100 books like The Atlas of Ancient Rome

By Andrea Carandini,

Here are 100 books that The Atlas of Ancient Rome fans have personally recommended if you like The Atlas of 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 The Roman Retail Revolution: The Socio-Economic World of the Taberna

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

I adore this book because it explains the development of streets lined with shops that we see in Pompeii and identifies this phenomenon as a key development in the Roman empire. Steve shows that shops develop as part of the façade to what were houses of the elite in the second century BCE, but then proliferate in the towns of Italy. Ultimately, he shows how shops also spread to the towns of the provinces. The implications for a fundamental change in urban life were immense. The book is full of archaeological data and painstaking study, which is concisely presented to the reader in an accessible manner.

By Steven J. R. Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Tabernae were ubiquitous in all Roman cities, lining the busiest streets and dominating their most crowded intersections in numbers far exceeding those of any other form of building. That they played a vital role in the operation of the city, and indeed in the very definition of urbanization in ancient Rome, is a point too often under-appreciated in Roman studies, and one which bears fruitful further exploration.

The Roman Retail Revolution offers a thorough investigation into the social and economic worlds of the Roman shop, focusing on food and drink outlets in particular. Combining critical analysis of both archaeological material…


Book cover of The Traffic Systems of Pompeii

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

Pompeii is such a wonderful archaeological site and one that allows archaeologists to develop new ways to investigate how that ancient city functioned. This book, through meticulous study of paving, carts, and curbstones even, prods the surviving pieces from antiquity to create a full understanding of how traffic was enabled and hindered by the inhabitants of Pompeii. Plenty of streets blocked to traffic here and lots of detailed archaeological evidence to get to grips with, but coming through the book to the reader is the passion of the author and his need to discover and reveal new facts about Pompeii to his readers.

By Eric E. Poehler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Traffic Systems of Pompeii is the first sustained examination of the development of road infrastructure in Pompeii-from the archaic age to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE-and its implications for urbanism in the Roman empire. Eric E. Poehler, an authority on Pompeii's uniquely preserved urban structure, distills over five hundred instances of street-level "wear and tear" to reveal for the first time the rules of the ancient road. Through a
thorough, yet lively, investigation of every facet of the infrastructure, from the city's urban grid and the shape of the streets to the treatment of their surfaces…


Book cover of A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

This book has everything in it across 37 chapters: technology, landscapes, material culture, identity, and empire. It is one of the few volumes in this series of Companions and Handbooks from various publishers that takes an explicitly archaeological focus. It includes developments in the city of Rome over time, but broadens out to include Italy and Rome’s empire. The book benefits from drawing on the research of 37 leading experts, who present in concise sections key findings based on archaeological research – often from archaeological projects that they have led in the field.

By Jane DeRose Evans (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Companion to the Archaeology of the Roman Republic offers a diversity of perspectives to explore how differing approaches and methodologies can contribute to a greater understanding of the formation of the Roman Republic. * Brings together the experiences and ideas of archaeologists from around the world, with multiple backgrounds and areas of interest * Offers a vibrant exploration of the ways in which archaeological methods can be used to explore different elements of the Roman Republican period * Demonstrates that the Republic was not formed in a vacuum, but was influenced by non-Latin-speaking cultures from throughout the Mediterranean region…


Book cover of Trade and Taboo: Disreputable Professions in the Roman Mediterranean

Ray Laurence Author Of The Roads of Roman Italy: Mobility and Cultural Change

From my list on the archaeology of Roman Italy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in London and became interested in history from multiple visits to the British Museum and the Museum of London, but it was on an undergraduate trip to Pompeii that I realized that I was capable of explaining archaeological remains. That realization led me back to Pompeii and then Rome, but also to tracking down the archaeology of Roman roads. Writing has become important to me, perhaps, because I’m dyslexic and I’ve had some struggles to write in the past. Yet, as a dyslexic professor, working at Macquarie University (Sydney), I think I can offer students and readers explanations of history that reflect my ongoing passion for studying the past.  

Ray's book list on the archaeology of Roman Italy

Ray Laurence Why did Ray love this book?

Not primarily a book about archaeology, but I’ve included this book because it explores the tricky matter of how we can gain access to the ordinary people of ancient Rome. Some of whom, such as the mint-workers, made the things that archaeologists discover in the 21st century in Italy. The author takes up the challenge of recovering these overlooked professions from funeral workers, through bakers and tanners, to criers who all featured in the ancient cities of Italy. There is a paradox running through the book that although these people were the ancient world’s “essential workers’, they were also stigmatised or taboo.  This paradox explains much about Roman society and its contradictions.

By Sarah E. Bond,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Trade and Taboo investigates the legal, literary, social, and institutionalcreation of disrepute in ancient Roman society. It tracks the shiftingapplication of stigmas of disrepute between the Republic and LateAntiquity by following groups of professionals-funeral workers, criers,tanners, mint workers, and even bakers-and asking how they coped withstigmatization.

The goal of this book is to reveal the construction and motivations forthese attitudes, and to show how they created inequalities, informedinstitutions, and changed over time. Additionally, the volume shows howpolitical and cultural shifts mutated these taboos, reshaping economicmarkets and altering the status of professionals at work within thesemarkets.

Sarah E. Bond investigates legal…


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 To Forestall the Darkness

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 book is set in Italy at the end of the 6th century. It is a vivid account of an engineer who struggles to survive in a largely devastated country and longs to revive the former advanced Roman technology. It depicts a cruel world: old Romans attacked by Lombards, and merciless clashes between Pagans, Arian, and Catholic Christians. Of great interest to me were the personal interactions of both leaders and ordinary people.

Although, for my taste, it included an unnecessary preoccupation with violence and sex, the vivid cultural and factual detail provided me with much background information and food for thought. The characters are well developed and the story exciting.

By Vann Turner,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

AD 589. Italy moans, scarcely breathing. Industry, agriculture and city life have stopped, all of it erased by decades of war and the plague. The Romans are hangdog, defeated, and Titus moves among them.
~
But what can he do under such brutal overlords? An educated man, he publishes books in his scriptorium for sale to the Eastern Empire. He observes what has been lost and laments it.
~
The German King, having given him the responsibility for his Roman subjects, reserves to himself any authority to act. Titus reports abuses, the King takes no action and the people taunt…


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 The Art of Rome

Duane W. Roller Author Of Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

From my list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 50 years studying, teaching, and writing about Roman history, participating in and leading many archaeological expeditions to the Roman world, particularly in Greece, Italy, Turkey, and the Levant. I have written a dozen books on the ancient world, including the best-selling Cleopatra: A Biography. Ancient Rome is both my expertise and passion.

Duane's book list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian

Duane W. Roller Why did Duane love this book?

This is a lavishly illustrated work showing the major pieces of Roman art, an important component of their ideology and self image. It explains how the Romans built on the Greek tradition of art and architecture and created their own artistic world, much of which is still with us today.

By Bernard Andreae,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Text: English, German (translation)


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 A Brief History of the Romans

Duane W. Roller Author Of Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World

From my list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent 50 years studying, teaching, and writing about Roman history, participating in and leading many archaeological expeditions to the Roman world, particularly in Greece, Italy, Turkey, and the Levant. I have written a dozen books on the ancient world, including the best-selling Cleopatra: A Biography. Ancient Rome is both my expertise and passion.

Duane's book list on ancient Rome from an archaeologist and historian

Duane W. Roller Why did Duane love this book?

This is probably the best recent one-volume history of Rome, which covers the entire scope of the Roman world from its beginnings to its collapse. It is nicely illustrated, and gives a solid summary of the Roman environment that is easily understood by non-specialists. It is an exciting story: from a village on the Tiber River to ruling the world, an unexpected process that is well laid out.

By Richard J.A. Talbert, Daniel J. Gargola, Mary T. Boatwright , Noel Lenski

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Brief History of the Romans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did a single village community in the Italian peninsula eventually become one of the most powerful imperial powers the world has ever known? In A Brief History of the Romans, Second Edition, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, Richard J.A. Talbert, and new coauthor Noel Lenski explore this question as they guide students through a comprehensive sweep of Roman history, ranging from the prehistoric settlements to the fall of the empire in 476.
Addressing issues that still confront modern states worldwide--including warfare, empire building, consensus forging, and political fragmentation--the authors also provide glimpses into everyday
Roman life and perspective,…


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