10 books like Renan's Antichrist

By Joseph-Ernest Renan, William G. Hutchison,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Renan's Antichrist. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Nero

By Edward Champlin,

Book cover of Nero

Was Nero really such a monster? The New York Times and the British Museum are among the venerable institutions attempting to answer this question. It’s part of a broad trend to rethink the life and rule of one of history’s most famous villains. I’d like to think that this book helped start this historical reframing. Nero was not without his virtues. But he most definitely had vices in abundance. The question is not whether he was good or bad; rather, how did those two dimensions interact? Champlain does a great job of looking at Nero with a measure of objectivity and helping readers see things a bit differently. 

Nero

By Edward Champlin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Roman emperor Nero is remembered by history as the vain and immoral monster who fiddled while Rome burned. Edward Champlin reinterprets Nero's enormities on their own terms, as the self-conscious performances of an imperial actor with a formidable grasp of Roman history and mythology and a canny sense of his audience.

Nero murdered his younger brother and rival to the throne, probably at his mother's prompting. He then murdered his mother, with whom he may have slept. He killed his pregnant wife in a fit of rage, then castrated and married a young freedman because he resembled her. He…


Classical Scientific Astrology

By George C. Noonan,

Book cover of Classical Scientific Astrology

Early on in my research on Neronian astrology I had the good fortune to discover this book and visit its author, a real live astrologer. When he showed me the chart he had done for me I felt a  shiver of excitement, convinced that I was the first person to pay an astrologer to cast Nero’s horoscope in 2,000 years. Dr. Noonan’s book is an excellent introduction to astrology as it was practiced in the ancient world. 

Classical Scientific Astrology

By George C. Noonan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Classical Scientific Astrology focuses on the astrology of the Classicists, including Ptolemy and Al-Biruni, and its everyday use in determining the future of individuals, the national economy, the outcome of business and military ventures, the quality of national leadership and more. Included are: Historical persepctive of astrology from its earliest beginnings The houses and branches of astrology The signs, including their nature, and body parts, diseases, flora, fauna and places indicated by the signs; degrees of the signs and decanates The planets, including their nature, rulershp, terms, face and sect The aspects, including their power, applying and separating, orientality and…


Nero

By Richard Holland,

Book cover of Nero: The Man Behind the Myth

Written by a veteran London Times journalist this exciting book reads like a fast paced thriller. What I found most interesting is his detailed description of Nero’s most notorious action, the murder of his mother. He writes “It is in the realm of abnormal psychology that an explanation may lie.” He is clearly unaware that what best explains the spooky full moon melodrama played out on a cosmic stage was the blind faith both Nero and his mother had in astrology (see Nero's astrology chart here). 

Nero

By Richard Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richard Holland's biography looks at Nero from a different perspective and encourages readers to see the man rather than the monster.


Nero

By Michael Grant,

Book cover of Nero: Emperor In Revolt

A magisterial, affectionate portrait of Nero and his times, this book is full of delightful touches of humor. Grant writes that although Nero enjoyed giving feasts, “we are not told if he was amused by the famous contemporary glutton Arpocras, who ate four tablecloths at a time, and broken glass as well.”

Nero

By Michael Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Bound in the publisher's original cloth covered boards, spine and cover stamped in gilt. Dust jacket rubbed at the edges, small closed tears at the extremities.


The Annals

By Tacitus, Anthony A. Barrett, J. C. Yardley (translator)

Book cover of The Annals: The Reigns of Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero

This darkly magnificent account of Roman history under the emperors from the time of Tiberius to that of Nero (with some retrospective swipes at Tiberius’ predecessor Augustus) is an ironic masterpiece written by a Roman senator in the early second century CE. Tacitus offers an unflinching analysis of the effects of an autocratic system on the behaviour of rulers—and the ruled. While a handful of individuals dare to speak truth to power, most people, in his account, are caught in the toils of second-guessing how the emperor might want them to behave and what he might want them to say. Tacitus’ hugely influential analysis of what power does to peopleand his breath-taking prosemake this a riveting read.  

The Annals

By Tacitus, Anthony A. Barrett, J. C. Yardley (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'He was atrocious in his brutality, but his lechery was kept hidden... In the end, he erupted into an orgy of crime and ignominy alike'

Such is Tacitus' obituary of Tiberius, and he is no less caustic in his opinion of the weak and cuckolded Claudius and the 'artist' Nero. The Annals is a gripping account of the Roman emperors who followed Augustus, the founder of the imperial system, and of the murders, sycophancy, plotting, and oppression that marked this period in Rome. Tacitus provides the earliest and most detailed account of Boudicca's rebellion in Britain, and his history also…


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

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


The Satyricon

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

Book cover of The Satyricon

Who knew that the emperor Nero appointed an Advisor on Tastefulness, who also penned a bawdy and gritty novel about the adventures of several friends in the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD? Fairly few, and the even more surprising fact is that hundreds of pages of his text survive today. You can still read either in Latin or in English translation about two young men proposing to fight for the affections of the youth Giton and you can join them all in a visit to an archetypal Roman brothel. There is nothing else remaining that provides a more direct and authentic insight into daily experiences and relationships in ancient Rome.

The Satyricon

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

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

`The language is refined, the smile not grave,
My honest tongue recounts how men behave.'

The Satyricon is the most celebrated work of fiction to have survived from the ancient world. It can be described as the first realistic novel, the father of the picaresque genre, and recounts the sleazy progress of a pair of literature scholars as they wander through the cities of the southern Mediterranean. En route they encounter type-figures the author wickedly satirizes - a teacher in higher education, a libidinous priest, a vulgar freedman turned millionaire, a manic
poet, a superstitious sea-captain and a femme fatale.…


In the Best Families

By Rex Stout,

Book cover of In the Best Families

In spite of weighing in at one-sixth of a ton and never willingly leaving his home, Nero Wolfe disappears completely, arranges employment for his personal chef Fritz Brenner, and leaves man-Friday Archie Goodwin to shift for himself.

This mano-a-mano contest between crime boss Arnold Zeck and the reclusive Wolfe stands out from Stout’s 50-some-odd cases in that it becomes a duel between evil and vengeful. Law and order are non-players, and the ending fully satisfies the reader. Rex Stout ranks with the best and his protagonist amongst the most rude, lazy, and brilliant.

In the Best Families

By Rex Stout,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The aging millionairess has a problem: where is her young playboy husband getting all his money? To help find the answer, Archie infiltrates a party at her palatial estate. But her late-night murder ruins the festive mood . . . and a letter bomb from a powerful crime boss makes Nero Wolfe do the unthinkable—run for his life. Suddenly Archie finds himself on his own, trying to find a killer without the help of his old mentor. For to all appearances, Wolfe has vanished. The career of the world’s most famous detective has ended in cowardice and disgrace . .…


From the Gracchi to Nero

By H.H. Scullard,

Book cover of From the Gracchi to Nero

This is a focused survey of the most fascinating period in Rome's history, when the ancient Republic evolved into an empire: the era of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and the emperors Augustus, Nero, and others. During this period Rome's expansion meant major internal changes and a century of instability, and I know of no better book that explains why and how this happened.

From the Gracchi to Nero

By H.H. Scullard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From the Gracchi to Nero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Gracchi to Nero is an outstanding history of the Roman world from 133 BC to 68 AD. Fifty years since publication it is widely hailed as the classic survey of the period, going through many revised and updated editions until H.H. Scullard's death. It explores the decline and fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Pax Romana under the early Principate. In superbly clear style, Scullard brings vividly to life the Gracchi's attempts at reform, the rise and fall of Marius and Sulla, Pompey and Caesar, society and culture in the late Roman Republic, the…


Ancient Rome

By Dorling Kindersley, Simon James,

Book cover of Ancient Rome

Found in the children’s section, I depend Eyewitness Books. I’ve collected a number of them and find them extremely useful for quick reference. Loaded with photographs and snippets of well researched information, they are enjoyable for readers of all ages. Topics in this book include: Family life, the bloody arena, a trip to the baths, worship and sacrifice, a dinner party, and much more. Ancient Rome is brought to life.

Ancient Rome

By Dorling Kindersley, Simon James,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Roman emperors and gods and goddesses to soldiers and gladiators, step into the exciting world of ancient Rome.

Who were Rome's most famous emperors? What was everyday life like for a soldier in the Roman army? How did the citizens of ancient Rome live? Did gladiators really fight to the death in the mighty Colosseum? Find out the answers to all these questions, and many more, in Eyewitness: Ancient Rome.

Photographs of real artifacts and detailed illustrations will help you to learn all about the time of ancient Rome, from a small city-state ruled by kings to one of…


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