100 books like How to Survive in Ancient Rome

By L.J. Trafford,

Here are 100 books that How to Survive in Ancient Rome fans have personally recommended if you like How to Survive in Ancient Rome. 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 Dans la Rome des Césars

Simon Turney Author Of Commodus

From my list on ancient city of Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

Simon has been a student and historian of ancient Rome for most of his life, and has authored one non-fiction work and numerous historical novels set in the era, a number of them set in the ancient city itself. He has spent time in Rome over the decades, hunting down traces of the ancient city and studying architecture and finds, ever deepening his understanding of the place, how it worked, what it looked like, and its place in the world. Rome is the core of three decades of research for Simon.

Simon's book list on ancient city of Rome

Simon Turney Why did Simon love this book?

This French book is quite simply the best reconstruction of Rome in the age of Constantine you could hope for. If you read French or are happy to translate it, the sections about each area of the city are informative and interesting, accompanied by beautiful photographs, but even if you speak no French and have no intention of reading it, this book is still worthwhile. Between these sections, the book is filled with large, fold-out maps of reconstructed Rome, including every known building and right down to the alleyways, lovingly depicted. I have used it as a source for every book I’ve set in Rome now for the better part of a decade. An invaluable source and lovely work.

By Gilles Chaillet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dans la Rome des Césars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rome l'éternelle, la magnifique, a été dessinée quartier par quartier, rue par rue, bâtiment par bâtiment, fenêtre par fenêtre, par le stakhanoviste Gilles Chaillet sur un magnifique et somptueux plan la reconstituant au 4ème siècle de notre ère.
Un travail de titan de plus de 5000 heures de réalisation, de 3000 heures de mise en couleurs et quasiment toute une vie de recherche et de documentation pour arriver enfin, et avec jubilation, au bout de cette oeuvre sans commune mesure.
Dans la Rome des Césars vous est présenté sous deux versions : un port-folio limité à 1000 exemplaires montrant le…


Book cover of 24 Hours in Ancient Rome: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There

Melissa Addey Author Of From the Ashes

From my list on non-fiction to immerse yourself in Ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

Curious about Ancient Rome and especially about gladiators, I asked myself, who were the backstage team of the Colosseum? The more I searched for the team, the more I realised there was hardly any mention of them. If there were hundreds of animals, dancers, singers, gladiators, criminals, and more about to be shown off to an audience of 60,000, who was planning and managing it all? And so I created the Colosseum’s backstage team – a retired centurion called Marcus and his scribe Althea, along with a motley crew of slaves, a prostitute, a street boy, even a retired Vestal Virgin… they came alive for me while researching and I eventually created a four-book series.

Melissa's book list on non-fiction to immerse yourself in Ancient Rome

Melissa Addey Why did Melissa love this book?

Hour by hour, we follow various Romans as they go about their day, seeing many different jobs and possible fates ahead for a whole cast of characters. Engagingly written, it smoothly shares a real wealth of knowledge and detail about Ancient Rome without falling into the trap of ‘info-dumping’. I really liked that it mainly follows plebians, not the ruling class: no villas and togas here, rather blocks of flats and plain tunics. A great read.

By Philip Matyszak,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 24 Hours in Ancient Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Walk a day in a Roman's sandals ... What was it like to live in one of the ancient world's most powerful and bustling cities - one that was eight times more densely populated than modern day New York?

In this entertaining and enlightening guide, bestselling historian Philip Matyszak introduces us to 24 characters who lived and worked there. In each hour of the day we meet a new character - from a senator to a slave girl, a gladiator to an astrologer, watchmen to washerwomen - and discover the fascinating details of their daily lives.


Book cover of Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide

Judith Harris Author Of Pompeii Awakened: A Story of Rediscovery

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Judith Harris Why did Judith love this book?

The late Amanda Claridge, a professor at the University of London, introduces us to the ancient city in the book she co-authored: Rome: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, now on offer as Rome, An archaeological guide. Over time, archaeology itself changes, and today's critics say that her presentation of up-to-date archaeology in Rome equally entrances both tourists and her fellow scholars. She taught at both Oxford and the University of London, as well as at Princeton University in the U.S. 

By Amanda Claridge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The city of Rome is the largest archaeological site in the world, capital and showcase of the Roman Empire and the centre of Christian Europe.

This guide provides:

* Coverage of all the important sites in the city from 800 BC to AD 600 and the start of the early middle ages, drawing on the latest discoveries and the best of recent scholarship

* Over 220 high-quality maps, site plans, diagrams and photographs

* Sites divided into fourteen main areas, with star ratings to help you plan and prioritize your visit:
Roman Forum; Upper Via Sacra; Palatine; Imperial Forums; Campus…


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

Amanda Cockrell Author Of Shadow of the Eagle

From my list on life in the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

As Damion Hunter, I have written six novels set in the first and second centuries of the Roman Empire, for which I have done extensive research. My picks are all books that I have found most useful and accessible for the writer who wants to ground her fiction in accurate detail and for the reader who just wants to know the little stuff, which is always more interesting than the big stuff.

Amanda's book list on life in the Roman Empire

Amanda Cockrell Why did Amanda love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Waste Tide

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Author Of The Ten Percent Thief

From my list on science fiction novels exploring the near future.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a novelist and game designer from Bangalore. I’ve been a lifelong reader of science fiction and fantasy. Growing up, I almost never encountered futures that included people like me—brown women, from a country that isn’t the UK/ US, and yet, who are in sync with the rapidly changing global village we belong to. Over the last decade, though, I've found increasing joy in more recent science fiction, in which the future belongs to everyone. The Ten Percent Thief is an expression of my experiences living in dynamic urban India, and represents one of our many possible futures. 

Lavanya's book list on science fiction novels exploring the near future

Lavanya Lakshminarayan Why did Lavanya love this book?

I picked this novel because, for lack of a better phrase, it’s too real. In an entirely believable and horrifying future lies Silicon Isle, an island made of trash. It’s where the world dumps all its electronic waste, for generations of poor, marginalized people to sort through, while pollutants make the tiny world they call home uninhabitable and hostile.

It also happens to be where a powerful biological weapon is hidden, unknowingly discovered by Mimi, one of the novel’s protagonists. It transforms her. Class disparities come to the fore, leading to revolution. This is classic cyberpunk, refreshingly set in a future outside the UK/ US, translated from the original Chinese by Ken Liu.

By Chen Qiufan, Ken Liu (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Guardian Science Fiction Book of the Year.

Mimi is drowning in the world's trash.

She's a 'waste girl', a scavenger picking through towering heaps of hazardous electronic detritus. Along with thousands of other migrant workers, she was lured to Silicon Isle, off the southern coast of China, by the promise of steady work and a better life.

But Silicon Isle is where the rotten fruits of capitalism and consumer culture come to their toxic end. The land is hopelessly polluted, the workers utterly at the mercy of those in power. And now a storm is gathering, as ruthless local…


Book cover of Catching Fire

Buffy Naillon Author Of The Girl Who Fell Into the Sky: The Noah and Clare Chronicles Book 1

From my list on sci-fi where food plays a defining role.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been surrounded by food culture. I grew up in a diner family. My parents started Lakey’s Cafe just before I was born. My first jobs as a kid were in that restaurant. After that, I worked in restaurants as a server for more than 10 years of my life. When the opportunity presented itself to throw in the napkin and become a writer, I did. My writing now as a professional writer centers around the food and beverage industry. One topic that I don’t see discussed enough is the role that food plays in science fiction and fantasy novels. Food in novels has a way of showing us something about ourselves.

Buffy's book list on sci-fi where food plays a defining role

Buffy Naillon Why did Buffy love this book?

You can’t get much more food-oriented in science fiction than a novel called The Hunger Games, and true to its name, food and food politics play a central role in the book’s theme. The book’s author, Suzanne Collins, uses juxtaposition and food politics throughout the series to highlight the difference between the haves and the have-nots. While all the books in the Hunger Games series highlight these discrepancies, it’s Collins’s second book Catching Fire where the differences are most pronounced. The feast in the Capitol, along with its potions to induce vomiting (and by extension, encourage more eating), stands out in particular: The reaction of the book’s main character, Katniss Everdeen, herself a poor girl from the Seam of District 12 makes this scene both comical and revolting.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catching Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The second book in the ground-breaking Hunger
Games trilogy.

After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return
to their district, hoping for a peaceful future. But their victory
has caused rebellion to break out ... and the Capitol has decided
that someone must pay.

As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the
Capitol's Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless they
can convince the world that they are still lost in their love
for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Then comes the cruellest twist: the contestants for the
next Hunger…


Book cover of I Am Still Alive

Holly Green Author Of In the Same Boat

From my list on contemporary YA survival stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was eleven, I picked up a book about a girl and a boy who get lost on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada. It’s the first book I can remember reading over and over and over again. I wanted to be in that tent and in that forest figuring out how to survive. Since then, I’ve been hooked on books about people facing grueling physical challenges, surviving in the wilderness, and finding out what they’re made of. They’re urgent and compelling and the stakes are high, and I’ll never stop loving the thrill of reading about people being pushed to their physical and mental limits.

Holly's book list on contemporary YA survival stories

Holly Green Why did Holly love this book?

This book is tense! Jess is alone in the Canadian wilderness, still injured from the car accident that killed her mom, and now her dad has been murdered and his cabin burned down. Jess must figure out how to survive in the cold with no shelter and no way out when nobody knows where she is. This is part survival story and part thriller. Jess is driven by her desire to survive as much as her desire for revenge. The survival aspect here is enough to keep you reading, but I also loved trying to piece together the mystery of why her dad was killed. 

By Kate Alice Marshall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Still Alive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Jess is stranded in the woods. She has few supplies and only her dog for company. Her survival skills are limited, and she has disabilities that make physical labor a challenge. And winter is on its way. How did she get here?

Alternating between the past and the present, this tightly-paced novel tells the story of a girl who survived a car crash that killed her mother, then was pulled from foster care and sent to live with her estranged survivalist father in the remote Canadian wilderness. Jess was just beginning to get to know her dad when a secret…


Book cover of The Culling

B.F. Moorman-Fuzi Author Of Beautiful Night

From my list on sending you into an action-packed adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

In order to read, I need fast-paced action, adventure, compelling characters with depthful backstories and motives, and a way of challenging and commentating on the most controversial morals of the present day. To write, I need the exact same thing. Every world I create is filled with action in every chapter, characters with invincible will-strength, and situations that bend the very borders of moral thinking.

B.F.'s book list on sending you into an action-packed adventure

B.F. Moorman-Fuzi Why did B.F. love this book?

The Culling, The Sowing, and The Raising by Steven Dos Santos provides one of the most compelling stories of conflicting choices I have ever encountered. My strongest love for this story is the main protagonist, Lucky, and his stoicism through the hardships that he is forced to endure. This story taught me to always search for the best option in life, and that there is always a choice, even when it seems that there isn’t. From this story, I will always take with me the ability to love fiercely and do what I must for that love.

By Steven dos Santos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recruitment Day is here...if you fail, a loved one will die For Lucian “Lucky” Spark, Recruitment Day means the Establishment, a totalitarian government, will force him to become one of five Recruits competing to join the ruthless Imposer task force. Each Recruit participates in increasingly difficult and violent military training for a chance to advance to the next level. Those who fail must choose an “Incentive”—a family member—to be brutally killed. If Lucky fails, he’ll have to choose death for his only living relative: Cole, his four-year-old brother. Lucky will do everything he can to keep his brother alive, even…


Book cover of Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea

Michael J. Tougias Author Of A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80-Foot Seas

From my list on edge of your seat true stories of survival.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated by the toughest survivors, the ones where I say to myself, “I could have never got through that.” Then I’m curious about how they endured: what mindsets and techniques did they use to fight on? When I became a writer I focused on this niche, with my first book Ten Hours Until Dawn which was followed by several other true survival and rescue tales. I became obsessed with researching where the survivors made the correct decisions and how they got trapped by bad ones. When my book The Finest Hours became a Disney movie I was deluged with people sharing their own survival stories. 

Michael's book list on edge of your seat true stories of survival

Michael J. Tougias Why did Michael love this book?

When sharks are circling your life raft, I do not recommend drinking seawater to quench your excruciating thirst. In Albatross, five people find themselves adrift at sea in a small life raft with no food or water. When one of the sailors drinks seawater we see how that can dehydrate the brain and cause hallucinations. Suddenly the sailor blurts out that he is going to get his car to get some beer, and he steps out of the life raft. The sharks are waiting.

Albatross is not only a story of mistakes made, but also of courageous decisions by two survivors, Deb Kiley and Brad Cavanaugh. It is hair-raising, insightful, and might just keep you off the water.

By Deborah Scaling Kiley, Meg Noonan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1982 the author and four companions got caught in a storm in a 58 foot yacht off the coast of North Carolina. For five days they kept alive without food or water in a tiny inflatable dinghy after the yacht sank. The first night was spent in the water under the upside down dinghy trying to keep warm, not learning until morning that the area was infested with sharks. Two of the boys drank sea water, went mad, climbed overboard and were never seen again. Meg, badly injured, died of exposure and gangrene. Brad and Debbie were rescued by…


Book cover of The 100

Avis M. Adams Author Of The Incident

From my list on YA dystopian with strong protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love dystopian novels. What I love most is trying to figure out what the heck happened? Why did this happen, and what was the world like before this happened? I really love books that are based on Earth, but you can’t tell until you read part or all the way through. The whole idea of “what the heck happened” was the inception of my novel, The Incident. I wanted to begin with the inciting event that caused the world to get knocked off-center and go from normal to not. I wanted to show the changes that would make it impossible for us to recognize the world as the one we live in.

Avis' book list on YA dystopian with strong protagonists

Avis M. Adams Why did Avis love this book?

Clarke is a natural leader who wants to take care of everyone but herself, and she will sacrifice her safety for others all in a world that defies the logic of the one she’d always known. She is frail and emotional, but tough when she needs to be, and she develops close bonds with just a few special people, while caring about all, even the ones she wants to shoot with a rifle or hang by a rope.

By Kass Morgan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The 100 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?

The Hunger Games meets Lost in this spectacular new series. Now a major TV series on E4.

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries - until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents - considered expendable by society - are being sent on a dangerous mission: to re-colonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's…


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