100 books like The Annals of Imperial Rome

By Michael Grant, Tacitus,

Here are 100 books that The Annals of Imperial Rome fans have personally recommended if you like The Annals of Imperial Rome. 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 Cicero and His Friends: A Study of Roman Society in the Time of Caesar

Benita Kane Jaro Author Of The Key: A Passionate Novel About Catullus

From my list on history as personal experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Benita Kane Jaro's novels are admired for their intense focus on the personal experience of historical events, and on the literature in which the participants expressed it. Her novels and translations have been featured in many academic journals, books, and papers, and cited on popular internet sites, Wikipedia, National Public Radio, major American newspapers, and lists of the best novels on Roman history in the US and abroad.

Benita's book list on history as personal experience

Benita Kane Jaro Why did Benita love this book?

Cicero, the statesman who stood in defense of the Roman Republic against Julius Caesar's popular uprising, was himself a fine writer. Assassinated in the civil war, he never had a chance to write a history of his time. For that reason, I have chosen this beautiful, balanced, profoundly humane study by one of France's greatest historians. Cicero's often solitary stand against the man who was once his friend, his stoic acceptance of what the consequences were to be to himself and his family, and on the other side, the heavy personal cost to Caesar himself of his own advance, are all laid out, illuminated by the light of a profound understanding of the human condition, another name for which is "wisdom".

By Gaston Boissier, Adnah David Jones,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This Is A New Release Of The Original 1897 Edition.


Book cover of Parade's End

Reiner Prochaska Author Of Captives

From my list on characters who preserve their humanity in war.

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in postwar Germany, I have always been fascinated by how people survive wars emotionally and retain their humanity. In my extensive research for Captives, I came across an account of a German soldier in North Africa, whose tank had been hit and was engulfed in flames. A human torch, he jumped from the tank, expecting to be killed by British soldiers who were nearby. Instead, they rolled his body in the sand to extinguish the flames and called a medic, saving his life. This act of humanity moved me and inspired me to make the preservation of one’s humanity in war the central theme in my novel.

Reiner's book list on characters who preserve their humanity in war

Reiner Prochaska Why did Reiner love this book?

Parade’s End has been described by Mary Gordon as “the best fictional treatment of war in the history of the novel.” 

What made me truly connect with the story is its protagonist, Christopher Tietjens, who serves in the British Army during the “Great War.”

A member of a prominent, landowning family, Tietjens is driven by a strong sense of duty and commitment to marriage and country—whatever the cost to himself. Although he is in love with Valentine, he remains married to his promiscuous wife, Sylvia, and accepts as his son a child who may not be his.

But Tietjens’ experiences in the trenches on the Western Front eventually teach him that truth and happiness are more important than societal duties.

By Ford Madox Ford,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Parade's End as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ford Madox Ford's great masterpiece exploring love and identity during the First World War, in a Penguin Classics edition with an introduction by Julian Barnes.

A masterly novel of destruction and regeneration, Parade's End follows the story of aristocrat Christopher Tietjens as his world is shattered by the First World War. Tracing the psychological damage inflicted by battle, the collapse of England's secure Edwardian values - embodied in Christopher's wife, the beautiful, cruel socialite Sylvia - and the beginning of a new age, epitomized by the suffragette Valentine Wannop, Parade's End is an elegy for both the war dead and…


Book cover of Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee

Benita Kane Jaro Author Of The Key: A Passionate Novel About Catullus

From my list on history as personal experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Benita Kane Jaro's novels are admired for their intense focus on the personal experience of historical events, and on the literature in which the participants expressed it. Her novels and translations have been featured in many academic journals, books, and papers, and cited on popular internet sites, Wikipedia, National Public Radio, major American newspapers, and lists of the best novels on Roman history in the US and abroad.

Benita's book list on history as personal experience

Benita Kane Jaro Why did Benita love this book?

As the West had its long history of Rome and her influence in Europe, so Asia has an even longer story of the Chinese people and their state. For an introduction and appreciation of this brilliant and complex civilization, I recommend Celebrated Cases Of Judge Dee: Dee Goong-An, by Robert van Gulik, and the same author's series of Chinese detective novels featuring Judge Dee.

The real Judge Di Renjie was a member of the Tang Dynasty civil service in the 7th century, who rose to be a chancellor to the Empress Wu. A legendary figure in Chinese history, he became a popular literary detective - a sort of Sherlock Holmes. Van Gulik, himself a civil servant, was a Dutch scholar who served as an advisor to the Chinese government during WWII. He made this translation of an 18th century Chinese detective novel about Dee, and followed it with about…

By Robert Van Gulik,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long before Western writers had even conceived the idea of writing detective stories, the Chinese had developed a long tradition of literary works that chronicled the cases of important district magistrates. These judges held a unique position. As "fathers to the people" they were at once judge and detective, responsible for all aspects of keeping the peace and for discovering, capturing, and punishing criminals.
One of the most celebrated historical magistrates was Judge Dee, who lived in the seventh century A.D. This book, written in the eighteenth century by a person well versed in the Chinese legal code, chronicles three…


Book cover of The Maze Maker

Benita Kane Jaro Author Of The Key: A Passionate Novel About Catullus

From my list on history as personal experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

Benita Kane Jaro's novels are admired for their intense focus on the personal experience of historical events, and on the literature in which the participants expressed it. Her novels and translations have been featured in many academic journals, books, and papers, and cited on popular internet sites, Wikipedia, National Public Radio, major American newspapers, and lists of the best novels on Roman history in the US and abroad.

Benita's book list on history as personal experience

Benita Kane Jaro Why did Benita love this book?

An amazing book, a completely original book, about a world emerging from the gorgeous dreams of mythology into the light of history. This "autobiography" of the mythological creator of mazes and artifacts, the father of technology, and the first human (with his son Icarus) to fly, Daedalus speaks to us across the millenia in his own voice, through the man uniquely qualified to bring it to us. Michael Ayrton was an English sculptor is the mid 20th century. He studied the techniques of his great predecessor and duplicated for the first time many of his feats, thought to be impossible. This book is a meditation on the themes of creation, innovation, and the dangerous and exalting contact of human beings with the Divine.

By Michael Ayrton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

I address you across more than three thousand years, you who live at the conjunction of the Fish and the Water-carrier, speaks Daedalus, an artisan, inventor, and designer born into an utterly alien family of heroes who value acts of war above all else, a world where his fellow Greeks seem driven only to destroy-an existence he feels compelled to escape. In this fictional autobiography of the father of Icarus, "Apollo's creature," a brilliant but flawed man, writer and sculptor Michael Ayrton harnesses the tales of the past to mold a myth for our times. We learn of Daedalus's increasingly…


Book cover of 69 A.D.: The Year of Four Emperors

Martha Marks Author Of Rubies of the Viper

From my list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD.

Why am I passionate about this?

I made my first visit to Pompeii at age seven. That day, I told my parents that I had been there before. It was all very familiar. And that sense of déjà vu has never left me. I feel it whenever I go back to Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Roman Forum. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but... As an adult, I’ve returned many times to those places and visited others featured in my books: the Etruscan necropolis at Caere, which was already 1,000 years old at the time of my novels; Athens; and the ancient ports of Piraeus in Greece and Itanos in Crete. I earned a Ph.D. at Northwestern University, taught for many years, and enjoyed a million marvelous experiences, but my lifelong love of ancient Rome is the direct result of that long-ago visit to Pompeii with my parents.

Martha's book list on the Roman Empire in 1st Century AD

Martha Marks Why did Martha love this book?

The Civil War of 69 AD — aka “The Year of Four Emperors” — was a complex, pivotal moment in the history of the Roman Empire. Since it took place at a key moment in my trilogy’s timeline, and since so many of my characters were active participants, I had to understand it. Morgan expertly clarifies an interrelated series of historical threads that I needed to follow to make my three-part fictional story both historically accurate and novelistically intriguing.

By Gwyn Morgan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 69 A.D. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Year of Four Emperors, so the ancient sources assure us, was one of the most chaotic, violent and frightening periods in all Roman history: a time of assassinations and civil wars, of armies so out of control that they had no qualms about occupying the city of Rome, and of ambitious men who seized power only to lose it, one after another.
In 69 AD, Gwyn Morgan offers a fresh look at this period, based on two considerations to which insufficient attention has been paid in the past. First, that we need to unravel rather than cherry-pick between the…


Book cover of The Histories

Ahimsa Kerp Author Of Empire of the Undead

From my list on the Roman world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ahimsa Kerp is a peripatetic language mercenary and spec-fic writer who hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but has lived on 5 continents. He is fond of rambling hikes, board games, and tofu tacos. He is the author of several novels, role-playing game books, and the co-founder of Knight Owl Publishing. He earned his Masters in Ancient History from the University of Queensland.

Ahimsa's book list on the Roman world

Ahimsa Kerp Why did Ahimsa love this book?

The year 68 CE is a very important, not to mention interesting, year in Roman History. Because history was written by the upper class, we tend to lose sight that Nero was a populist, a man of the people. Tacitus gives you the scoop here on all the soap opera that unfolds with the end of the Julio-Claudian line. If you think history is boring, you might be surprised at how fast-paced and scandalous these accounts are.

By Tacitus, Kenneth Wellesley (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AD 69, the year following Nero's suicide and marking the end of the first dynasty of imperial Rome, was one of the most dramatic and dangerous in the city's history. In the surviving books of his Histories, the great barrister-historian Tacitus gives a gripping account of the long but single year' that saw the reigns of four emperors: disciplinarian Galba; conspirator and dandy Otho; unambitious hedonist Vitellius; and pragmatic victor Vespasian, who went on to establish the Flavian dynasty. In a narrative that extends from Britain to Egypt and from the Caucasus to Morocco, taking in revolt, conspiracy, battles and…


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

Catharine Edwards Author Of Lives of the Caesars

From my list on Roman emperors behaving badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by the ancient Romans and particularly by the ways they wrote about themselves. A Professor of Ancient History at Birkbeck, University of London since 2005, I regularly take part in BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time, discussing topics such as Roman decadence. Later generations look back on ancient Rome as mired in luxury and sexual misbehaviour—but that’s because the Romans themselves were constantly accusing one another of terrible vices. What can these claims tell us about Roman society? That’s a question that I’ve often returned to in many years of university teaching—and writing books, such as The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome.  

Catharine's book list on Roman emperors behaving badly

Catharine Edwards Why did Catharine love this book?

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.  

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…


Book cover of Nero

Phillip Barlag Author Of Evil Roman Emperors: The Shocking History of Ancient Rome's Most Wicked Rulers from Caligula to Nero and More

From my list on challenge thinking of the Titans of Roman history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never set out to read & write so much about Roman history; it was an accident. I happened to visit Rome when I was young, quite poor and decidedly light on my knowledge of Roman history. Five minutes out of the train station and into the streets and I was hooked for life. I had to know more and started reading. Then I found gaps in the library and started writing. Roman history never stops changing, even thousands of years later. New discoveries, new scholarship, new interpretations, all keep Roman history fresh & exciting. I love sharing what I find. Thank you for joining the adventure.

Phillip's book list on challenge thinking of the Titans of Roman history

Phillip Barlag Why did Phillip love this book?

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. 

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…


Book cover of Roman Britain: A Sourcebook

Ruth Downie Author Of Medicus

From my list on Roman Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

A family visit to Hadrian’s Wall first sparked my interest in Roman Britain, and since then I’ve written eight novels, one novella, and a couple of short stories featuring Roman Army Medic and reluctant sleuth Gaius Petreius Ruso and his British partner, Tilla. I’m the owner of an archaeological trowel and infinite curiosity, both of which I wield as often as possible in search of the “real” Roman Britain. 

Ruth's book list on Roman Britain

Ruth Downie Why did Ruth love this book?

This is the place to go for the written evidence, conveniently gathered together in one slim paperback: all the way from the distant whispers of early Mediterranean travellers to fifth-century Christian writers. Letters, coins, altars, curses, graffiti and gravestones find a place here beside the scrolls of historians for whom “good writing” was not always synonymous with “sticking to the facts”. 

By Stanley Ireland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Roman Britain: A Sourcebook has established itself as the only comprehensive collection of source material on the subject. It incorporates literary, numismatic and epigraphic evidence for the history of Britain under Roman rule, as well as translations of major literary sources.

This new edition includes not only recently discovered material, but also the texts of Caesar's commentaries on his expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC, as well as relevant sections of Tacitus' biography of his father-in-law, former governor of Britain. The inclusion of these pivotal texts, which provide the most detailed account of the Romans campaigns in Britain,…


Book cover of Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories

Philip Matyszak Author Of Hercules: The First Superhero

From my list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans.

Why am I passionate about this?

They say true happiness is finding something you love, and getting paid to do it, which makes me one happy bunny. Ancient history has been my passion, my hobby and my job for the past three decades, and I still wake up every morning looking forward to another day of it. Thanks to the internet I can study the classics and still hike in the mountains and kayak the mountain lakes of my corner of British Columbia. It doesn't get better than this.

Philip's book list on ancient Rome by ancient Romans

Philip Matyszak Why did Philip love this book?

A self-contained description of a war fought in Africa against an ambitious monarch, in which the Roman superpower struggles with an elusive enemy. Roman efforts are badly hampered by corrupt generals and Sallust, writing a generation later makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for the aristocratic establishment which happily pocketed Jugurtha's bribes. A book that reads well and is relevant today. Get the Oxford University Press edition, and get the Catiline conspiracy thrown in for free.

By Sallust,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catiline's War, The Jugurthine War, Histories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sallust (86-c. 35 bc) is the earliest Roman historian of whom complete works survive, a senator of the Roman Republic and younger contemporary of Cicero, Pompey and Julius Caesar. His Catiline's War tells of the conspiracy in 63 bc led by L. Sergius Catilina, who plotted to assassinate numerous senators and take control of the government, but was thwarted by Cicero. Sallust's vivid account of Roman public life shows a Republic in decline, prey to moral corruption and internal strife. In The Jugurthine War he describes Rome's fight in Africa against the king of the Numidians from 111 to 105…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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