100 books like Migration, Mobility and Place in Ancient Italy

By Elena Isayev,

Here are 100 books that Migration, Mobility and Place in Ancient Italy fans have personally recommended if you like Migration, Mobility and Place in Ancient Italy. 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 Early Roman Expansion Into Italy: Elite Negotiation and Family Agendas

Greg Woolf Author Of Rome: An Empire's Story

From my list on new books about the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an historian and archaeologist of the Roman world, who has lectured on the subject around the world. This summer I am moving from a position in London to one in Los Angeles. One of the attractions of Roman history is that it is a vast subject spanning three continents and more than a thousand years. There is always something new to discover and a great international community of researchers working together to do just that. It is a huge privilege to be part of that community and to try and communicate some its work to the widest audience possible.

Greg's book list on new books about the Roman Empire

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

This book rewrites the story of how Roman imperialism got started. It is written by one of the best archaeologists in the field, and it shows. It is brilliantly illustrated, and it explains the world into which Rome emerged. Instead of the traditional story of virtuous Roman heroes and bold wars of conquest, it shows why other Italian peoples decided to join up with Rome. We get a sense of how other Italians saw things. And we understand how the ruling families, Roman and Italian alike, came together and built a state that would conquer the Mediterranean in all their interests. Revolutionary!

By Nicola Terrenato,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Early Roman Expansion Into Italy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book presents a radical new interpretation of Roman expansion in Italy during the fourth and third centuries BCE. Nicola Terrenato argues that the process was accomplished by means of a grand bargain that was negotiated between the landed elites of central and southern Italy, while military conquest played a much smaller role than is usually envisaged. Deploying archaeological, epigraphic, and historical evidence, he paints a picture of the family interactions that tied together both Roman and non-Roman aristocrats and that resulted in their pooling power and resources for the creation of a new political entity. The book is written…


Book cover of Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy

Greg Woolf Author Of Rome: An Empire's Story

From my list on new books about the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an historian and archaeologist of the Roman world, who has lectured on the subject around the world. This summer I am moving from a position in London to one in Los Angeles. One of the attractions of Roman history is that it is a vast subject spanning three continents and more than a thousand years. There is always something new to discover and a great international community of researchers working together to do just that. It is a huge privilege to be part of that community and to try and communicate some its work to the widest audience possible.

Greg's book list on new books about the Roman Empire

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

The monuments we see when we visit Rome were constructed under the emperors. But Rome was already a great metropolis before they began work, one that was architecturally unique and built on a scale to dwarf most ancient cities. What this book does is reconstruct the great building projects of the Republic, beginning with the original fourth-century walls of Rome and the first aqueducts. It asks (and answers) questions like: Where did they get the stone? Who provided the labour? How long did it take them? And what technologies did they use? This was a Rome built without marble, without concrete, and not a royal foundation, but one managed by generations of magistrates riding the wave of a slow economic boom. Completely fascinating.

By Seth Bernard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building Mid-Republican Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Building Mid-Republican Rome offers a holistic treatment of the development of the Mid-Republican city from 396 to 168 BCE. As Romans established imperial control over Italy and beyond, the city itself radically transformed from an ambitious central Italian settlement into the capital of the Mediterranean world. Seth Bernard describes this transformation in terms of both new urban architecture, much of it unprecedented in form and extent, and new
socioeconomic structures, including slavery, coinage, and market-exchange. These physical and historical developments were closely linked: building the Republican city was expensive, and meeting such costs had significant implications for urban society. Building…


Book cover of The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past

Greg Woolf Author Of Rome: An Empire's Story

From my list on new books about the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an historian and archaeologist of the Roman world, who has lectured on the subject around the world. This summer I am moving from a position in London to one in Los Angeles. One of the attractions of Roman history is that it is a vast subject spanning three continents and more than a thousand years. There is always something new to discover and a great international community of researchers working together to do just that. It is a huge privilege to be part of that community and to try and communicate some its work to the widest audience possible.

Greg's book list on new books about the Roman Empire

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

Already when I was writing the first edition of Rome. An Empire’s Story it was clear that the subject was being transformed by scientific discoveries. Over the last decade, science-led projects have changed our notions of ancient Roman nutrition and health, of Romans’ impact on the environment, on the animals and plants they farmed, and also of their own vulnerability to plague and climate change. Scheidel, who is a world leader in this field, has gathered together historians using everything from human DNA and skeletal material to the remains of ancient seeds and animals to explain how the life sciences can unlock whole new areas of ancient history. This is a fast-moving field, and this short book gives a crash course on what has been done to date, and what might come next.

By Walter Scheidel (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

How the latest cutting-edge science offers a fuller picture of life in Rome and antiquity

This groundbreaking book provides the first comprehensive look at how the latest advances in the sciences are transforming our understanding of ancient Roman history. Walter Scheidel brings together leading historians, anthropologists, and geneticists at the cutting edge of their fields, who explore novel types of evidence that enable us to reconstruct the realities of life in the Roman world.

Contributors discuss climate change and its impact on Roman history, and then cover botanical and animal remains, which cast new light on agricultural and dietary practices.…


Book cover of Urban Space and Aristocratic Power in Late Antique Rome: Ad 270-535

Greg Woolf Author Of Rome: An Empire's Story

From my list on new books about the Roman Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an historian and archaeologist of the Roman world, who has lectured on the subject around the world. This summer I am moving from a position in London to one in Los Angeles. One of the attractions of Roman history is that it is a vast subject spanning three continents and more than a thousand years. There is always something new to discover and a great international community of researchers working together to do just that. It is a huge privilege to be part of that community and to try and communicate some its work to the widest audience possible.

Greg's book list on new books about the Roman Empire

Greg Woolf Why did Greg love this book?

Many histories of Rome end in the second century that period in which Edward Gibbon judged “the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous”. But there is a great deal of Roman history after that. Rome survived a great military crisis in the third century. The next generation of emperors based themselves near the frontiers to ward off future attacks. Machado’s extraordinary book tells the story of the City of Rome after the emperors had gone, returned into the hands of an aristocracy fascinated by its past but also committed to Roma Aeterna (Eternal Rome). Using statues and inscriptions and archaeology and a mass of little read ancient literature, Machado paints a vivid picture. Far from the new centres of power, the Roman aristocracy rebuilt, repaired, and steered the city through religious transformations, barbarian sacks, and beyond the fall of the western empire.

By Carlos Machado,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Urban Space and Aristocratic Power in Late Antique Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Between 270 and 535 AD the city of Rome experienced dramatic changes. The once glorious imperial capital was transformed into the much humbler centre of western Christendom in a process that redefined its political importance, size, and identity. Urban Space and Aristocratic Power in Late Antique Rome examines these transformations by focusing on the city's powerful elite, the senatorial aristocracy, and exploring their involvement in a process of urban
change that would mark the end of the ancient world and the birth of the Middle Ages in the eyes of contemporaries and modern scholars. It argues that the late antique…


Book cover of Citadel of God: A Novel about Saint Benedict

Vince Rockston Author Of Aquila: Can Silvanus Escape That God?

From my list on spiritual quests set in Antiquity.

Why am I passionate about this?

A yearning for a happy and meaningful life, as well as struggles with fear, guilt, and unfulfilled wishes, are common to mankind of all ages. My books combine historical and fictional characters to address such timeless spiritual issues from a Christian perspective. During a hiking tour of the Isle of Elba, I discovered the cave where the saintly 6th-century hermit San Cerbone lived in exile. Researching his life inspired me to write a work of historical fiction about that colourful character’s interactions with Silvanus, an unhappy local lad who longs to escape but finds new priorities.

Vince's book list on spiritual quests set in Antiquity

Vince Rockston Why did Vince love this book?

This is primarily a novel about the life of Saint Benedict. Several minor miracles occur through his acts of faith; he becomes convinced that he is to establish an alternative society in the form of a chain of monasteries – Citadels of God; he despises the rampant political intrigues and the lures of worldly success; and he has a significant influence on several important historical characters. Secondary plots somewhat distract from the main theme.

This book gave me very helpful insights into the political and religious life in the Roman Empire in the first half of the sixth century and paints a very impressive picture of the saint and his passion to serve God wholeheartedly.

By Louis de Wohl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Another of the popular historical novels by the distinguished de Wohl, telling the dramatic story of St. Benedict, the father of Western monasticism, who played such a major role in the Christianization and civilization of post-Roman Europe in the sixth century. De Wohl weaves an intricate tapestry of love, violence and piety to recount with historical accuracy the story of St. Benedict and the tempestuous era in which he lived.Since there are no contemporary biographies of this major saint of history and the Church, de Wohl's inspired account is of significant importance on the subject of saint's lives for today's…


Book cover of Daily Life in Ancient Rome: The People and the City at the Height of the Empire

Sheila Finch Author Of A Villa Far From Rome

From my list on Roman Britain and the Celts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sheila Finch is best known as a Nebula-winning author of science fiction, but on a visit back to her first alma mater in Chichester, UK, she encountered a mystery that wouldn’t let her go. Who built the nearby magnificent Roman palace that was just now being excavated at Fishbourne, and why? Months of research later, she came up with a possible explanation that involved a sixteen-year-old Roman mother, a middle-aged Celtic king of a small tribe, and Emperor Nero’s secret plans:

Sheila's book list on Roman Britain and the Celts

Sheila Finch Why did Sheila love this book?

A historical novel has to do more than just re-tell a part of history. The author has the duty to make history come alive for the reader, even if fictionalized. That means details about daily life and customs, not just buildings and battles. This book was enormously helpful in describing everyday Roman life. What the Romans were eating and wearing in Rome, they probably also ate (as near as they could) and wore in their colonies. Here I found everything from going to the barber to going to the circus.

By Jerome Carcopino,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This classic book brings to life imperial Rome as it was during the second century A.D., the time of Trajan and Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus. It was a period marked by lavish displays of wealth, a dazzling cultural mix, and the advent of Christianity. The splendor and squalor of the city, the spectacles, and the day's routines are reconstructed from an immense fund of archaeological evidence and from vivid descriptions by ancient poets, satirists, letter-writers, and novelists-from Petronius to Pliny the Younger. In a new Introduction, the eminent classicist Mary Beard appraises the book's enduring-and sometimes surprising-influence and its…


Book cover of Harriet and the Secret Rings

Sandra Bennett Author Of Secrets Hidden Below

From my list on for children that love to travel around the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an adventurous exploring soul who loves nature. Whether it’s simple short drives discovering little country towns in my region or travelling further afield, I am in my happy place. As a mother of three grown sons, two of which were reluctant readers, and as a former primary school teacher with a passion for literacy, I know the struggle parents face with teaching a love of reading to their children. Writing adventure stories in unique settings around the world combines my love for travel and early literacy. My adventures help to intrigue children and hook them into reading while fulfilling a fascination with unfamiliar places and developing their imagination with mystery and intrigue.

Sandra's book list on for children that love to travel around the world

Sandra Bennett Why did Sandra love this book?

I have always found ancient history fascinating. I couldn’t learn enough about ancient Rome and Greece during my teenage years. As an adult, one of my bucket list holidays is to visit the amazing ruins throughout Italy, including Mt Vesuvius. Through Harriet’s adventure, we experience ancient Rome in its glory days as if we were there. I found it fascinating to read and learn about the everyday life of an ancient Roman family with twists and turns of a thrilling adventure as Harriet is chased through ancient streets by Roman soldiers. It is great escapism into a place in the past where I wish I could travel to and immerse myself in an ancient society and civilization. 

Book cover of Sawdust Caesar: The Untold History of Mussolini and Fascism

Martin M. Winkler Author Of Arminius the Liberator: Myth and Ideology

From my list on ideological and popular uses of ancient Rome.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Professor of Classics at George Mason University. I learned about ancient Romans and Greeks in my native Germany, when I attended a humanist high school, possibly the oldest in the country. (It was founded during the reign of Charlemagne, as the eastern half of the Roman Empire was still flourishing.) My mother once informed me that I betrayed my passion for stories long before I could read because I enthusiastically used to tear pages out of books. In my teens I became fascinated with stories told in moving images. I have been a bibliophile and, em, cinemaniac ever since and have pursued both my obsessions in my publications.

Martin's book list on ideological and popular uses of ancient Rome

Martin M. Winkler Why did Martin love this book?

An American journalist, expelled from Italy in 1925, traces roots, rise, and rule of Il Duce in this 1935 book, which is as vivid as its title.

Mussolini appears as a cheap showman, who, “acting the Hero,” revived ancient Roman pomp and spectacles. He was also aware of the power of mass media, especially the cinema, “posing before men and moviemen.”

One of the virtues of Seldes’ book are the extensive quotations, which unmask Mussolini and others in their own words. Fascist documents, quoted at length, include “The Fascist Decalogue” (note its VIII. Commandment!) and the “Fascist Catechism,” which must be read to be (dis)believed.

Seldes’ book has become valuable again in the current age of assorted domestic and foreign media- and image-obsessed demagogues, autocrats, and dictators.

Book cover of The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories

Patricia Furstenberg Author Of Dreamland: Banat, Crisana, Maramures, Transylvania, 100-WORD STORIES, Folklore and History

From my list on short stories to make you dream about travelling.

Why am I passionate about this?

My upbringing in refined Bucharest, surrounded by books and Romania's rich folklore, as well as my youth excursions in the idyllic Transylvanian countryside, instilled in me a love for storytelling. Although I have a medical degree, my insatiable curiosity about historical figures' lives, journeys, and the landscapes they encountered has driven me to investigate and write about these enthralling tales. This allowed me to share the wonders of travel through historical and contemporary fiction with a strong historical foundation - and a dog or two. On my blog I share enchanting gems from Romania’s past, while on social media I promote Romania’s history and culture under the hashtag #Im4Ro.

Patricia's book list on short stories to make you dream about travelling

Patricia Furstenberg Why did Patricia love this book?

Even though I may not be able to visit Italy anytime soon, I decided to go there in spirit.

This book was chosen because it contains a diverse range of literary talents from all walks of life in Italy (poets, musicians, teachers, scientists, and even politicians). Each short story was told in a lively Italian voice. This collection spoke to me about everything that is Italy: landscapes, passions, food, and the country's turbulent political life.

After diving into the first pages, I was immediately transported into the narratives, completely forgetting that I was reading a translation. I was captivated by the stories themselves, a testament to their masterful storytelling. This is a fascinating anthology for readers interested in learning more about Italian culture.

By Jhumpa Lahiri (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Rich. . . eclectic. . . a feast' Telegraph

This landmark collection brings together forty writers that reflect over a hundred years of Italy's vibrant and diverse short story tradition, from the birth of the modern nation to the end of the twentieth century.

Poets, journalists, visual artists, musicians, editors, critics, teachers, scientists, politicians, translators: the writers that inhabit these pages represent a dynamic cross section of Italian society, their powerful voices resonating through regional landscapes, private passions and dramatic political events.

This wide-ranging selection curated by Jhumpa Lahiri includes well known authors such as Italo Calvino, Elsa Morante and…


Book cover of Our Italian Summer

Nanette Littlestone Author Of Bella Toscana

From my list on for women on a second chance at love and romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been a huge believer of love and romance and happily ever after. I also know that real life and happily ever after aren’t always easy. It took me 45 years to find my Prince Charming (after kissing a lot of frogs). I love reading stories of hope, courage, and promise and strong women who pursue their dreams. They inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Whether I’m creating women’s fiction, historical novels, fantasy, or romance, my books explore relationships and why people do what they do, and every story focuses on love (what we always strive for) and forgiveness (what we always need). 

Nanette's book list on for women on a second chance at love and romance

Nanette Littlestone Why did Nanette love this book?

The story focuses on three women—Francesca, Allegra, and Sophia, three generations of the Ferrari family. They hope that a trip to Italy, to their roots, will restore their connections. But the ties of family run deep, especially troubled ones. Throughout the story, we see the ugly mistakes and misunderstandings of each of the characters—their dirty underwear on display—and how those mistaken beliefs and patterns have torn the fabric that holds the family together.

The characters are complex, human, flawed, and wonderful. You’ll pray for them, cheer for them, hope for them as they flounder, find their footing, and flounder some more. All in beautiful Italy. The descriptions, the locations, the food—everything is mouthwatering.

I dare you not to fall in love.

By Jennifer Probst,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Three generations of women in the Ferrari family must heal the broken pieces of their lives on a trip of a lifetime through picturesque Italy from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst
 
Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of her life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother's wish that they take one epic summer…


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