100 books like Dividing the Spoils

By Robin Waterfield,

Here are 100 books that Dividing the Spoils fans have personally recommended if you like Dividing the Spoils. 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 The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt

Nicole Sallak Anderson Author Of Origins: Song of the King's Heart

From my list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 7th grade, I’ve been reading and researching about ancient civilizations like Greece, the Mayans, Incans, and of course, Egypt, yet I never thought I’d write a book, much less a trilogy set thousands of years ago. While researching rebellions for another novel, I found the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE, as well as Ankhmakis’s story. Given my lifelong love of ancient mythologies, I spent the next two years collecting books about ancient Egypt. These books are but a small sampling I collected during that time in my life, and I’m so glad to share them with you.

Nicole's book list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty

Nicole Sallak Anderson Why did Nicole love this book?

While I didn’t find nearly enough about the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE or Ankhmakis’s plight in this book, it was an excellent resource for creating the day-to-day life of ancient Egypt.

From house building to boat designs to farming on the river, as well as the rise and fall of the various dynasties and their idiosyncrasies, Wilkinson’s book is a must read for any Egyptophile such as myself. Without it, I don’t think I would have been able to have envisioned Ankhmakis’s world the way I have.

By Toby Wilkinson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a story studded with extraordinary achievements and historic moments, from the building of the pyramids and the conquest of Nubia, through Akhenaten's religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the glory of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, and the ruthlessness of Ramesses, to Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal entanglement with Rome.

As the world's first nation-state, the history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to unite a disparate realm and defend it against hostile forces from within and without. Combining grand narrative sweep with detailed knowledge of hieroglyphs and the iconography of…


Book cover of A God Against the Gods

Nicole Sallak Anderson Author Of Origins: Song of the King's Heart

From my list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 7th grade, I’ve been reading and researching about ancient civilizations like Greece, the Mayans, Incans, and of course, Egypt, yet I never thought I’d write a book, much less a trilogy set thousands of years ago. While researching rebellions for another novel, I found the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE, as well as Ankhmakis’s story. Given my lifelong love of ancient mythologies, I spent the next two years collecting books about ancient Egypt. These books are but a small sampling I collected during that time in my life, and I’m so glad to share them with you.

Nicole's book list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty

Nicole Sallak Anderson Why did Nicole love this book?

When I first pitched my book to my agent, he recommended I read this novel, as it was his favorite novel written about ancient Egypt.

I took his advice and was immediately drawn into Ake Akhenaten's story. I’ve long been fascinated by this particular Pharaoh for many reasons, but mostly because he dared to challenge the priestly class.

This is a novel that sweeps you right into the hot sands of his city and makes you long to have been there, in the court, as he struggled to bring his god, Aten, to his people.

By Allen Drury,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A God Against the Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sweeping chronicle of a great and tragic pharaoh who lost his throne for the love of a God.

In the glory of ancient Egypt, an epic of a royal family divided, bloody power ploys, and religious wars that nearly tore apart one of the greatest empires in human history.

AKHENATEN: The dream-filled King of Egypt, who dared to challenge the ancient order of his people and dethrone the jealous deities of his land for the glory of one almighty God.

NEFERTITI: The most beautiful woman in the world, bred from birth to be the Pharaoh’s devoted lover—and to follow…


Book cover of Return to Thebes

Nicole Sallak Anderson Author Of Origins: Song of the King's Heart

From my list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 7th grade, I’ve been reading and researching about ancient civilizations like Greece, the Mayans, Incans, and of course, Egypt, yet I never thought I’d write a book, much less a trilogy set thousands of years ago. While researching rebellions for another novel, I found the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE, as well as Ankhmakis’s story. Given my lifelong love of ancient mythologies, I spent the next two years collecting books about ancient Egypt. These books are but a small sampling I collected during that time in my life, and I’m so glad to share them with you.

Nicole's book list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty

Nicole Sallak Anderson Why did Nicole love this book?

If you read A God Against the Gods, you have to read Return to Thebes.

For my part, the descriptions of Luxor and Thebes were key to writing my book, but I also needed to know how this dynasty ended. Besides, finally King Tut has his say.

Moreover, I loved the introduction of Seti and his son, for the dynasty they created after Tut’s fall is one that still captures the imagination of Egyptologists and fans alike.

By Allen Drury,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The Quest For Hermes Trismegistus: From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World

Nicole Sallak Anderson Author Of Origins: Song of the King's Heart

From my list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since 7th grade, I’ve been reading and researching about ancient civilizations like Greece, the Mayans, Incans, and of course, Egypt, yet I never thought I’d write a book, much less a trilogy set thousands of years ago. While researching rebellions for another novel, I found the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE, as well as Ankhmakis’s story. Given my lifelong love of ancient mythologies, I spent the next two years collecting books about ancient Egypt. These books are but a small sampling I collected during that time in my life, and I’m so glad to share them with you.

Nicole's book list on ancient Egypt and the Ptolemaic dynasty

Nicole Sallak Anderson Why did Nicole love this book?

I truly love most of what Gary Lachman writes. The former bassist for Blondie turned esoteric writer has covered all of the occult sciences across the ages.

In order to create a believable world in my novel, I had to bring the religious life, customs, and rituals not only of the regular people, but also for the royals and the priestly class.

In the end, my book is about their magic and The Quest for Hermes Trismegistus did not disappoint. It set my imagination within the temple, taught me of Thoth, one of their eldest cults, and from there, writing about their world became possible.

By Gary Lachman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quest For Hermes Trismegistus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the sands of Alexandria via the Renaissance palaces of the Medicis, to our own times, this spiritual adventure story traces the profound influence of Hermes Trismegistus -- the 'thrice-great one', as he was often called -- on the western mind. For centuries his name ranked among the most illustrious of the ancient world.

Considered by some a contemporary of Moses and a forerunner of Christ, this almost mythical figure arose in fourth century BC Alexandria, from a fusion of the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes. Master of magic, writing, science, and philosophy, Hermes was thought to…


Book cover of The Landmark Arrian: The Campaigns of Alexander

David Austin Beck Author Of The Greek Prince of Afghanistan

From my list on understanding the Scythians.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an author who believes that history contains an endless number of stories of how our past peers dealt with and contributed to the tension, fusion, and reinvention that is human existence. When writing The Greek Prince of Afghanistan, which focuses on the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom of ancient Afghanistan, I included a Scythian character, because I felt the novel’s story, like humanity’s story, is best told through multiple perspectives. The above books helped me greatly in that effort.

David's book list on understanding the Scythians

David Austin Beck Why did David love this book?

Arrian is one of the few primary sources used to illuminate the campaigns of Alexander the Great. It is also one of the few primary sources to focus directly on the Scythians – in this case, the Saka (an eastern group of Scythians). After conquering the Bactrian region, Alexander faced war with the Scythians, as well as local rebellions, which the Scythians played a role in. Arrian’s account is an important source for understanding the Scythians as it speaks directly to the clash of an army built for pitched battle against an army build for more mobile warfare.

By James Romm, Robert B. Strassler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Arrian’s Campaigns of Alexander, widely considered the most authoritative history of the brilliant leader’s great conquests, is the latest addition to the acclaimed Landmark series.
 
After twelve years of hard-fought campaigns, Alexander the Great controlled a vast empire that was bordered by the Adriatic sea to the west and modern-day India to the east. Arrian, himself a military commander, combines his firsthand experience of battle with material from Ptolemy’s memoirs and other ancient sources to compose a singular portrait of Alexander. This vivid and engaging new translation of Arrian will fascinate readers who are interested in classical studies, the history…


Book cover of Lord of the Two Lands

Jeanne Reames Author Of Becoming

From my list on Alexander the Great.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Jeanne Reames is a professional historian, college professor, and specialist in ancient Macedonia and Alexander the Great. She also earned a degree in creative writing and has published fiction and poetry. She’s been collecting fiction about Alexander the Great for almost 35 years, and previously managed the website Beyond Renault: Alexander the Great in Fiction since WW I, until retiring it after over ten years. She has (almost) every professionally published English-language novel about Alexander, and has penned several articles on Alexander in fiction, including “Alexander the Great and Hephaistion in Fiction after Stonewall,” for The Routledge Companion to the Reception of Ancient Greek and Roman Sexuality (forthcoming).

Jeanne's book list on Alexander the Great

Jeanne Reames Why did Jeanne love this book?

Opting to cover just a slice of Alexander’s campaign, Judith Tarr treats the period after the Battle of Issus down to his fateful trip to the Oracle of Ammon in Egypt. Being historical fantasy, magic is present, but Tarr (a trained historian) depicts it as understood by the ancient Egyptians. An Egyptian priestess, Meriamon, has been charged by her gods to bring Alexander to Egypt in order to eject the hated Persians and preserve her people. The novel also contains a love story between Meriamon and the fictional younger brother of Ptolemy—the same Ptolemy who would found a dynasty in Egypt after Alexander’s death. Lord of the Two Lands is a master class in how to utilize magic for historical fantasy in an authentic way.

By Judith Tarr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lord of the Two Lands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is 33 BC and Egypt lies under the yoke of Persia, ruled by governors appointed by the King of Kings. In the temple of Amon in Thebes lives Meriamon - the only living child of the Nectanebo, the last fully Egyptian Pharoah.


Book cover of The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great

Sam Foster Author Of Non-Semper Fidelis

From my list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices.

Why am I passionate about this?

I heard a Jordan Peterson interview in which he boiled down my entire life’s struggle in a single phrase.  The interviewer was pushing Jordon on the subject of male toxicity. Jordon said something like, “If a man is entirely unwilling to fight under any circumstance, he is merely a weakling. Ask in martial arts trainer and they will tell you they teach two things – the ability to fight and self-control. A man who knows how and also knows how to control himself is a man.”

Sam's book list on showing that a man is the sum of his choices

Sam Foster Why did Sam love this book?

As a teenager Alexander, to become The Great, is given to one of his father’s warriors – Telamon – to go on a life-threatening winter wolf hunt. A risk of building character and spirit his father is willing to take.  Later in life, during Alexander’s conquest, Telemon never wishes to rise above a colonel’s rank. He wants to remain in the midst of the fighting.  

When Alexander finally departs India to end his conquests Telamon leaves him to go off with a group of monks. When Alexander asks why that choice Telamon responds, “I schooled you as a boy Alexander, to be superior to fear and anger. You vanquished hardship and hunger and cold and fatigue. But you have not learned to master your victories. These hold you. You are their slave.” What more can a man learn from a book?

As for my liking this book, Pressfield is one of my favorite authors and this…

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Virtues of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. So begins Alexander’s extraordinary confession on the eve of his greatest crisis of leadership. By turns heroic and calculating, compassionate and utterly merciless, Alexander recounts with a warrior’s unflinching eye for detail the blood, the terror, and the tactics of his greatest battlefield victories. Whether surviving his father’s brutal assassination, presiding over a massacre, or weeping at the death of a beloved comrade-in-arms, Alexander never denies the hard realities of the code by which he lives: the virtues of war. But as much as he was feared by…


Book cover of The Persian Boy

Ruth Vanita Author Of Memory of Light

From my list on lesbian and gay literary fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Thanks to my mother, I grew up immersed in English literature. I was educated in Delhi and co-founded the first nationwide feminist magazine, but same-sex love was never mentioned either in the classroom or in the women’s movement. I educated myself in Indian literature and discovered that same-sex sexuality had been practiced and written about until the British criminalized it. I wrote several books about same-sex unions in Indian literature and history and translated poetry and fiction from Hindi and Urdu to English. My first novel, Memory of Light, is a love story between two courtesans, based in pre-colonial India, where poets freely wrote about same-sex, as well as cross-sex love. 

Ruth's book list on lesbian and gay literary fiction

Ruth Vanita Why did Ruth love this book?

This is one of the first books I found when I was scrounging around for gay literature in Indian bookshops in the early 1980s. I re-read it every few years; as one of Oscar Wilde’s characters remarks, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”

Renault brings the ancient Greek world to life as no other novelist has. She delineates the wonderfully erotic and moving relationship between Alexander the Great and his Persian lover, Bagoas, who narrates the story.

By Mary Renault,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Persian Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander's life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas is sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but finds freedom with Alexander the Great after the Macedon army conquers his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander's mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.


Book cover of The Stuffed Coffin

Timothy Jay Smith Author Of Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller

From my list on contemporary gay novels set on the Mediterranean.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised crisscrossing America, I developed a ceaseless wanderlust that took me around the world many times. En route, I collected the stories and characters that make up my work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists: I hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that had me smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed me in an African jail. Greece, where I’ve spent some seven years total, stole my heart 50 years ago. Fire on the Island is my homage to it. 

Timothy's book list on contemporary gay novels set on the Mediterranean

Timothy Jay Smith Why did Timothy love this book?

I’m a gay writer living in France, so of course, I had to read The Stuffed Coffin when it won France’s national 2019 Prize for Gay Thriller. And as a bonus, it’s set in Greece, the country which stole my heart long ago. After breaking up with his boyfriend, Damien needs to get away and chooses a bucolic Greek village next to the sea. His first night there, he falls for a handsome youth, Nikos, but their relationship is anything but simple. Meanwhile, bodies start appearing: drowned, run over, whatever. It’s hardly the calm respite Damien envisioned but readers will definitely enjoy this sometimes-quirky and definitely entertaining read.

By Dieter Moitzi,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Prix du roman policier - Prix du roman gay 2019 in France!
After breaking up with his boyfriend, Damien Drechsler needs a holiday. The Greek village of Levkos seems like the perfect place to go—dozy, sunny, bucolic, with lonely beaches and little bars where he can drown his sorrows.
But the very first night, Damien meets Nikos, a dashing young man, who makes his heart beat faster all of a sudden. Then, he is almost run over by a reckless driver. The next day he learns that an old man has been killed in a suspicious-looking car…


Book cover of The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian

Nigel Rodgers Author Of The Colosseum From AD80 To The Present Day

From my list on daily life in ancient Athens and Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by ancient Greece and Rome since I first saw Italy and Greece as a teenager, revisiting them whenever I can. I studied ancient history at Cambridge University and have written eight books about it, most recently The Colosseum. After living in Paris, Rome, and London, I am now based in Wiltshire in southwest England, almost within sight of Stonehenge. There is a small megalith outside my own house.

Nigel's book list on daily life in ancient Athens and Rome

Nigel Rodgers Why did Nigel love this book?

Robin Lane Fox, best known for his books on Alexander the Great, has produced a superb overview of ancient history, from the emergence of Greece c.776BC to the Roman empire’s zenith under the emperor Hadrian (reigned  AD117-138).  He takes a firmly narrative approach, which makes for a thrilling read. His focus is on the lives of great men such as Pericles, Alexander, and Julius Caesar and on key political and military events rather than on cultural and social factors. While his epic approach may not impress all academics, it will probably still be read with enthusiasm long after more specialist works have been forgotten. Lots of illustrations, some in colour. Ideal for the general reader.

By Robin Lane Fox,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classical civilizations of Greece and Rome once dominated the world, and they continue to fascinate and inspire us. Classical art and architecture, drama and epic, philosophy and politics-these are the foundations of Western civilization. In The Classical World , eminent classicist Robin Lane Fox brilliantly chronicles this vast sweep of history from Homer to the reign of Hadrian. From the Peloponnesian War through the creation of Athenian democracy, from the turbulent empire of Alexander the Great to the creation of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Christianity, Fox serves as our witty and trenchant guide. He introduces us…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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