In this article, you will get familiar with the 10 best books on Roman history that are able to provide you the best information about the ancient Roman Empire.
“Rome – the city of visible history, where the past of a whole hemisphere see moving in funeral procession with strange ancestral images and trophies gathered from afar.”George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans), English poet
Rome was founded around 625 BC from a small community of villages. But as time passed, Rome expanded itself very rapidly and from BC 625 to AD 476, it covered three continents including Asia Minor, northern Africa, and most of Europe. But it starts to fall when it was split into eastern and western empires. In AD 476, the western Empire completely ended. However, Eastern Empire survived until the 15th century AD but in AD 1453, it couldn’t survive more and was taken over by the Turks.
Many laws were introduced during the Roman Empire to help the people. Many buildings were built, and everything was done to build a better Roman Empire. The Roman emperors also spent much budget on military power to make the most powerful military. Yet, the Roman Empire couldn’t survive after the 15th century. There are many reasons behind its fall, we can’t mention them in this short article. But there are many books available today that can do.
There are a lot of books available in the market today that are based on Roman history, but you can’t read them all. You can only read few selected books without having any problem. We have mentioned here those selected books that are excellent to understand Romans. If you genuinely give your time to these books, you will be able to know ins and outs of Romans and their history.
List of the 10 Best Books on Roman History
The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan
“The Storm Before the Storm” is one the most effective books on Roman history that provides much of the historical facts and context to the readers about the history of Rome. The author has mainly focused here on ancient Roman history and along with it, he has also covered military history and political commentary, and opinion. Through this masterpiece work of historical research, the author has covered a little-known period of Roman history from the fall of Carthage to the death of Sulla the Dictator. It is a well-written account that maintains interest from the preface to the epilogue.
Legions of Rome: The Definitive History of Every Imperial Roman Legion by Stephen Dando-Collins
“Legions of Rome” is ancient Roman history written by an award-winning and very popular historian Stephen Dando-Collins. The book provides a complete history of every Imperial Roman legion that helps to understand roman in a very easy and effective way. The author has illustrated over 150 maps, photographs, diagrams, and battle plans in this book. This makes it more interesting, imaginative, and reader-friendly. The book also portrays the warfare history and military history of Romans that are able to give you deep insights into Roman history.
The Romans: From Village to Empire by Mary T. Boatwright
|Author||Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, Noel Lenski, Richard J. A. Talbert|
|Publication||2011 (2nd Edition)|
|Rating||4.6 out of 5|
“The Romans: From Village to Empire” is a very straightforward and organized book that provides a coherent narrative of Roman history with a strong emphasis on the development of the Roman state. Created by all three authors, this book is a very good medium for understanding Roman history well. The authors discuss how a small village community becomes one of the most powerful imperial powers in the form of Rome in the world. The history ranges from the prehistoric settlements to the fall of the empire in 476. So, you will come to know many secrets about Rome through this book. It is also one of the best books on Roman history that you must read.
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
“The History of the Ancient World” is a great introduction to Roman history that chronicles historical events from Europe to the Middle East with extensive information. Whether we talk about a historical timeline or a historical place, everything is mentioned in a good way so that Roman history can be studied effectively. The most beautiful thing about this book is that it focuses on ‘what’ and ‘how’ and most importantly ‘why’. This will benefit you that along with knowing about the historical events, you may get to know the possible reasons behind it.
The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius
Suetonius was a very popular Roman historian who wrote many historical sagas during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. “The Twelve Caesars” is also one of the best books on Roman history that chronicle the public careers and private lives of the men who wielded absolute power over Rome. The book has highlighted the imperial, political, republic, economic powers of the Roman king. Since it has come in multiple editions till now, there are additional things always add in every new edition. The current edition is the revised edition of Penguin Classics. This edition contains a new chronology, further reading, glossaries, maps, notes, and an introduction discussing Suetonius’ life and works.
Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician by Anthony Everitt
The book, “Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician” is also one of the best books on Roman history which is basically a biographical book about one of the most fascinating figures in history. Through this book, the author chronicles fascinating information about Roman life, customs, traditions, and most importantly history by which you may get deep insights into Roman history. The book is splendidly clear and coherent in its narrative and altogether convincing in its portraiture that makes it more interesting. Whether you are a history buff or not, you should definitely read this book.
The Roman Revolution by Ronald Syme
“The Roman Revolution” is one of the best books on ancient Roman History that is Ronald Syme’s notable work in the field of history. It chronicles the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. Thus, you can get deep insights into ancient Roman history through this revolutionary book. There are many secrets of Romans that are mentioned in it so, you should not make the mistake to ignore this book.
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
“SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome” is a noble work of Mary Beard who is very popular among English scholars of Ancient Roman civilization. As the title suggests, it is a history of ancient Rome featuring many illustrations, maps, and citations that makes it reader-friendly. The author has presented a very good example of the ancient as well as the modern history of Romans through this book. She sheds light on the lives of Romans as well as describes the social, economic, and religious situation of archaic, republican, and imperial Rome. There is no doubt that it is one of the best books on Roman history.
Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine by Barry Strauss
“Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine” is a very informative masterpiece of ancient Rome history that tells the story of the Roman Empire from rising to fall. The author chronicles the geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture of Rome that had influenced the people most during the fourth century. It is an exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire that has covered the vast time period from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian. If you want to study in Rome, it should definitely be on your study table.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
“The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” is a very magnificent and ambitious narrative of Roman history. This remarkable work is done by Edward Gibbon who is a very popular British historian and writer. It is a treasure trove of Roman historical incidents in which many secrets are hidden. If we talk about its language and style, it is very easy to understand, well-written, and well-designed. Apart from this, the choice of words, the sentence structure, syntax, language, and metaphor, everything is excellent which makes it reader-friendly. It is one of the best books about the fall of Rome.
There are many reasons behind the Roman fall, but the most important reasons are-
• Government corruption and political instability
• Economic troubles and overreliance on slave labor
• Invasions by Barbarian tribes
• The rise of the Eastern Empire
• Weakening of the Roman legions
• Emperor's luxuries
The five good emperors of ancient Rome were-
• Antoninus Pius
Today, Rome is famous for different things. For instance, it is famous for having amazing foods such as spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, and gelato. There are many tourist places that attract people spontaneously. Some of the most popular places are Vatican City, The Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, The Pantheon, Castel Sant'Angelo National Museum, etc.
Ancient Rome was also called "the Eternal City" which was used first by the Roman poet Tibullus.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy as well as the capital of the Lazio region. It is the third most populous city in Europe.
I believe this comprehensive list of the 10 best books in Roman history will add value to your life. Whether we talk about information or style, these books are the best Roman history books in every aspect. The language, selection of words, syntax, style, sentence length, tone, everything is reader-friendly. So, whether you are a history buff or not, you must read these books as these books provide good information about Roman history.
Is this article helpful to you? If not, what suggestions would you like to give us to make it more useful? Kindly share your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section so that we can make this article more valuable.