100 books like Ancient Turkey

By Seton Lloyd,

Here are 100 books that Ancient Turkey fans have personally recommended if you like Ancient Turkey. 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 The Kingdom of the Hittites

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

Every historical period needs a seminal work to set the scene and give a solid grounding in the era. Bryce's 'The Kingdom of the Hittites' does that and manages to entertain along the way, with stories of outlandish Hittite customs - such as spitting in a sheep's mouth to cure marital strife! - adding colour and character to the foundational principles of their ancient societal system.

By Trevor Bryce,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Kingdom of the Hittites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 14th century BC the Hittites became the supreme political and military power in the Near East. How did they achieve their supremacy? How successful were they in maintaining it? What brought about their collapse and disappearance? This comprehensive history of the Hittite kingdom seeks to answer these questions. It takes account of important recent advances in Hittite scholarship, including some major archaeological discoveries made in the last few years. It
also features numerous translations from the original texts, so that on many issues the ancient Hittites are given the opportunity to speak to the modern reader for themselves.…


Book cover of 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age. What caused this epochal shift? Eric Cline outlines just how cataclysmic the 12th and 13th centuries BC really were. Be prepared for fire, earthquakes, and a tide of war!

By Eric Cline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the…


Book cover of Dawn of Empire

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

I read it some 15 years ago… yet when I close my eyes I can still see Eskkar and Trella and their small band, smell the heat and dust of Mesopotamia. Surrounded by marauding raiders, they must use their wits and will to survive in order to build the earliest of walled cities. Tense and beautifully immersive, Barone’s ‘Dawn of Empire’ is unique and memorable – perfect escapism!

By Sam Barone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Three thousand years before the birth of Christ. An epic conflict is about to begin. The price of victory? Civilization. The price of defeat, a return to the dark ages.

The hopes of civilization rest on one man's shoulders: Eskkar, once a barbarian, nowa warrior in charge of defending a small town which lies in the path of a vastbarbarian war party. The last time the invaders came to Orak, they spared no one and the tiny candle of trade and agriculture that had begun there, the first in all of human history, was extinguished.

But Eskkar and Trella, the…


Book cover of Lord of the Silver Bow

Luciana Cavallaro Author Of Search for the Golden Serpent

From my list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my teens, I read a book by Charles Berlitz titled Atlantis: the lost continent. I was enthralled and fascinated about this lost race of people, who were technically and sophisticated advance society and on one fateful day, vanished. My appetite for Greek mythology and ancient history grew from there, and I wanted to learn more about various ancient cultures and their mythologies. I eventually studied ancient history and continue my education as new archaeological discoveries and advancements are made. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe and seeing the Roman Forum and Colosseum, that I was inspired to write and combine my love for mythology and ancient history into historical fiction fantasy.

Luciana's book list on fantasy that blends the past and the imaginary

Luciana Cavallaro Why did Luciana love this book?

I’m cheating a little here by recommending a trilogy but this was one of the best historical fiction I’ve read.

The series is about Prince Aeneas and the legendary story of the war between the Trojans and the Greeks. David Gemmell sets the scene prior to war from the POV of Aeneas, who was regarded as pirate but as the story progresses you learn more about his actions and why he keeps roaming the sea.

It is full of action and stays true to the unfolding drama of the Trojan War. For me, the historical backdrop and the research the author included was one of the main reasons this series wins.

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Lord of the Silver Bow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three lives will change the destiny of nations. Hellkaon, the young prince of Dardania, haunted by a scarred and traumatic childhood. The priestess Andromache, whose fiery spirit and fierce Independence threatens the might of kings. And the legendary warrior Argurios, cloaked in loneliness and driven only by thoughts of revenge. In Troy they find a city torn apart by destructive rivalries - a maelstrom of jealousy, deceit and murderous treachery. And beyond its fabled walls blood-hungry enemies eye its riches and plot its downfall. It is a time of bravery and betrayal; a time of bloodshed and fear. A time…


Book cover of Hand of Fire

Amalia Carosella Author Of Helen of Sparta

From my list on retelling Greek myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been playing in the sandbox of Greek myth as a writer for two decades, and passionately absorbed by it for even longer. My mother raised us all to love ancient history, and I was further encouraged by my brother at age 7, who brought home a copy of Bulfinch and taught me the difference between Heracles and Hercules, cementing my delight and inspiring me to pursue a BA in Classical Studies. The result was not only my Helen of Sparta duology, by a plethora of other works exploring our relationships to the divine in the retelling of historically-grounded myths, some well-known, and some half-forgotten.

Amalia's book list on retelling Greek myths

Amalia Carosella Why did Amalia love this book?

Hand of Fire was one of the first books to truly win me over on Achilles as a real hero worthy of romanticism and admiration. Starkston’s exploration of Briseis’s character and her relationship to and with Achilles is so well-wrought, pulling both from the Hittites (the empire in which Briseis was born) and the Greek mythology and archeology. The way she weaves the two cultures together to create this story, priming Briseis for Achilles’s arrival to create a narrative that gives Briseis both power and agency is absolutely masterful. I loved that Starkston didn’t shy away from the supernatural hallmarks of the Iliad, either, allowing the gods and their direct influence to breathe inside her retelling of the Trojan War.

By Judith Starkston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Briseis steps out from the handful of lines she gets in Homer's epic, and fearlessly tells her own story as healer, war prize, and partner to the famous Achilles—here a godlike hero who manages to be all too human. Recommended! –Kate Quinn, NYT Times Bestselling author of The Alice Network

A legendary war, an invincible warrior, a woman forced to defend her family and realm—and her independent spirit. Will she become the captive or the captor?

Briseis struggles to protect her city, an ally of Troy, from marauding Greeks and her husband’s arrogant violence. She finds strength in visions of…


Book cover of Encyclopaedia Biblica

Henry Davis Author Of Creating Christianity - A Weapon Of Ancient Rome

From my list on ancient history that challenge assumptions.

Why am I passionate about this?

Henry Davis is an independent historical researcher who has been studying ancient history for over 20 years. Even though he wanted to embark on a formal education studying the Classics, he suffered from extreme anxiety and felt he could not do so. He resorted to self-study, with help from family and friends, who had degrees in Classical studies, and began reading the work of respected historians/scholars/classicists, Dame Mary Beard, Tom Holland, Sir Ronald Syme, Gavin Townend, and Anthony Birley, to name only a few.

Henry's book list on ancient history that challenge assumptions

Henry Davis Why did Henry love this book?

The official title of the book is ‘Encyclopedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible.' This work was produced by various professors of Oxford University and was a continual work from 1899-1903. It seems to be rarely mentioned by historians and Biblical scholars today, and I am recommending this work because there is a considerable wealth of information in it, and any student of history would find it incredibly useful. The Oxford professors critically examined ancient folklore and legends, without being swayed by traditional opinions of the time. For example, the origins of the people of Israel, and Egyptian and Hittite history are thoroughly examined, as is the Biblical literature. Interestingly, in this work, the professors doubted the existence of Nazareth, stating: ‘Was Nazareth originally the name of a town (or village) at all? There…

By Thomas Kelly Cheyne, John Sutherland Black,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Wrath Goddess Sing

Lianyu Tan Author Of Captive in the Underworld: A Dark Lesbian Romance Novel

From my list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I loved books as a kid, especially fantasy books, but could never find anyone like me within their pages. I’m a lesbian Chinese writer who adores stories about messed-up, complicated queer people. I’m thrilled by the range of books available now that feature queer, messy characters. We all deserve representation, and to me that means representation that’s complex, that encompasses the ugly and the beautiful. One of my goals as an author is to make you fall in love with monsters—brutal, flawed women who may not deserve love, but who demand it all the same.

Lianyu's book list on queer stories inspired by myths, legends, and classics

Lianyu Tan Why did Lianyu love this book?

Wrath Goddess Sing reimagines Achilles as a trans woman and rewrites her journey through the myths of the Iliad. It’s the debut novel of trans author Maya Deane.

Achilles takes several lovers, but this book is not an Achilles/Patroclus shipping vehicle, so don’t go in with that expectation. She’s delightfully complicated: brave, of course, and passionate, but also prickly at times, and hard to love. Her story casts Helen in a villainous, active role for once, and also considers how the gods function beyond Greek society; it feels extremely dense and well-researched, with a diverse cast of characters. There’s some controversy about the book, but I urge you to make up your own mind, and to reflect on the historical context that Deane is drawing upon.

By Maya Deane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Deane's tour de force debut ...brings the familiar story to fresh, vivid, and unforgettable new life." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman's story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane's Wrath Goddess Sing weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles' vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles, The Witch's Heart, and the Inheritance trilogy.

The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.

Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses…


Book cover of Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece and Turkey

Roger Crowley Author Of Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580

From my list on the Mediterranean world.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Mediterranean is in my family’s history. My dad was a naval officer who worked in the sea in peace and war and took us to Malta when I was nine. I was entranced by the island’s history, by an evocative sensory world of sunlight, brilliant seas, and antiquity. I’ve been travelling in this sea ever since, including a spell living in Turkey, and delved deep into its past, its empires, and its maritime activity. I’m the author of three books on the subject: Constantinople: the Last Great Siege, Empires of the Sea, and Venice: City of Fortune.

Roger's book list on the Mediterranean world

Roger Crowley Why did Roger love this book?

We are reminded on almost a daily basis of the plight of refugees in fragile boats that this sea can be cruel as well as kind. The present diaspora has its forerunners – in this book the great population exchange of 1923 that saw the displacement of two million people across the Mediterranean: Greeks living in the Ottoman Empire, Turks living in Greece. Bruce Clarke both explains the chain of events in the aftermath of the First World War and records the personal stories of those who were uprooted from the places they called home. They have a familiar resonance, the repeating patterns of memory and loss: ‘I remember the day they went away,’ recorded a Greek woman of her Muslim neighbours. ‘Some kissed the earth, some took bowls of soil with them. They were decent types; their menfolk used to attend our funerals, and we would exchange presents of…

By Bruce Clarke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, nearly two million citizens in Turkey and Greece were expelled from homelands. The Lausanne treaty resulted in the deportation of Orthodox Christians from Turkey to Greece and of Muslims from Greece to Turkey. The transfer was hailed as a solution to the problem of minorities who could not coexist. Both governments saw the exchange as a chance to create societies of a single culture. The opinions and feelings of those uprooted from their native soil were never solicited.

In an evocative book, Bruce Clark draws on new archival research…


Book cover of Angry Nation: Turkey since 1989

Ceren Sengül Author Of Customized Forms of Kurdishness in Turkey: State Rhetoric, Locality, and Language Use

From my list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been interested in political and social events around me, and being from Turkey, it was inevitable not to be surrounded by the news of the conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK that has been going on for decades. However, perhaps due to being a member of the non-Muslim minority community of Turkey myself, I have always been interested in the ‘non-mainstream’ explanations of a state-ethnic group conflict. This interest in alternative explanations led me to study an MSc in Nationalism Studies and to a PhD in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, with the focus of my thesis being Kurdishness in Turkey. 

Ceren's book list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds

Ceren Sengül Why did Ceren love this book?

Another chronological resume of events in the more recent history of Turkey (since the end of the Cold War), this book is essential reading for anyone who is interested in Turkey.

What made me first interested in this book was its title, Angry Nation, which I thought was very apt to describe the Turkish nation.

Even though this book is about the contemporary history of Turkey in general, its sections on the Kurdish war in the 1990s and war and peace in Kurdistan discuss the state’s actions towards Kurds.

After all, the history of contemporary Turkey would not be complete without talking about its Kurdish and other non-Turkish citizens. 

By Kerem Oktem,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Since its re-emergence as nation-state in 1923, Turkey has often looked like an odd appendix to the West situated in the borderlands of Europe and the Middle East, economically backward, inward looking, marred by political violence, yet a staunch NATO ally, it has been eyed with suspicion by both 'East' and 'West'. The momentous changes in the regional and world order after 1989 have catapulted the country back to the world stage. Ever since, Turkey has turned into a major power broker and has developed into one the largest economies in the world. In the process, however, the country has…


Book cover of Turkish Awakening: A Personal Discovery of Modern Turkey

Lisa Morrow Author Of Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries

From my list on the heart & soul of Turkey and its people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Sydney, Australia born sociologist and writer and back in 1990 I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. After three months in the country I was hooked. I now live in Istanbul and write about the people, culture, and history. Using my less than perfect Turkish language skills I uncover the everyday extraordinary of life in modern Istanbul and throughout the country, even though it means I’ve accidentally asked a random stranger to give me a hug and left a butcher convinced I think Turkish sheep are born with their heads on upside down.

Lisa's book list on the heart & soul of Turkey and its people

Lisa Morrow Why did Lisa love this book?

Turkish Awakening is the result of Alev Scott’s desire to discover the land of her mother’s birth and explore contemporary Turkish life and politics. Scott combines personal insights with an objective gaze to focus on a confusing and often contradictory culture, to try to unravel the complex relationships between modernity and religion unfolding in Turkey today. She chats with taxi drivers, examines how sex work and transgender inhabitants coexist, sometimes uneasily, next door to conservative Muslims recently relocated from the country, and explores the impact of popular soap operas featuring the newly rich on the aspirations of ordinary Turks and international tourism. The rise of the ruling Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP – Party for Justice and Progress) is covered as well as Turkey’s changing relationship with the EU. The book ends with Scott’s observations about the protests that sprang to life in Gezi Park in Istanbul and then spread…

By Alev Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Born in London to a Turkish mother and British father, Alev Scott moved to Istanbul to discover what it means to be Turkish in a country going through rapid political and social change, with an extraordinary past still linked to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and an ever more surprising present under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

From the European buzz of modern-day Constantinople to the Arabic-speaking towns of the south-east, Turkish Awakening investigates mass migration, urbanisation and economics in a country moving swiftly towards a new position on the world stage.

This is the story of discovering a complex country…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Hittites, Turkey, and the Bronze Age?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Hittites, Turkey, and the Bronze Age.

The Hittites Explore 9 books about the Hittites
Turkey Explore 93 books about Turkey
The Bronze Age Explore 23 books about the Bronze Age