10 books like Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire

By Ralph Jackson,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Doctors and Diseases in the Roman Empire. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities

By J.C. McKeown,

Book cover of A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the World's Greatest Empire

The author is a scholar, a professor of Classics, so he knows his stuff. He is also a wonderful writer. This is a collection of small and fascinating facts about Rome and the ancient world. A sampling of entries includes notes on Hannibal’s reputed use of jars of poisonous snakes as catapult ammunition, Roman fly fishing, window glass, and the mechanics of Nero’s revolving dining room.

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities

By J.C. McKeown,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The ancient Romans have left us far more information about themselves than has any other Western society until much more recent times. But what we know about them is sometimes bizarre, and hardly fits the conventional view of the Romans as a pragmatic people with a ruthlessly efficient army and a very logical and well ordered language.

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities is a serendipitous collection of odd facts and opinions, carefully gleaned from the wide body of evidence left to us by the Romans themselves. Each highlights a unique and curious feature of life in ancient Rome. Readers will…


Pagan Holiday

By Tony Perrottet,

Book cover of Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists

This travelogue looks at the Mediterranean with dual vision: one ancient eye and one modern. Perrottet retraces the route taken by the wealthy Romans who were, in a sense, the world’s first tourists, living with enough safety and comfort to travel for leisure rather than necessity. He begins in Italy, then the Greek mainland and some island-hopping, makes a necessary stop in Troy, then moves down the Turkish coast and finally into Egypt. In doing so, he provides perspective both on what the Romans would have expected and discovered along the journey as well as what a modern-day traveller would find 2000 years later. The similarities are as surprising as the differences!

Pagan Holiday

By Tony Perrottet,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The ancient Romans were responsible for many remarkable achievements—Roman numerals, straight roads—but one of their lesser-known contributions was the creation of the tourist industry. The first people in history to enjoy safe and easy travel, Romans embarked on the original Grand Tour, journeying from the lost city of Troy to the Acropolis, from the Colossus at Rhodes to Egypt, for the obligatory Nile cruise to the very edge of the empire. And, as Tony Perrottet discovers, the popularity of this route has only increased with time.

Intrigued by the possibility of re-creating the tour, Perrottet, accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend,…


Roman Woman

By Lindsay Allason-Jones,

Book cover of Roman Woman: Everyday Life in Hadrian's Britain

This follows a British woman who has married a Roman army veteran through a year in Britain during the reign of Hadrian. It is filled with tons of accurate detail about every aspect of daily life. It is written as a novel but because the author is a scholar of Roman British history and archaeology, you can count on her accuracy in a way that I ordinarily don’t rely on with novels.

Roman Woman

By Lindsay Allason-Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Roman Britain is vividly portrayed in this fascinating and authentically detailed story about a year in the life of an ordinary woman and her family.

The year is AD 133. Hadrian is Emperor of Rome and all its vast empire, including Britannia. The greater part of that island has long been under imperial rule and the Roman legions control most of the land, quelling uprisings and building new forts and towns. Around the fortress of Eboracum (now known as York), a bustling garrison settlement is developing, while along the north-west frontier of Hadrian's empire, the legions are completing the construction…


Running the Roman Home

By A. T. Croom,

Book cover of Running the Roman Home

This book has all the details of how to keep a Roman household going, from buying and cooking dinner to making lye for laundry to throwing out the trash. It describes in wonderful detail exactly how and with what they did it, including heating, lighting, bathing, and a fascinating section on the unlovely yet vital subject of sewage.

Running the Roman Home

By A. T. Croom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Running the Roman Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Running of the Roman Home explores the real 'every-day' life of the Romans and the effort required to run a Roman household. It considers the three elements of housework - supply, maintenance and disposal.

It is divided into sections on how the Romans collected water and fuel, milled flour and produced thread; how they cleaned the house, illuminated it, did the washing up, cleaned their clothes, got rid of waste water and sewage, and threw out their rubbish.

The evidence is taken from literary, archaeological and artistic sources, and often compared to historical or modern parallels from communities using the…


Travel in the Ancient World

By Lionel Casson,

Book cover of Travel in the Ancient World

Anybody who studies travel in ancient Rome knows the name of Lionel Casson, and after reading his magnum opus, you will understand why. Reading his book makes me feel that I am taking a tour of the Roman world in all its glory: its diversity, its impressive infrastructure, its cultural highlights, and its religious pilgrimage sites. Travel could be exciting or dangerous, luxurious or barebones, for business or for pleasure. In Casson’s engaging and accessible prose, however, it is always a revelatory window into Roman culture and history. Casson’s book helped me understand the personal, emotional aspects of travel in ancient Rome and, consequently, made me feel closer to ancient Romans themselves.

Travel in the Ancient World

By Lionel Casson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The only book of its kind in any language, Travel in the Ancient World offers a lively, comprehensive history of ancient travel, from the first Egyptian voyages recorded in Old Kingdom inscriptions through Greek and Roman times to the Christian pilgrimages of the fourth and sixth centuries. Rich in anecdote and colorful detail, it now returns to print in paperback with a new preface by the author.


The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

By Edward Gibbon,

Book cover of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

I’ve been an amateur historian for as long as I can remember. The past enthralls me, especially the bits where everything goes wrong and entire societies crumble. I suppose it’s because I agree with George Santayana that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and the idea has always held a certain fascination. As downfalls go, I figure none had a greater effect on western civilization than that of the classic Roman Empire and for me, it’s the template which explains so many historical cycles of the past and will continue to explain those of the future. Gibbon’s work is the definitive story of that era and a must-read for anyone interested in predicting what the next few centuries might bring.

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

By Edward Gibbon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edward Gibbon€™s classic timeless work of ancient Roman history in 6 volumes collected into 2 boxed sets, in beautiful, enduring hardcover editions with elegant cloth sewn bindings, gold stamped covers, and silk ribbon markers.


Roman Passions

By Ray Laurence,

Book cover of Roman Passions: A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome

Ray Laurence begins this wonderful book with the bold view that the passions of first-century Rome were more developed than those of earlier times. Examining the connections between pleasure and power in the imperial household; the role pleasure played in art and landscape; and what really went on in the Roman baths, the resulting account is as wide-ranging as it is surprising.

Roman Passions

By Ray Laurence,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Immerse yourself in the sensual delights of Rome in all their guises. By the time of the emperors, the Romans had created the world's first global empire, and plundered the provinces for produce to be eaten, planted or displayed as novelties. At the same time the aesthetics of the city of Rome was being transferred to the provinces, establishing towns with public buildings, baths and the Latin language. With these attributes of civilisation came other trappings of Roman culture: lavish entertainments, elaborate dinner parties and vice. The world of pleasure became a defining feature of the Romans, and this book…


Child of the Sun

By Kyle Onstott,

Book cover of Child of the Sun

What would happen if a randy teenage boy became Emperor of Rome after winning a pitched battle against a usurper? Would the magisterial traditions and decorum of the office triumph over adolescent hormones or vice versa? Actually, there is no need to speculate about the answer, because it happened in real life and was recorded in several ancient histories that have come down to us. This novel, though billed upon its publication as erotic, is quite closely based on those histories. Clue: the hormonal impulses of teenage boys are quite hard to suppress.

Child of the Sun

By Kyle Onstott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This brilliant and brutally intimate novel captures accurately the depravity and intrigue of Ancient Rome. CHILD OF THE SUN tells the story of the youth Varius Avitus Hassianus, destined to become Emperor of the Roman empire. Varius spurned women. His erotic longings searched out a very different kind of love. Whatever or whomever he fancied was quickly offered to him. And no man, be he soldier or citizen, dared refuse him. As his perverted passions grew more and more bizarre, even the voluptuaries of Rome recoiled in horror.


Leisure and Ancient Rome

By J. P. Toner,

Book cover of Leisure and Ancient Rome

Chariot racing. Gambling. Alcohol. Sex. If you’ve ever wondered what ancient Romans did for fun, look no further than Jerry Toner’s book. His book makes me laugh and learn in equal measure. Toner excels at revealing what is distinctive about ancient Roman practices (regularly bathing nude in public)—but also what feels startlingly modern (betting on horses and drinking with friends). From the wealthiest to the poorest of Romans, Toner shows just how serious the business of fun was in the Roman world. I love this book because it makes me think about quintessentially Roman topics from a bottom-up, rather than elite, perspective.

Leisure and Ancient Rome

By J. P. Toner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What role did leisure play in the life of ancient Rome? For us in the modern world, leisure is secondary to work. But in ancient Rome leisure was central to social life and an integral part of its history. By exploring the nature and role of leisure, Toner offers a new way of looking at Roman society at all levels, not just among the elite. He examines the imperial games and the baths, as well as the forms of leisure associated with popular culture, such as gambling, the taverns, theatre and carnivals. He shows how these activities, while central to…


Hannibal

By Ross Leckie,

Book cover of Hannibal

Ever wonder how in the world Hannibal got elephants across the alps? Ross Leckie’s violent and graphic account answers that question and more as it plunges the reader into the mind of the Carthaginian general driven to avenge his father’s defeat and this country’s humiliation in the first Punic War. The book revels in the fascinating details of ancient military campaigns and battle tactics. It’s a blood-drenched fever-dream of a novel that’s not for the squeamish, but a compulsive read for the rest of us.

Hannibal

By Ross Leckie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A battle is like lust. The frenzy passes. Consequence remains.

Hannibal is an epic vision of one of history's greatest adventurers, the almost mythical man who most famously led his soldiers on elephants over the Alps. In Ross Leckie's unforgettable re-creation of the Punic wars, it is Hannibal, the Carthaginian general, who narrates the story, and who is carried by his all-consuming ambition through profoundly bloody battles against the great Roman armies of early empire.

In this breathtaking chronicle of love and hate, heroism and cruelty, one of humanity's greatest adventurers is brought to life, who learns through suffering that…


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