10 books like Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

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Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Golden Ass

By Apuleius, P.G. Walsh (translator),

Book cover of The Golden Ass

Richard Zimler Author Of The Incandescent Threads

From the list on survivors of a horrific trauma.

Who am I?

I’m originally from New York but have lived in Portugal for the last 33 years. I write my novels in English and my children’s books in Portuguese. As anyone who reads my latest novel will discover, I have been greatly influenced the mythology and mystical traditions of various religions, especially Judaism (kabbalah). Happily, I discovered early on that I adore writing about people who have been systematically persecuted and silenced. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to explore taboo subjects and topics that others would prefer to forget or conceal. When I’m not working on a book, I like to garden and travel. 

Richard's book list on survivors of a horrific trauma

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Why did Richard love this book?

This comic, clever, and subversive work is the only ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The main character, Lucius, makes an error while using a witch’s balm to change himself into a bird and ends up – to his great despair – transformed into an ass. While being passed on to different owners, he is whipped and cursed and nearly butchered for his meat, learning first-hand how cruel humans can be to their fellow creatures, which is why I regard this to be the first work written in defense of animal rights. Will Lucius find a way to change back into a man?

You’ll simply have to read this captivating 1800-year-old work to find out!   

The Golden Ass

By Apuleius, P.G. Walsh (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and Lucius is initiated into her cult. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and…


The War Nerd Iliad

By Homer, John Dolan,

Book cover of The War Nerd Iliad

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From the list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

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Why did Philip love this book?

Don't look for some high-brow version full of pseudo-Shakespearean language. Homer's story is a blood-and-guts tale (literally) of hard-bitten heroes, feuding among spiteful gods and bombastic military commanders. Try John Dolan's version from Feral house publishing, deliberately written as he imagined the story was first told – by soldiers sitting around a campfire exchanging yarns.

The War Nerd Iliad

By Homer, John Dolan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War Nerd Iliad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We recognize the names: Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, and Apollo. We're taught that The Iliad is a foundational text of civilization. But who has really read the text? Until now, The Iliad was hijacked by academics and used to bludgeon schoolchildren as a boring-yet- mandatory reading.

Poet, novelist, essayist, and former teacher John Dolan revisits this ancient tale and restores it to its ancient glory. The Greeks and Trojans are still fighting. The gods are still interfering. But in Dolan's version, you'll be amazed at how funny, raw, and terrifying this doomed world of war really is. He strips away clunky,…


Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

By Plautus, Henry Thomas Riley (translator),

Book cover of Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From the list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Discover why each book is one of Philip's favorite books.

Why did Philip love this book?

Ever wonder where Shakespeare got his ideas from? He plundered the classics, especially Plutarch and Plautus. Plautus can't really complain about that as his plays are mostly re-workings of (now lost) Greek originals. This play is Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, set 1500 years earlier. It's still a good read and should elicit a few giggles. Try Riley's translation on Digireads.

Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers

By Plautus, Henry Thomas Riley (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Considered to be Plautus's greatest play, "Menaechmi; Or, The Twin-Brothers" is the story of two twin brothers, Menaechmus and Sosicles, who are separated at age seven when their father takes Menaechmus on a business trip. This classic play, which provided the inspiration for Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors", draws heavily on the theme of mistaken identity.


The Epigrams Of Martial

By Henry George Bohn,

Book cover of The Epigrams Of Martial

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From the list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Who am I?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Discover why each book is one of Philip's favorite books.

Why did Philip love this book?

With this one I'm not going to recommend an edition, because while Martial is witty, bitingly sarcastic and a keen commentator on his society he can also be breathtakingly obscene. Imagine teenage scrawls on toilet walls - if those scrawls were written by Shakespeare - and you'll be close enough. So pick your edition with care – however broad you imagine your mind to be, an unexpurgated Martial will stretch it a bit more and have you chuckling and nodding the rest of the time.

The Epigrams Of Martial

By Henry George Bohn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Epigrams Of Martial as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome

By Alberto Angela, Gregory Conti (translator),

Book cover of A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities

Cass Morris Author Of From Unseen Fire

From the list on ancient Roman society.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and educator working in central Virginia, and I’ve been in love with the ancient world since my first Latin class back in the seventh grade. I’ve always been interested in social history more than just the chronology of battles and the deeds of famous men, so my research looks for sources that can illuminate daily life and the viewpoints of marginalized populations. I hold a BA in English and History from the College of William and Mary and an MLitt from Mary Baldwin University.

Cass' book list on ancient Roman society

Discover why each book is one of Cass' favorite books.

Why did Cass love this book?

This book provides an exemplary hour-by-hour guide to what life was like for a citizen of Rome at the height of its power. I love that Angela not only gives us the high-society angle, bringing us into the lush gardens and sumptuous homes of Rome’s wealthy and powerful, but also the crowded apartments and streets that were home to the vast majority of the ancient city’s citizens. You walk alongside them, getting a ground-level view of the patterns of a normal day in all its mundane details, from clothing to food to labor to entertainment, rendered in fascinating prose.

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome

By Alberto Angela, Gregory Conti (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The wondrous extravagance of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The roar of frenzied spectators inside the Colosseum during a battle between gladiators. A crowd of onlookers gathered at a slave auction. The silent baths and the boisterous taverns...Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to so engage its readers in the daily life of the Imperial capital.

This extraordinary armchair tour, guided by Alberto Angela with the charm of a born storyteller, lasts twenty-four hours, beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115…


Imperial Projections

By Sandra R. Joshel (editor), Margaret Malamud (editor), Donald T. McGuire (editor)

Book cover of Imperial Projections: Ancient Rome in Modern Popular Culture

Dean Hammer Author Of Rome and America: Communities of Strangers, Spectacles of Belonging

From the list on the connection of ancient Rome to an American identity.

Who am I?

My fascination with the relationship between Rome and America grows out of the work I have done on early American culture, contemporary political thought, and ancient Rome. My most recent work, Rome and America: Communities of Strangers, Spectacles of Belonging, took shape through a lot of conversations over the years with friends and colleagues about the different tensions I saw in Roman politics and culture around questions of national identity, tensions that I saw being played out in the United States. I don’t like tidy histories. I am drawn to explorations of politics and culture that reveal the anxieties and dissonance that derive from our own attempt to resolve our incompleteness. 

Dean's book list on the connection of ancient Rome to an American identity

Discover why each book is one of Dean's favorite books.

Why did Dean love this book?

One of the issues I have sought to counter in my work is our sense of the Romans as boring. At times they even saw themselves that way. We know the Romans by way of their contributions to law, constitutionalism, administration, and oratory. This collection of essays is engaging because of the surprising ways in which Rome not only figures into popular culture, from Broadway to the movies, but is employed in explorations of marginal identities.    

Imperial Projections

By Sandra R. Joshel (editor), Margaret Malamud (editor), Donald T. McGuire (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The phenomenal success of the recent film Gladiator ensures that ancient Rome will continue to inspire moviemakers and attract audiences as it has done since the dawn of cinema. Indeed, the creators of popular culture have so often appropriated elements of Roman history and society for films and television programs, novels and comic books, advertising and computer games that most people's knowledge of ancient Rome derives from these representations. In Imperial Projections, scholars from a variety of fields-classics, history, film studies, and gender theory-provide an interdisciplinary look at how ancient Rome has been depicted in the media and what these…


Book cover of The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

Cass Morris Author Of From Unseen Fire

From the list on ancient Roman society.

Who am I?

I’m a writer and educator working in central Virginia, and I’ve been in love with the ancient world since my first Latin class back in the seventh grade. I’ve always been interested in social history more than just the chronology of battles and the deeds of famous men, so my research looks for sources that can illuminate daily life and the viewpoints of marginalized populations. I hold a BA in English and History from the College of William and Mary and an MLitt from Mary Baldwin University.

Cass' book list on ancient Roman society

Discover why each book is one of Cass' favorite books.

Why did Cass love this book?

Duncan walks the reader through the generations leading up to the fall of the Republic, examining the political, economic, and social conditions that led to civil war and, eventually, the transition to Empire. While Duncan provides biographies of key figures like the Gracchi brothers, he also sets them in the context of their world: its constraints, its faith, its competing pressures. The Storm Before the Storm opens a window into an under-examined period of history, one which has echoes in modern-day politics.

The Storm Before the Storm

By Mike Duncan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Storm Before the Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome's model of cooperative and participatory government remained remarkably durable and unmatched in the history of the ancient world.

In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled:…


S.P.Q.R

By Mary Beard,

Book cover of S.P.Q.R: A History of Ancient Rome

Judith Harris Author Of Pompeii Awakened: A Story of Rediscovery

From the list on the joys of life in classical antiquity.

Who am I?

As a freelance journalist in Italy, I covered, for Time magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and others, tough topics: terrorism, the Mafia, the heroin traffic which passed via Sicilian laboratories to the U.S. At a certain point I found this overly negative. After taking a course in Rome on archaeology, by chance I was asked to direct a BBC half-hour documentary on Pompeii. In so doing, I realized that it was  time to focus upon the many positive elements of Italian life and history. From that life-changing documentary came this book on Pompeii, on which I worked for five rewarding years. My next book was on historical Venice.

Judith's book list on the joys of life in classical antiquity

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Why did Judith love this book?

Mary Beard, Cambridge University professor of classics and noteworthy TV personality, is the lively author of a number of books on the ancient world. Roman antiquity endured for a thousand years, and her most beloved book covers that millenium: SPQR: A History of Ancient RomeSPQR is a renowned best seller which enchants even those who have scant knowledge of classical antiquity.

S.P.Q.R

By Mary Beard,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked S.P.Q.R as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 past vividly to life" (Economist) in a way that makes "your hair stand on end" (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this "highly informative, highly readable" (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but…


A Brief History of the Romans

By Noel Lenski, Richard J.A. Talbert, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola

Book cover of A Brief History of the Romans

Duane W. Roller Author Of Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

From the list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian.

Who am I?

I have spent 50 years studying, teaching, and writing about Roman history, participating in and leading many archaeological expeditions to the Roman world, particularly in Greece, Italy, Turkey, and the Levant. I have written a dozen books on the ancient world, including the best-selling Cleopatra: A Biography. Ancient Rome is both my expertise and passion.

Duane's book list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian

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Why did Duane love this book?

This is probably the best recent one-volume history of Rome, which covers the entire scope of the Roman world from its beginnings to its collapse. It is nicely illustrated, and gives a solid summary of the Roman environment that is easily understood by non-specialists. It is an exciting story: from a village on the Tiber River to ruling the world, an unexpected process that is well laid out.

A Brief History of the Romans

By Noel Lenski, Richard J.A. Talbert, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Brief History of the Romans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did a single village community in the Italian peninsula eventually become one of the most powerful imperial powers the world has ever known? In A Brief History of the Romans, Second Edition, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, Richard J.A. Talbert, and new coauthor Noel Lenski explore this question as they guide students through a comprehensive sweep of Roman history, ranging from the prehistoric settlements to the fall of the empire in 476.
Addressing issues that still confront modern states worldwide--including warfare, empire building, consensus forging, and political fragmentation--the authors also provide glimpses into everyday
Roman life and perspective,…


What Life Was Like

By Time-Life Books,

Book cover of What Life Was Like: When Rome Ruled the World: The Roman Empire 100 BC-AD 200

Suzanne Tyrpak Author Of Vestal Virgin: Suspense in Ancient Rome

From the list on ancient Rome at the time of Nero.

Who am I?

Having been an actor and a dancer, in college I became interested in the origins of those arts. Curiosity led me to study Greek theater and ancient religions. In the early 2000s, I traveled to Rome with a group of writers, including Terry Brooks, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Engstrom, and John Saul. As soon as I set foot in Rome, I fell in love with that magnificent city’s history—in particular Vestal Virgins, the most powerful women in the ancient world. That trip inspired me to write Vestal Virgin—suspense in ancient Rome, a bestseller in many categories on Amazon.

Suzanne's book list on ancient Rome at the time of Nero

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Why did Suzanne love this book?

Frequently, I write about everyday men and women. Consequently, I need to get a feel for what everyday life was like. What did people eat? How did they dress? Where did they work? I visit a lot of museums and have traveled extensively, but when I’m writing at home, I like books with lots of pictures, not only of historical sites, but photos of objects: cookware, weapons, clothing, jewelry, houses. This helps me bring the ancient world to life. This book is packed with pictures and well-researched information.

What Life Was Like

By Time-Life Books,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Life Was Like as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Provides a look at the Roman empire, detailing its history, social customs, professions, class ranks, military, and religion


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