10 books like The Life Of Crassus (Plutarch's Lives)

By Plutarch,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Life Of Crassus (Plutarch's Lives). Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The King Must Die

By Mary Renault,

Book cover of The King Must Die

The challenge of writing historical fiction set in the distant past is bridging the vast gap between our modern understanding of the world and that of our distant forebears, since even our most basic assumptions and values undergo enormous changes over time. Those who love Renault’s works about classical antiquity relish the ability of her novels to truly carry us into another world, to make it felt and intelligible. This novel follows the fortunes of the mythic hero Theseus, from his origins in Troizen to his departure for Athens to find his father, his achievement of the kingship of Eleusis, his voluntary enslavement in Crete as a bull-dancer, an acrobat who vaults over living animals for spectacle, his confrontation with the minotaur and his eventual return home, older and more baffled by existence. It gives dimension to the mythic hero, a complexity that is at once familiar and profoundly, unsettlingly…

The King Must Die

By Mary Renault,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The King Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Theseus is the grandson of the King of Troizen, but his paternity is shrouded in mystery - can he really be the son of the god Poseidon? When he discovers his father's sword beneath a rock, his mother must reveal his true identity: Theseus is the son of Aegeus, King of Athens, and is his only heir. So begins Theseus's perilous journey to his father's palace to claim his birth right, escaping bandits and ritual king sacrifice in Eleusis, to slaying the Minotaur in Crete. Renault reimagines the Theseus myth, creating an original, exciting story.


Caesar's Women

By Colleen McCullough,

Book cover of Caesar's Women

This is my favorite of McCullough’s Masters of Rome series. Though fictional, they are impeccably researched, rendering the collapse of the Republic in truly astonishing detail. McCullough manages to render the twists and turns of Roman politics in a way that a reader can not only follow them, but understand why they mattered so much. You’ll feel as though you are right there in the Forum or the dining-room with Caesar, Antony, Pompey, Servilia, Fulvia, and the rest. McCullough’s vivid prose drives home that these were real people, living real lives, with the same petty concerns and daily frustrations as all of us, even when they were also shaping the fates of nations.

Caesar's Women

By Colleen McCullough,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of "Thornbirds", this is the fourth in the "Masters of Rome" series and centres around Caesar in his ascension. The Republic of Rome is as much a place of women as it is of men, and no one knows Rome's women quite as Caesar does.


The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy

By George Rawlinson,

Book cover of The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy: Or, the Geography, History, & Antiquities of Parthia

Although this book was first published in 1873, it remains one of the foundations of research on the Parthian Empire. Why do I include it among these more modern works? Here’s an excerpt:

"Of the thirty sons who still remained to Orodes, king of Parthia, [he] selected as his successor Phraates, the eldest of the thirty. Orodes proceeded further to abdicate in his favour, whereupon Phraates became king. Phraates, jealous of some of his brothers, removed them by assassination, and when the ex-monarch ventured to express disapproval, added the crime of parricide to fratricide by putting to death his aged father."

The book is full of astounding little gems like this. That’s why. It is a fascinating exploration of one of the great, but few understood empires of the ancient world.

The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy

By George Rawlinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Defeat of Rome in the East

By Gareth C. Sampson,

Book cover of Defeat of Rome in the East: Crassus, the Parthians, and the Disastrous Battle of Carrhae, 53 BC

Rome suffered many military reverses during the course of its 800-year history, but of them all the reverse at Carrhae in 53BC was more keenly felt than any other (even the disaster in the Teutoburg Forest resulted in the loss of only three eagles). The loss of seven eagles to the barbarian Parthians stunned the Roman world and led to a crisis of confidence, made worse by the realisation that an army of 50,000 Romans had been defeated by 10,000 Parthians. This excellent title explores the background to the battle and how the numerically inferior Parthians were able to defeat the army of Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Defeat of Rome in the East

By Gareth C. Sampson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Defeat of Rome in the East as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 53BC the Proconsul Marcus Crassus and 36,000 of his legionaries were crushed by the Parthians at Carrhae in what is now eastern Turkey. Crassus' defeat and death and the 20,000 casualties his army suffered were an extraordinary disaster for Rome. The event intensified the bitter, destructive struggle for power in the Roman republic, curtailed the empire's eastward expansion and had a lasting impact on the history of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It was also the first clash between two of the greatest civilizations of the ancient world. Yet this critical episode has often been neglected by writers…


The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200

By Adrian Goldsworthy,

Book cover of The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200

Adrian Keith Goldsworthy could be said to be the gold standard in histories of the Roman Empire in English. He has written several books about ancient commanders and campaigns. This thought-provoking book about the Roman Army was his PhD thesis at Oxford University. 

As a writer on Roman military matters myself, I have frequently referred to Goldsworthy’s study. Inspired by John Keegan's revisionist landmark book Face of Battle, Goldsworthy draws upon Classical sources covering 300 years—Julius Caesar, Tacitus, Polybius, Plutarch, Flavius Josephusto present his interpretation of how the Roman army actually “waged war”. The extensive footnotes point to other writers and evidence for further personal study.

The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200

By Adrian Goldsworthy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This detailed examination of the way in which the Roman army operated during a war and how it fought a battle breaks away from existing studies, which mostly concentrate on the army in peacetime, and attempts to understand the army as an institution whose ultimate purpose was to wage war. Adrian Goldsworthy explores the influence to the Roman army's organization on its behaviour during a campaign, emphasizing its great flexibility in comparison to most of its
opponents. He considers the factors determining the result of a conflict and proposes, contrary to orthodox opinion, that the Roman army was able to…


Roman Lives

By Plutarch, Robin Waterfield (translator),

Book cover of Roman Lives: A Selection of Eight Roman Lives

Though Plutarch is not our only source for the political and military anecdotes detailing Roman aristocrats, their achievements, and their foibles, good translations of his biographies provide some of the most accessible and enjoyable reading for those who want to get a little closer to the source material. Waterfield’s translation is contemporary and excellent. The selection of Plutarch’s biographies in this volume span the sweep of the Middle and Late Republic, Cato the elder to Caesar. And he narrates with his usual style including all manner of interesting oddities and side comments about Roman society to spice the details up. An outstanding choice for learning more about the ancient historical record in a very readable set of biographies.

Roman Lives

By Plutarch, Robin Waterfield (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Marcus Cato Sulla Aemilius Paullus Pompey The Gracchi Marius Julius Caesar Anthony 'I treat the narrative of the Lives as a kind of mirror...The experience is like nothing so much as spending time in their company and living with them: I receive and welcome each of them in turn as my guest.' In the eight lives of this collection Plutarch introduces the reader to the major figures and periods of classical Rome. He portrays virtues to be emulated and vices to be avoided, but his purpose is also implicitly to educate and warn those in his own day who wielded…


69 A.D.

By Gwyn Morgan,

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

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.

69 A.D.

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…


The Complete Poems of Sappho

By Willis Barnstone (translator),

Book cover of The Complete Poems of Sappho

Sappho was an Archaic Greek poet from the island of Lesbos. Best known for her lyric poetry, which was initially written to be sung while accompanied by a lyre. In ancient times, Sappho was widely regarded as one of the greatest poets and referred to as the "Tenth Muse" and "The Poetess". She also was among the canon of Nine Lyric Poets most highly esteemed by scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria.

Though most of her work has been lost, there are still new discoveries being found, giving us an incredible taste of her feelings, tenderness, simplicity, and her interpretation of life as we resonate with it presently, in this day and age. Way ahead of their time, her poems through their versatility give us a sense of her transcendental and emotional views on love in an unassuming yet impactful way. An artist whose themes extend beyond romance and myth, delving into…

The Complete Poems of Sappho

By Willis Barnstone (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A vivid, contemporary translation of the greatest Greek love poet—with a wealth of materials for understanding her work—by a prize-winning poet and translator
 
Sappho’s thrilling lyric verse has been unremittingly popular for more than 2,600 years—certainly a record for poetry of any kind—and love for her art only increases as time goes on. Though her extant work consists only of a collection of fragments and a handful of complete poems, her mystique endures to be discovered anew by each generation, and to inspire new efforts at bringing the spirit of her Greek words faithfully into English.

In the past, translators…


Moral Letters to Lucilius

By Seneca,

Book cover of Moral Letters to Lucilius

Seneca lived through the reigns of all five Julio-Claudian emperors. His writings represent the most important body of primary material for ancient Stoicism. He wrote the Letters to Lucilius in his final years, intending them as his immortal legacy, prior to committing suicide on the order of Nero. The letters are an excellent entry point to Seneca, Stoicism, and philosophy in general. They collectively amount to a course in moral development and become longer and more technical as Lucilius appears to be making philosophical progress. Michel de Montaigne, the “French Seneca”, modelled his Essays upon the Letters, writing in one of them, “I have not devoted myself to any serious work except perhaps Plutarch and Seneca: but upon them, I draw as do the Danaids...”

Moral Letters to Lucilius

By Seneca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moral Letters to Lucilius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Moral Letters to Lucilius is a collection of 124 letters which were written by Seneca the Younger at the end of his life, during his retirement, and written after he had worked for the Emperor Nero for more than ten years. They are addressed to Lucilius, the then procurator of Sicily, although he is known only through Seneca's writings. Regardless of how Seneca and Lucilius actually corresponded, it is clear that Seneca crafted the letters with a broad readership in mind. The letters often begin with an observation on daily life before proceeding to an issue or principle that…


Stoicism

By John Sellars,

Book cover of Stoicism

I don’t think it’s possible to practice Stoicism well without a solid understanding of what Stoicism is. It’s not a set of life hacks, but a life philosophy. This book provides a rigorous but very readable historical introduction to Stoicism as a coherent art of living by covering the three classical philosophical topics of ancient Stoicism—logic, physics, and ethics. It also provides a great historical overview, suggestions for further reading, and a handy glossary of key Stoic technical terms. If you’re looking for a single book covering the basics of ancient Stoicism, this is a great place to start.

Stoicism

By John Sellars,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is the first introduction to Stoic philosophy for 30 years. Aimed at readers new to Stoicism and to ancient philosophy, it outlines the central philosophical ideas of Stoicism and introduces the reader to the different ancient authors and sources that they will encounter when exploring Stoicism. The range of sources that are drawn upon in the reconstruction of Stoic philosophy can be bewildering for the beginner. Sellars guides the reader through the surviving works of the late Stoic authors, Seneca and Epictetus, and the fragments relating to the early Stoics found in authors such as Plutarch and Stobaeus. The…


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