The most recommended books on Julius Caesar

Who picked these books? Meet our 42 experts.

42 authors created a book list connected to Julius Caesar, and here are their favorite Julius Caesar books.
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Book cover of The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street

Lesléa Newman Author Of Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed

From my list on the loving bond between people and cats.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved cats and have lived with many: Princess Sheba Darling, Precious Sammy Dearest, Couscous Kerouac, P.C. (Perfect Cat), Neshama, and Mitzi. Each cat has a distinct personality and quickly taught me how things were going to go: some cats are lap cats, some are not. Some cats are finicky, some cats will eat anything. Some cats slept on my pillow, some cats prowled—and yowled—all night long. In addition to cats, I have always loved picture books and have written many about cats including: Cats, Cats, Cats! Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale With A Tail, A-B-C Cats, 1-2-3 Cats, and The Best Cat In The World.

Lesléa's book list on the loving bond between people and cats

Lesléa Newman Why did Lesléa love this book?

I love that this book features a character who is grumpy and (at first) doesn’t like cats! Mr. Modiano thinks cats are a nuisance, but when a neighbor’s cat, Ketzie goes missing, guess who searches for her and brings her home? And guess who then adopts a cat of his own? And finally, shares a cup of tea with his neighbor who has been trying for a long time to befriend him? Many people are not fond of cats until one special feline sneaks into their heart. I love that this book shows a character’s concern for his neighbor inspires him to open his heart. And the illustrations are adorable!

By Ann Redisch Stampler, Francesca Carabelli (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, 5, and 6.

What is this book about?

There are lots of cats on Ben Yehuda Street, but it is the friendship between a little grey cat with a pink collar and a fluffy white stray cat that brings two lonely neighbors together.


Book cover of Asterix and Cleopatra

Diaa Anwar Author Of The Sculptor and the Sacred River

From my list on comics with historical background.

Why am I passionate about this?

In Egypt, we did not have our own Arab comics, but different worlds came to us from translated comics, American (Disney and superheroes), and French comics. I did not like superhero comics, I loved Disney comics and French comics, and n addition to my passion for reading history, some French series combine this, such as the Alix series. I would have loved to have a historical background to the events that prompted me to read more about them and get to know the real characters, how they lived, and how they ended.

Diaa's book list on comics with historical background

Diaa Anwar Why did Diaa love this book?

This book is from the Asterix series and in general when you read Goscinny's books, you will not regret it, as it will inspire you with many ideas.

He was able to create humor from humans, animals, inanimate objects, and all elements of the story.

As for this book, I chose it because of the events taking place in Egypt, also because of the coherent plot, fast-flowing events, sense of humor, and new ideas. As usual in this type of book, there are some historical facts, but the general structure of the story is fictional.

The historical facts here are Queen Cleopatra VII, Julius Caesar, and the relationship between them, while the rest of the events are fictional and comic.

By René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The latest action-packed adventure from our indomitable Gauls, Asterix and the Griffin, is out now!

How can lovely Queen Cleopatra show Julius Caesar that ancient Egypt is still a great nation? Her architect Edifis recruits his Gaulish friends to help him build a magnificent palace within three months. There are villainous saboteurs to be outwitted, but Asterix, Obelix and Getafix still find time to go sight-seeing - and leave their mark on the pyramids and the Sphinx's nose.


Book cover of Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us about Our Past and Future

Robert W. Stock Author Of Me and The Times: My wild ride from elevator operator to New York Times editor, columnist, and change agent (1967-97)

From Robert's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Journalist Punster Family-phile Ex-jock Friend

Robert's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Robert W. Stock Why did Robert love this book?

I bought Shakespeare in a Divided America in the misguided belief that the author was the son of an old friend and colleague. The other attraction was Shakespeare himself: My mother was a high school English teacher, and the words of the Bard were a lingua franca at our dinner table. The book did not disappoint! 

In a series of chapters that carry the reader from the 1830s to the 2020s, Shapiro shows how Shakespeare’s plays have been entwined with the politics and culture of the nation on subjects ranging from race to manifest destiny, from immigration to same sex love.

The author is a professor of English at Columbia University who has written award-winning books about Shakespeare. What he offers here is an exciting intellectual journey. Drawing from original sources, he connects the dots to show how Othello was used by John Quincy Adams to support his opposition to…

By James Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Shakespeare in a Divided America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year * A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist * A New York Times Notable Book

A timely exploration of what Shakespeare's plays reveal about our divided land.

"In this sprightly and enthralling book . . . Shapiro amply demonstrates [that] for Americans the politics of Shakespeare are not confined to the public realm, but have enormous relevance in the sphere of private life." -The Guardian (London)

The plays of William Shakespeare are rare common ground in the United States. For well over two centuries, Americans of all stripes-presidents…


Book cover of Augustus

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 enthralling evocation of the long life of Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, uses fictional letters and other invented documents to tell his story, from the point when, as a teenager, he found himself the heir of the assassinated dictator Julius Caesar, to his final days as sole ruler of a vast empire. Emerging as victor from a protracted civil war, Augustus managed to impose a degree of stability across the Roman world, though at a cost. Could the bloodthirsty youth have really turned into the modest statesman? His contemporaries found him hard to read. Williams charts with subtlety and insight the phases in Augustus’ self-reinvention, shining a particular spotlight on his fraught relationship with Julia, his daughter, whom he found himself obliged to send into exile, as a conspicuous offender against his flagship legislation on adultery.

By John Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By the author of Stoner, the surprise international bestseller

After the brutal murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, Octavian, a shy and scholarly youth of nineteen, suddenly finds himself heir to the vast power of Rome. He is destined, despite vicious power struggles, bloody wars and family strife, to transform his realm and become the greatest ruler the western world had ever seen: Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor.

Building on impeccable research, John Williams brings the legendary figure of Augustus vividly to life, and invests his characters with such profound humanity that we enter completely into the heat and…


Book cover of Caesar's Women

Cass Morris Author Of From Unseen Fire

From my list on ancient Roman society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and educator working in central Virginia, and I’ve been in love with the ancient world since my first Latin class back in the seventh grade. I’ve always been interested in social history more than just the chronology of battles and the deeds of famous men, so my research looks for sources that can illuminate daily life and the viewpoints of marginalized populations. I hold a BA in English and History from the College of William and Mary and an MLitt from Mary Baldwin University.

Cass' book list on ancient Roman society

Cass Morris Why did Cass love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

David M. Gwynn Author Of The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction

From my list on the fall of the Roman Republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in New Zealand I got hooked on history as a child and began university life as an ancient and medieval double major studying everything from the classical Greeks and Romans to Charlemagne and the Crusades. By the time I came to Oxford to write my PhD, I had decided that my greatest interest lay in the dramatic transformation which saw classical antiquity evolve into medieval Christendom. I've been fortunate enough to write and teach many different aspects of that transformation, from the Roman Republic to early Christianity and the Goths, and I'm currently Associate Professor in Ancient and Late Antique History at Royal Holloway, in the University of London. 

David's book list on the fall of the Roman Republic

David M. Gwynn Why did David love this book?

Named for the river that Julius Caesar crossed when he invaded Italy and began the civil war which brought the Roman Republic to its knees, this book offers a sweeping account of the Republic’s fall and has been rightly described as narrative history at its best. All the major characters are vividly presented, from Marius and Sulla to Pompey, Cicero and Caesar, in prose that manages to remain readable and fast-paced while spanning almost 400 pages. Tragedy is arguably more apparent than triumph, understandably in a book devoted to the collapse of the Republican order. But the glory of the Republic does also shine through, and the story is told on a larger scale than my book would have allowed.

By Tom Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama. This was the century of Julius Caesar, the gambler whose addiction to glory led him to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of freedom would make him a byword for eloquence; of Spartacus,…


Book cover of American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964

James N. Butcher Author Of Korea: Traces of a Forgotten War

From my list on the Korean War from someone who served there.

Why am I passionate about this?

James Neal Butcher is a professor emeritus of the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota. At age 17, he enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. He served 2 years in a parachute infantry division (82nd Airborne). He volunteered for service in the Korean War and served one year as an infantry soldier in the 17th Infantry Regiment during the war including the battles for Jane Russell Hill in October 1952 and Pork Chop Hill in April 1953. In 2013 he published a memoir of his early life and his military experience Korea: Traces of a forgotten war. 

James' book list on the Korean War from someone who served there

James N. Butcher Why did James love this book?

Manchester’s biography of Douglas MacArthur provides a sympathetic but generally evenhanded characterization of MacArthur’s personality and life contributions.  He provides a detailed background of MacArthur’s military history and his capability of managing complex administrative duties in a complex world.  He acknowledged MacArthur’s skill and bravery in challenging circumstances.  In balance of his descriptions of MacArthur, he also noted complex circumstances in which he was difficult to deal with and sometimes suspicious and mistrustful of others. In his characterization of MacArthur as “Julius Caesar” he characterized MacArthur as having great intellect, brilliant strategic generalship, and political ambition as well as compassion. 

By William Manchester,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Inspiring, outrageous...A thundering paradox of a man. Douglas MacArthur, one of only five men in history to have achieved the rank of General of the United States Army. He served in World Wars I, II, and the Korean War, and is famous for stating that "in war, there is no substitute for victory." AMERICAN CAESAR exaines the exemplary army career, the stunning successes (and lapses) on the battlefield, and the turbulent private life of the soldier-hero whose mystery and appeal created a uniquely American legend.


Book cover of Augustus

Christopher Harris Author Of Mappamundi

From my list on getting right inside the minds of historical people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of the Byzantine Trilogy (in 4 parts). These books depict the difficult beginning, decadent apogee, and sad end of the Byzantine empire. I think it is important to make historical fiction vivid, to immerse the reader in a distant time and place, with all its sights, smells, sounds, and tastes, as experienced by someone who was really there. I am also interested in what people believed, and why. For that reason, my historical novels are all first-person narratives, stories told by the people who lived through them. Here are some of the fictional memoirs that inspired me to start writing.

Christopher's book list on getting right inside the minds of historical people

Christopher Harris Why did Christopher love this book?

Boldly venturing into territory already claimed by Robert Graves, Allan Massie gives us the life of Augustus, the first Roman emperor. Full of authentic detail, both witty and serious, bawdy and censorious, this book makes ancient Rome thoroughly believable to modern readers. Augustus vividly describes his ruthless rise to power following the assassination of Julius Caesar, and reflects on his life and achievements, justifying his schemes, deceptions and crimes. Would we have done the same in his place? Maybe, if civilization depended on it.

I particularly like the two Prefaces, in which author, citing fake scholars and non-existent institutions, persuades us that this work of fiction has been translated from an ancient manuscript found in a monastery. I have used the same trick myself.

By Allan Massie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire, adopted son of Julius Caesar, friend and later foe of Mark Antony, patron of Horace and Virgil. Frank and forceful, this putative autobiography tells his story from the assassination of Caesar, through his military, political and personal struggles to his final days as Emperor in everything but name.


Book cover of Caesar: Life of a Colossus

Andreas Kluth Author Of Hannibal and Me: What History's Greatest Military Strategist Can Teach Us About Success and Failure

From my list on biographies to help make sense of your own life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always loved well-told stories of people who came before us, because I’ve always assumed that their lives offer us lessons. Subtle ones, perhaps, but important ones. That’s how, many years ago, I came across the Parallel Lives of Plutarch, who’s been called history’s first biographer. Eventually, I decided to have my own stab at interpreting the biographies of historical figures, and to weave history, philosophy, and psychology into (hopefully) gripping stories. As a journalist and a dual citizen of the US and Germany who’s also lived in the UK and Asia, I naturally looked all over the world for the right characters. And I still do.

Andreas' book list on biographies to help make sense of your own life

Andreas Kluth Why did Andreas love this book?

The life of Julius Caesar, as brought to life by Goldsworthy, remains one of the most fascinating tales of ups and downs, boldness and overreach, war, statecraft, and propaganda (yes, he mastered that too). And adventure. Even if you think you know him, you probably don’t. What, for example, did he do after he was kidnapped at age 25 by pirates? Let’s just say you don’t want to be the pirates. But ultimately you don’t want to be Caesar either. Not least, you want to be careful with wannabe Caesers today, because he was also the most effective populist in history.

By Adrian Goldsworthy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The story of one of the most brilliant, flamboyant and historically important men who ever lived.

'A superb achievement' LITERARY REVIEW

'Combines scholarship with storytelling to bring the ancient world to life: in his masterly new CAESAR he shows us the greatest Roman as man, statesman, soldier and lover' Simon Sebag Montefiore

'Magnificent' DAILY TELEGRAPH

From the very beginning, Caesar's story makes dazzling reading. In his late teens he narrowly avoided execution for opposing the military dictator Sulla. He was decorated for valour in battle, captured and held to ransom by pirates, and almost bankrupted himself by staging games for…


Book cover of Take Her Down

Emily J. Edwards Author Of Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man

From my list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of course, every mystery needs a perfect crime, but what about the perfect setting? I’m fascinated by how authors manipulate time and place to add to the heightened emotions of their murders, thefts, blackmail, and frauds. It’s the juxtaposition of truth and fantasy—what we believe times were like and how they actually were—that makes setting such an essential detail of every whodunnit. Doing research on my own novel, I wrenched apart the facts and fictions of Post-War America, and grew even more ravenous for mysteries that leveraged their settings for the utmost entertainment. 

Emily's book list on mysteries set in the perfect time and place

Emily J. Edwards Why did Emily love this book?

Not a traditional Whodunnit, this queer, YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar leaves the reader wondering what happened to class alpha-lesbian, Jude Cuthbert, when she goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Set just after the 2016 election, this brilliant satire pulls apart the thoughts of each conspirator – Brutus becomes Bronwyn; Cassius, Cass; and Portia is gender-flipped to Bronwyn’s boyfriend, Porter – as well as Jude/Julius’s own perspective on her fall from power.

By Lauren Emily Whalen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this queer YA retelling of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,stakes at Augustus Magnet School are cutthroat, scheming is creative, and loyalty is ever-changing.

Overnight, Bronwyn St. James goes from junior class queen to daughter of an imprisoned felon, and she lands in the care of her aunt and younger cousin Cass, a competitive cheerleader who Bronwyn barely knows. Life gets worse when her ex-best friend, the always-cool Jude Cuthbert, ostracizes Bronwyn from the queer social elite for dating a boy, Porter Kendrick.

Bronwyn and Jude are both running for student body president, and that means war. But after Bronwyn, Porter, and…