Harry Sidebottom

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Harry Sidebottom
BornNewmarket, Suffolk
OccupationAuthor, historian
GenreHistory, fiction, non-fiction
Notable worksWarrior of Rome

Harry Sidebottom is a British author and historian, best known for his two series of historical novels the Warrior of Rome,[2] and Throne of the Caesars. He will publish The Last Hour a new stand alone novel featuring Ballista, the hero of the Warrior of Rome series, in March 2018. He is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford, and lecturer at Lincoln College.[3]

Early life[edit]

Sidebottom was born in Cambridge and brought up in Newmarket, Suffolk, where his father worked as a racehorse trainer. He attended Fairstead House School, Newmarket, and The King's School, Ely.[4]

Sidebottom read Ancient History for his first degree, at Lancaster University (1977–1980). He was awarded an MPhil in 1982 from the University of Manchester and later a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He studied at Corpus Christi College, where he is a member of the senior common room. He has appeared as a presenter on the History Channel's Ancient Discoveries.[1]


Warrior of Rome[edit]

From the beginning Sidebottom intended the Warrior of Rome to be a series structured in trilogies.[3] The first three volumes take place in the Middle East and subsequent arcs are set around the Black Sea, the Baltic, Sicily, North Africa, and Italy.[1] Sidebottom stated he drew inspiration for the series from historical writer Tacitus and commented that he had based several of the series' elements on real people and events from history.[1] The series has sold well, with Fire in the East selling over 100,000 copies and spending five weeks in the UK top 10 upon its release.[5] Worldwide the series has sold over half a million copies.

The series centres on the Anglo-Roman soldier Marcus Clodius Ballista (a fictionalized version of Balista, a.k.a. Callistus, one of the Thirty Tyrants) as he must live through and survive the machinations of the Roman Empire and several of the crises of the second half of the third century AD.[6]

Throne of the Caesars[edit]

Sidebottom has written another series set in ancient Rome and its empire called Throne of the Caesars. The new trilogy is set 30 years before the first Warrior of Rome book in the reigns of Severus Alexander and Maximinus Thrax, (AD 235–38), beginning with the assassination of Alexander and the deaths of Pupienus and Balbinus. It was described by The Times of London as "Absorbing and brilliant... Game of Thrones without the dragons", and was praised by Bob Carr, the former Premier of NSW, in a review article in The Australian (19 November 2016) www.theaustralian.com.au/.../review/...throne-of-the-caesars/.../72b26335f1d45918d2...

The Last Hour

A thriller set in the City of Rome. The hero has until sunset the next day to get across the eternal city, and save the Emperor. If he fails, his family will die. The Watch have orders to arrest him, while other sinister forces want him dead.



Warrior of Rome[edit]

  1. Fire in the East (Michael Joseph, 2008)[7]
  2. King of Kings (Penguin, 2009)[8]
  3. Lion of the Sun (Penguin, 2010)[9][10]
  4. The Caspian Gates (Penguin, 2011)[11][12]
  5. The Wolves of the North (Penguin, 2012)
  6. The Amber Road (Penguin/Michael Joseph, 2013)

Throne of the Caesars[edit]

  1. Iron & Rust (Harper Collins, 2014)
  2. Blood & Steel (Harper Collins, 2015)
  3. Fire & Sword (Harper Collins, 2016)

The Last Hour (Bonnier Zaffre, 2018)


  • Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press (2004)[13][14]
  • International Relations, The Cambridge Companion of Greek and Roman Warfare (2007)
  • Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient Battles (ed. with Michael Whitby) (2017)


  1. ^ a b c d "It's Classic blood and guts". Oxford Times. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  2. ^ "WARRIOR OF ROME III: Fordham author hopes for continued success". Newmarket Journal. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Tale of derring-do in a crumbling empire". Oxford Times. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Author Harry's latest book in best-seller list". Newmarket Journal. 18 August 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  5. ^ "MJ expands deal with Sidebottom." The Bookseller 10 July 2009: 11. Literature Resource Center. Web. 22 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Review: Fire in the East". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Harry Sidebottom: "Wojownik Rzymu. Ogień na Wschodzie"". Wiadomosci 24. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Harry Sidebottom's King of Kings". About.com. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Civilização com novo livro de Harry Sidebottom". Diario Digital. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  10. ^ "Harry Sidebottom – "Lew Słońca"". HistMag. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Genre: Historical Thrillers". Telegraph. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Review: The Caspian Gates". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  13. ^ Funari, Pedro (2006). "Harry Sidebottom, Ancient Warfare". Diálogos. 10 (3): 231–232.
  14. ^ "Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction. (Book Review)". Contemporary Review. 286 (1669): 121. February 2005.

External links[edit]