Fiction set in ancient Rome

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There is a large body of modern fiction set in ancient Rome. The following titles listed include only those that are substantially (more than half) or entirely set in the city of Rome during any period up to the Byzantine empire. It does not include works set partially in Rome, nor does it include all works set in the Roman Republic or the Roman Empire. For works set in the Roman empire but not in the city of Rome, please see Fiction set in the Roman empire for a list of all works set in the ancient Roman world.

Titles include:

Historical novels listed in chronological order[edit]

Rome as a Kingdom[edit]

If you know of works set in the pre-Republican era, please expand this section.

  • Roma (2007) by Steven Saylor. According to the author's website, the book covers part of Rome's early history.[1]
  • The Seven Kings of Rome series: The Arms of Quirinus (2005), The Scent of Hyacinth (2005), The Warrior's Dance (2008) by Sherrie Seibert Goff

Early Republic (before 264 BC)[edit]

If you know of works set in the Early Republic, please expand this section.

Middle Republic (264 BC - 133 BC)[edit]

If you know of works set in the Middle Republic, please expand this section.

  1. Africanus, el hijo del cónsul
  2. Las legiones malditas
  3. La traición de Roma
  • Of Merchants & Heroes, published 2008 by Paul Waters. Set at the end of the 3rd century BC, about the life of a fictional Roman called Marcus. In the novel Marcus becomes involved in the war against Philip V of Macedon, which was led by Titus Quinctius Flamininus, who later became Consul and is a major character in the story.
  • "The Shield of Rome", published 2011 by William Kelso. 216 BC. The novel is set during "Rome's finest hour" after the battle of Cannae when Hannibal threatens the very existence of the Republic.
  • "The Fortune of Carthage", published 2012 by William Kelso. 207 BC. The novel is set during the 2nd Punic War and covers Hasdrubal Barca's attempt to link up with the Carthaginian army of his brother Hannibal.

Late Republic (after 132 BC)[edit]

  • Masters of Rome series (1990-2007), by Colleen McCullough, ancient Rome from 110 BCE to 27 BCE
  • The Bow of Heaven (2011) by Andrew Levkoff, a novel of events leading up to the battle of Carrhae, and the triumvir responsible for one of the greatest defeats suffered by Republican Rome, Marcus Licinius Crassus
  • Young Caesar (1958) by Rex Warner
  • Imperium and Lustrum (novel) by Robert Harris, the first two volumes of a trilogy of fictionalized biography told by his slave, later freedman, Tiro depicting Cicero's rise to the consulship in 63 BC and subsequent role in the final days of the Republic.
  • A Pillar of Iron (1965) by Taylor Caldwell, a fictionalized biography of Cicero.
  • Imperial Caesar (1960) also by Rex Warner
  • The Ides of March (1948) by Thornton Wilder, culminating in Caesar's assassination.
  • The Last King: Rome's Greatest Enemy (2005) by Michael Curtis Ford
  • The Key (1988), The Door in the Wall (1994), The Lock (2002) by Benita Kane Jaro
  • Catiline (2007) by Brandon Winningham
  • Barbarians in the Republic: The Long Journey to Rome (2005) by Skarr One
  • Caesar, Anthony by Allan Massie
  • Freedom, farewell! by Phyllis Bentley.
  • The Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Saylor is set in the later years of the Republic and the beginning of the Augustan period.
  • Roma, published March 6, 2007, by Steven Saylor. According to the author's website, the book covers part of Rome's early history.[1]

Early/High Empire (27 BC to 190 AD)[edit]

The Julio-Claudian Dynasty[edit]

Books about early Christians or the Christ include:

Books about Claudius or set in his reign include:

  • I, Claudius (1934) and its sequel, Claudius the God (1935), by Robert Graves. The classic and influential dramatised account of the life of the emperor Claudius, made into a popular TV series (see below).

Books set in Nero's reign include:

The Flavian Dynasty[edit]

  • Josephus Trilogy (1959), by Lion Feuchtwanger about Flavius Josephus, but set in Ancient Rome during Reign of Vespasianus and Titus
  • "In the Shadow of Tyranny" (2013), the first novel by Chris Westcott tells the story of Gaius whose fate and fortune is aligned to the reigns of Vespasian, Titus and the tyranny of Domitian.
  • Pompeii by Robert Harris tells the story of Pompeii and the volcano Vesuveus during the reign of Titus.
  • Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn is the story of a young Jewish slave who rises to become the mistress of Emperor Domitian.
  • Daughters of Rome by Kate Quinn is set during the Year of Four Emperors and ends with the rise of Vespasian.
  • Trajan trilogy by Santiago Posteguillo (Trajan life)
  1. Los asesinos del emperador (Domitian death)
  2. Circo Máximo (Trajan's Dacian Wars)

The Nervan-Antonian (Ulpio-Aelia) Dynasty[edit]

Middle Empire (191 AD to -- AD), when Diocletian splits the Empire[edit]

No historical works are known that are set entirely or substantially in the city of Rome.

Late Empire: West (-457 AD)[edit]

Unknown period[edit]

Detective fiction[edit]

Science fiction[edit]

Science fiction/time travel novels[edit]

  • Caesar's Bicycle (1997) (Timeline Wars series) by John Barnes
  • The Green Bronze Mirror (1966) by Lynne Ellison(young adult); set in reign of Nero

Alternate history[edit]

The following alternate history novels are set in fictional universes where the Roman Empire never fell, and has endured to the present day:

Comic books[edit]

  • Asterix series by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations), of which some titles are set substantially in Rome.
  • The adventures of Alex series by Jacques Martin, of which some titles are set in Rome and the Ancient World. This series has a spin off, called The travels of Alex, that gives illustrated information on famous places and empires of the Ancient World during the Roman Era.

Movies[edit]

Plays[edit]

Television[edit]

Video games[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d http://www.stevensaylor.com/ Saylor, Steven. "Steven Saylor website". Retrieved May 16, 2007

External links[edit]

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