recommended if you like A Monument to Dynasty and Death. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of 69 A.D.: The Year of Four Emperors

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From my list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Martha Marks Why did Martha love this book?

The Civil War of 69 AD — aka “The Year of Four Emperors” — was a complex, pivotal moment in the history of the Roman Empire. Since it took place at a key moment in my trilogy’s timeline, and since so many of my characters were active participants, I had to understand it. Morgan expertly clarifies an interrelated series of historical threads that I needed to follow to make my three-part fictional story both historically accurate and novelistically intriguing.

By Gwyn Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 69 A.D. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Year of Four Emperors, so the ancient sources assure us, was one of the most chaotic, violent and frightening periods in all Roman history: a time of assassinations and civil wars, of armies so out of control that they had no qualms about occupying the city of Rome, and of ambitious men who seized power only to lose it, one after another.
In 69 AD, Gwyn Morgan offers a fresh look at this period, based on two considerations to which insufficient attention has been paid in the past. First, that we need to unravel rather than cherry-pick between the…


Book cover of Flavius ​​Josephus: Eyewitness to Rome's First-Century Conquest of Judea

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From my list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Martha Marks Why did Martha love this book?

Hadas-Lebel’s fine biography brings to life one of history’s most charismatic and controversial authors, generals, and traitors. The Jewish scholar turned Roman collaborator known today as Flavius Josephus was born Yosef ben Matityahu. His evolution from Yosef the aristocrat of Jerusalem to Josephus the “Jew of Rome” is a classic truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale. As Yosef, he plays a key role in my second novel. As Josephus, he does the same in my third. So I had to internalize as much about his life, character, and personality as possible. This book gave me the level of detail that I needed to make Yosef/Josephus “real” in my own way.

By Mireille Hadas-Lebel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richard Miller translates this narration of an eye-witness account of Rome's first-century conquest of Judea.

Through the eyes of a Jewish priest, general, Roman captive, and historian, Miereille Hadas-Lebel, comes this narration of the key first-century events in Judeo-Christian culture.


Book cover of Apocalypse: The Great Jewish Revolt Against Rome AD 66-73

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From my list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Martha Marks Why did Martha love this book?

The empire-shaking Great Revolt looms over my second and third novels, and Faulkner’s book illuminated it for me in a way that nothing else did. He unravels the interwoven historical, social, religious, ethnic, cultural, and political conflicts that led to the disastrous Jewish rebellion against Rome. His work is controversial in some quarters because it goes against the grain of Christian thinking about this time and place. Personally, I found it revealing and eloquent. To me, this a must-read for anyone trying to understand the “why” behind the cataclysm that befell the Jewish people between 66 and 73 AD and still impacts our world today.

By Neil Faulkner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ancient Palestine was a ferment of social and ideological conflict. Full-scale insurrectionary revolt exploded in AD 66 and took on a revolutionary character as moderate upper-class leaders were pushed aside and replaced by popular radicals. The war that followed was bitterly fought, and culminated in the five-month siege of Jerusalem in the summer of AD 70. which ended with the fall and destruction of the city amid appalling atrocities. Mopping-up operations concluded with the spectacular siege of Masada in AD 73. First published in 2002. Dt Neil Faulkner's acclaimed Apocalypse is a gripping account of a series of events that…


Book cover of Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From my list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Martha Marks Why did Martha love this book?

My novels take place in several ancient Mediterranean lands where slavery was an accepted, unchallenged reality. It’s hard for today’s writers and readers to grasp what relationships must have been like between human chattel and their owners in a world totally devoid of modern mores. Some authors who write about that time period choose to ignore the slaves and focus on the masters, but I was determined to get into the minds of both groups and explore their lives equally. Bradley’s subtitle, “A Study in Social Control,” held the key for me. His book revealed the “carrots and sticks” at work in such societies and helped me bring them to life in my fiction.

By K.R. Bradley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A first-rate book....Excellent in drawing out the basic facts, and giving a wholly convincing interpretation....Clear, compassionate and compelling."--JACT


Book cover of Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World

Dianne Hales Author Of La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World

From my list on italy and italian.

Why am I passionate about this?

Decades ago, I fell madly, gladly, and giddily in love with Italian. This passion inspired La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with the World’s Most Enchanting Language, which became a New York Times best-seller and won an Italian knighthood for my contributions to promoting Italy’s language. Intrigued by the world’s most famous portrait, I wrote Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, translated into seven languages. My most recent journeys through Italian culture are La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World and  ‘A’ Is for Amore, an e-book written during the pandemic and available free on my website.

Dianne's book list on italy and italian

Dianne Hales Why did Dianne love this book?

This was the first Anthony Doerr book I read—the literary equivalent of eating dessert first. I’ve since savored his novels, but this irresistible feast of delicious morsels of Italian life lingers in my mind. Doerr doesn’t show you Rome. He invites you to live in it with him—during his sleepless nights, in the company of his twin babies, as a beloved Pope lies dying and the seasons bring new enchantments. 

I can’t say whether I love this book more for the writing or for its tender portrait of Rome. Read it for the double pleasures of exquisitely crafted vignettes and a virtual visit to a city that eternally surprises and seduces visitors.  

By Anthony Doerr,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Four Seasons in Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning #1 New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See and Cloud Cuckoo Land, a "dazzling" (Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran) memoir about art and adventures in Rome.

Anthony Doerr has received many awards—from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award…


Book cover of This Is Rome

Nancy McConnell Author Of Into the Lion's Mouth

From my list on kids traveling to Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Italy when I traveled there with my family in 2013. While touring through this fascinating country, I felt inspired to write about it. When I came home, I threw myself into research. That research spawned my debut novel, Into the Lion’s Mouth, which is set in Renaissance Venice. I am always on the lookout for all things Italian, podcasts, TV shows, and definitely books. Since middle grade is my sweet spot, I am a sucker for a middle grade book set in Italy. Here are some of my favorites that will have you browsing airplane tickets to Italy and beyond.

Nancy's book list on kids traveling to Italy

Nancy McConnell Why did Nancy love this book?

This last book is a classic and part of a series that would be helpful for other travel adventures. It’s the only non-fiction book on the list. But it’s a great introduction for kids wanting to know more about the place they are travelling. While originally published in 1960 the book was updated in 2007. This is a great overall introduction to Rome and its history and a good place to start piquing a young traveler’s interest. 

By Miroslav Sasek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

Like the other Sasek classics, this is a facsimile edition of the original book. The brilliant, vibrant illustrations have been meticulously preserved, remaining true to his vision more than 40 years later. Facts have been updated for the 21st-century, appearing on a "This is . . . Today" page at the back of the book. These charming illustrations, coupled with Sasek's witty, playful narrative, make for a perfect souvenir that will delight both children and their parents, many of whom will remember the series from their own childhoods. This is Rome, first published in 1960, traces the history of Roman…


Book cover of La Passione: How Italy Seduced the World

Margo Sorenson Author Of Secrets in Translation

From my list on to take you to enchanting Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent my first seven years in Spain and Italy, devouring books and Italian food and still speak (or try!) my childhood languages. The Italian language and culture are precious to me—an integral part of my life. Our visits back to Italy, speaking Italian with friends, cooking Italian meals, writing for the Italian Language Foundation's website, and enjoying our community's Italian movie nights maintain my Italian experience. Sadly, I can't be in Italy all the time, but have found some fabulous books that take me right back! Il cuore e italiano—my heart is Italian.

Margo's book list on to take you to enchanting Italy

Margo Sorenson Why did Margo love this book?

If you love Italy—and if you don't love it now, you definitely will—after reading this engaging, vibrant tribute to Italy! Knighted by the President of Italy for her writing about Italy, author Dianne Hales describes the native, inherent passion of Italians—la passione italiana— as the source and nurturer of our civilization's love for art, music, architecture, cars, ceramics, sculpture, design, literature, film, food, and wine. Bursting with talent and passion, the legacy of Italian passion for life in our culture is ubiquitous and all-encompassing. Italy and its passion itself have taken hold of our imaginations, and your imagination will take you directly to la bella Italia, as it did for me, while reading this engaging book.

By Dianne Hales,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A jubilant celebration of Italy’s outsize impact on culture, from literature to art, music to movies, that “masterfully examines the multitude of reasons why so many people fall in love with Italy and the Italian lifestyle” (Forbes)

Can you imagine painting without Leonardo, opera without Verdi, fashion without Armani, food without the signature tastes of pasta, gelato, and pizza? The first universities, first banks, first public libraries? All Italian.

New York Times bestselling author Dianne Hales attributes these landmark achievements to la passione italiana, a primal force that stems from an insatiable hunger to discover and create; to love and…


Book cover of Disobedient

Kathleen B. Jones Author Of Cities of Women

From my list on women forgotten, misunderstood, or hidden from history.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my college days, I majored in dance and political science. It was the 1960s, so marrying art with politics made countercultural sense. After realizing I wouldn’t become the next Martha Graham, I chose to pursue a doctoral degree in political science. But I never abandoned my first love, the arts. Following a more than twenty-year career teaching about women and politics at several universities, I returned to school myself, completed an M.F.A. in creative writing, and published my debut novel, Cities of Women

Kathleen's book list on women forgotten, misunderstood, or hidden from history

Kathleen B. Jones Why did Kathleen love this book?

In seventeenth-century Rome, a talented young woman artist, Artemesia Gentileschi, is put on trial for accusing her painting instructor of rapeUnwilling to bow to convention, Artemesia pours her rage into her art, inventing an aesthetic against the voyeurism and female submissiveness found in traditional artistic representations of women.

Fremantle heightens the drama and contemporary relevance of Artemisia’s life and art by telling her story in the present tense. Drawing subtle connections between women’s struggles for autonomy and dignity in the past and those in the present, this page-turner of a novel is a searing, nuanced portrait of a woman’s passion for art, determination to right being wronged, and steadfast resolve to be recognized as a great artist. 

By Elizabeth Fremantle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'This is the ring that you gave me, and these are your promises.'

Rome 1611. A jewel-bright place of change, with sumptuous new palaces and lavish wealth on constant display. A city where women are seen but not heard.

Artemisia Gentileschi dreams of becoming a great artist. Motherless, she grows up among a family of painters - men and boys. She knows she is more talented than her brothers, but she cannot choose her own future. She belongs to her father and will belong to a husband.

As Artemisia patiently goes from lesson to lesson, perfecting her craft, a mysterious…


Book cover of Early One Morning

Anna Valencia Author Of The Chestnut House

From my list on transporting you to the magic of Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I may be English by birth, but my soul has always felt Italian! I have lived and worked in Italy for many years, first in Rome, then Milan, and finally Tuscany when we fell in love with an abandoned farmhouse. I wrote The Chestnut House while we were living in the mountains of the Garfagnana in northern Tuscany, inspired by the wartime stories our neighbours shared with us. For me Italy is the perfect country—great weather, food, wine, language, and culture! I love both reading about it, and writing about it. I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have!

Anna's book list on transporting you to the magic of Italy

Anna Valencia Why did Anna love this book?

I lived in Rome for one summer, and am in love with the Eternal City. This book transported me not only to Rome but back to the wartime era, and I was gripped. I loved the poetic descriptions of the city and the surrounding countryside, and the characters were strong and believable. At the core of the novel is an agonising choice a young Jewish mother has to make, and the pain of that moment has stayed with me ever since. This novel is not only a joy to read but taught me more about what Italians went through during the Second World War. 

By Virginia Baily,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two women's decision to save a child during WWII will have powerful reverberations over the years.

Chiara Ravello is about to flee occupied Rome when she locks eyes with a woman being herded on to a truck with her family. Claiming the woman's son, Daniele, as her own nephew, Chiara demands his return; only as the trucks depart does she realize what she has done. She is twenty-seven, with a sister who needs her constant care, a hazardous journey ahead, and now a child in her charge.

Several decades later, Chiara lives alone in Rome, a self-contained woman working as…


Book cover of Rampant

Emily Layne Author Of These Wicked Waters

From my list on monstrous creatures in present day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always let my imagination wander wild, like a modern-day Anne Shirley—which is one of the reasons I became an author. I love reading (and writing) books that add fantastical elements to our world or the worlds of far-off characters. As an author and die-hard bookworm, I love to genre hop within the Young Adult age range. You can find me nose-deep in anything from science fiction to a gritty paranormal fantasy.

Emily's book list on monstrous creatures in present day

Emily Layne Why did Emily love this book?

Unicorns—white horses with horns on their heads. If that was your first thought, prepare for Rampant to turn your world upside down. These unicorns aren’t the fairytale variety. They are man-killers. Literally. I loved how this book took unicorns and made them creatures to be feared. And the best part of all: the only ones that can stop them are a group of teenage girls. Dark secrets, a forbidden romance, and girls that can kick unicorn tail. What more could you want?

By Diana Peterfreund,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rampant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns . . .

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Rome, Italy, and emperors?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Rome, Italy, and emperors.

Rome Explore 322 books about Rome
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Emperors Explore 32 books about emperors