The Pax Romana provided a remarkable period of peace and stability, rarely seen before or since. Yet the Romans were first and foremost conquerors. So what exactly was the Pax Romana, and what did it mean for the people who found themselves brought under Roman rule?
Asclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy tells the story of the creation of the Empire, taking the reader on a journey from the bloody conquests of the Republic through the age of Caesar and Augustus to the golden period of peace and prosperity under emperors such as Marcus Aurelius, offering a balanced and nuanced reappraisal of life in the Roman Empire.
Steven Saylor - Rubicon (angol)
As Caesar marches on Rome and panic erupts in the city, Gordianus the Finder discovers, in his own home, the body of Pompey's favorite cousin. Before fleeing the city, Pompey exacts a terrible bargain from the finder of secrets-to unearth the killer, or sacrifice his own son-in-law to service in Pompey's legions, and certain death. Amid the city's sordid underbelly, Gordianus learns that the murdered man was a dangerous spy. Now, as he follows a trail of intrigue, betrayal, and ferocious battles on land and sea, the Finder is caught between the chaos of war and the terrible truth he must finally reveal.
Steven Saylor - A Murder on the Appian Way
Torchlight flickers on elegant marble walls. The sound of a mob echoes in the street. The year is 52 B.C. and the naked body of Publius Clodius is about to be carried through the teeming streets of Rome. Clodius, a rich man turned rabble-rouser, was slain on the most splendid road in the world, the Appian Way. Now Clodius's rival, Milo, is being targeted for revenge, and the city teeters on the verge of chaos. An explosive trial will feature the best oration of Cicero and Marc Antony, while Gordianus the Finder has been charged by Pompey the Great himself to look further into the murder. With the Senate House already in ashes, and his own life very much in danger, Gordianus must return to a deserted stretch of the Appian Way—to find the truth that can save a city drunk on power, rent by fear, and filled with the madness and glory of Rome...
Steven Saylor - Last Seen in Massilia
In the city of Massilia (modern-day Marseille), on the coast of Southern Gaul, Gordianus the Finder's beloved son Meto has disappeared—branded as a traitor to Caesar and apparently dead. Consumed with grief, Gordianus arrives in the city in the midst of a raging civil war, hoping to discover what happened to his son. But when he witnesses the fall of a young woman from a precipice called Sacrifice Rock, he becomes entangled in discovering the truth—did she fall or was she pushed? And where, in all of this, could it be connected to his missing son? Drawn into the city's treacherous depths, where nothing and no one are what they seem, Gordianus must summon all of his skills to discover his son's fate—and to safeguard his own life.
Caroline Lawrence - The Secrets of Vesuvius
Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus, and Nubia-friends and detectives-sail to the Bay of Naples to spend the summer with Flavia's uncle, who lives near Pompeii. There they uncover a riddle that may lead them to great treasure. Meanwhile, tremors shake the ground, animals behave strangely, and people dream of impending doom. One of the worst natural disasters of all time is about to happen: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius!
Henryk Sienkiewicz - Quo Vadis? (angol)
IN the trilogy “With Fire and Sword,” “The Deluge,” and “Pan Michael,” Sienkiewicz has given pictures of a great and decisive epoch in modern history. The results of the struggle begun under Bogdan Hmelnitski have been felt for more than two centuries, and they are growing daily in importance. The Russia which rose out of that struggle has become a power not only of European but of world-wide significance, and, to all human seeming, she is yet in an early stage of her career. In “Quo Vadis” the author gives us pictures of opening scenes in the conflict of moral ideas with the Roman Empire,—a conflict from which Christianity issued as the leading force in history. The Slays are not so well known to Western Europe or to us as they are sure to be in the near future; hence the trilogy, with all its popularity and merit, is not appreciated yet as it will be. The conflict described in “Quo Vadis” is of supreme interest to a vast number of persons reading English; and this book will rouse, I think, more attention at first than anything written by Sienkiewicz hitherto.
Pat Southern - Empress Zenobia
The ancient sources for the life and times of Zenobia are sparse, and the surviving literary works are biased towards the Roman point of view, much as are the sources for two other famous women who challenged Rome, Cleopatra and Boudica. In Empress Zenobia, Pat Southern seeks to tell the other side of the legendary 3rd century queen's place in history. As queen of Palmyra (present-day Syria), Zenobia was acknowledged in her lifetime as beautiful and clever, gathering round her at the Palmyrene court writers and poets, artists and philosophers. It was said that Zenobia claimed descent from Cleopatra, which cannot be true but is indicative of how she saw herself and how she intended to be seen by others at home and abroad. This lively narrative explores the legendary queen and charts the progression of her unequivocal declaration, not only of independence from Rome, but of supremacy. Initially, Zenobia acknowledged the suzerainty of the Roman Emperors, but finally began to call herself Augusta and her son Vaballathus Augustus. There could be no clearer challenge to the authority of Rome in the east, drawing the Emperor Aurelian to the final battles and the submission of Palmyra in AD 272.
Robert Graves - Claudius the God
In the sequel to _I, Claudius_ a republican Roman Emperor writes the inside story of his reign. Men classed Claudius as a pitiful fool. But the reign he describes is far from folly. Reluctantly launched into the purple, he emerges as a man who erred on the side of good nature and credulity. It is the common people and the common soldiers who sustain him in his efforts to repair the damage of Caligula's reign, in his relations with the Jewish king, Herod Agrippa, his conquest of Britain, and his final reckoning with his promiscuous wife, Messalina. In one of the finest historical reconstructions of the century Robert Graves has created a character to compare with Dostoyevsky's Prince Myshkin.
Richard Stoneman - Palmyra and Its Empire
In the twilight of the third century C.E., the unity of the Western world was threatened by financial crisis, invasion, and plague. The Syrian city Palmyra had long protected Rome against Persian invasion, but under its queen Zenobia, Palmyra broke away from Roman hegemony. The Roman Empire had never been closer to disintegration, nor had it suffered so much before at the hands of a woman. This volume is the first comprehensive historical treatment in any language of Roman Syria, the revolt of Zenobia, and the city of Palmyra. Drawing on discoveries in archaeology, the history of the Silk Road, numismatics, and Roman and Persian history, Richard Stoneman has assembled a rich collage of knowledge about this intriguing period. As he tells the story of this major revolt and its leader, the author surveys the history of the spice trade in antiquity, the religious ferment of third- century Syria, early modern travelers to Palmyra, and in particular Zenobia's changing image through the ages.
Stephanie Dray - Ben Kane - E. Knight - Sophie Perinot - Kate Quinn - Vicky Alvear Shecter - A Day of Fire
Pompeii was a lively resort flourishing in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius at the height of the Roman Empire. When Vesuvius erupted in an explosion of flame and ash, the entire town would be destroyed. Some of its citizens died in the chaos, some escaped the mountain's wrath . . . and these are their stories: A boy loses his innocence in Pompeii's flourishing streets. An heiress dreads her wedding day, not knowing it will be swallowed by fire. An ex-legionary stakes his entire future on a gladiator bout destined never to be finished. A crippled senator welcomes death, until a tomboy on horseback comes to his rescue. A young mother faces an impossible choice for her unborn child as the ash falls. A priestess and a whore seek redemption and resurrection as the town is buried. Six authors bring to life overlapping stories of patricians and slaves, warriors and politicians, villains and heroes who cross each others' path during Pompeii's fiery end. But who will escape, and who will be buried for eternity?
Michelle Moran - Cleopatra's Daughter
Moran's latest foray into the world of classical history (after The Heretic Queen) centers upon the children of Marc Antony and Cleopatra . After the death of their parents, twins Alexander and Selene and younger brother Ptolemy are in a dangerous position, left to the mercy of their father's greatest rival, Octavian Caesar. However, Caesar does not kill them as expected, but takes the trio to Rome to be paraded as part of his triumphant return and to demonstrate his solidified power. As the twins adapt to life in Rome in the inner circle of Caesar's family, they grow into adulthood ensconced in a web of secrecy, intrigue and constant danger. Told from Selene's perspective, the tale draws readers into the fascinating world of ancient Rome and into the court of Rome's first and most famous emperor. Deftly encompassing enough political history to provide context, Moran never clutters her narrative with extraneous facts. Readers may be frustrated that Selene is more observer than actor, despite the action taking place around her, but historical fiction enthusiasts will delight in this solid installment from a talented name in the genre.
Michael Curtis Ford - The Sword of Attila
In an epic campaign that historians have called the most crucial in history, two great warriors match strength and tactics in a colossal struggle for the fate of the known world. Ultimate authority in the fragile Western Empire rests on the shoulders of one man. Adhering to the ancient code of honor on which Rome was founded, he wages a single-minded struggle against barbarian invasions and internal decadence to prevent a catastrophic reign of terror. Respected and feared by friends and enemies alike, he is Count Flavius Aetius, Supreme General of the Legions — better known to history as the Last of the Romans. Facing him is a foe who has led his Asian hordes on a rampage of conquest and terror, from the barren steppes of the north to the very sands of Persia, ruthlessly destroying vast swaths of civilization. Now he and his army of fierce horsemen have penetrated deep into Europe and are poised to strike at the heart of the empire, the city of Rome itself. The entire world shudders at mention of this man's name — Attila the Hun. Horrified victims call him the Scourge of God.
Colleen McCullough - Caesar's Women
"McCULLOUGH IS TERRIFIC. .. HER CHARACTERS QUIVER WITH LIFE." The New York Tunes Book Review BEFORE THE ROMAN REPUBLlC WAS HIS ... HER NOBLEWOMEN WERE CAESAR'S GREATEST CONQUEST. His victories ries were legend-in battle and bedchamber alike. And love was a political weapon he wielded cunningly and ruthlessly in his private war against enemies in the forum. From the daughter he deigned to sacrifice on the altar of ambition and the wives who bought him injluence to the cold-hearted mistress he burned for but could never trust, Caesar's women ali knew his power ... But only one would seal his fate. From Colleen McCullough-the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of The Thom Birds-comes an epic and remarkable saga of great events, intrigues and personages; the story of Gaius Julius Caesar-the brilliant, beloved patrician who was history-and the women he adored, used, and destroyed on his irresistible rise to prominence. "McCULLOUGH IS ON FIRE Caesar is one of her strongest and most fascinating characters The deterrnined reader is rewarded with a deep under standing of the personal, political and sexual intrigue that made up the fabric of Roman life." San Francisco Chronicle
Ben Pastor - The Water Thief
In 304 c.e. Aelius Spartianus, officer and historian at the court of Diocletian in Dalmatia, is writing the biographies of past Roman rulers, including Hadrian, who has been dead for nearly 175 years. Aelius’s particular charge is to investigate the unsolved mystery of the drowning death in the Nile of Hadrian’s favorite, young Antinous. Soon his duty turns twofold: the hunt for Antinous’s grave, supposed to conceal proof of a conspiracy against Rome, and the murder of a wealthy army supplier and his servant. The mystery thickens as deaths multiply; scholarly work turns into a race against time and into a confrontation with risk, lies, and half-truths at the hands of priests, authorities, and former colleagues. While the trials against Christians (later known as the Great Persecution) inflame Egypt, Aelius gathers clues in odd places until his road leads inescapably to Rome. Joined in his search by a blind retired soldier who is well experienced in counterespionage, Aelius scavenges for evidence in a world capital in decline. From Rome his breathless trail takes him to Hadrian’s country estate, which is now acres and acres of monumental ruins in the wilderness. In the haunted stillness of roofless halls and overgrown gardens, Aelius deciphers the great plan of the villa, an astronomical chart confirming how the danger against Rome is clear and imminent. But who is behind it all? How deadly close is danger? In order to save the state and himself, Aelius must solve not only the puzzle of Antinous’s drowning, but also the murders that have marred his path. Internationally renowned and critically acclaimed author Ben Pastor brings her thematic skill to bear in this new historical mystery. International Praise for the Works of Ben Pastor
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - The Last Legion
The story opens on the day that the Western Roman Empire collapses finally in 470AD, as the Last Emperor of Rome is encamped protected by the Nova Invicta Legion. All is lost in the space of a few minutes as a horde of Barbarians sweep through the camp in the fog, kill the Imperial family and take the young Emperor captive. The Roman Empire is in ruins... But all is not lost. From the dust of battlefields emerges a small team of invincible warriors - The Last Legion. Their task is to rescue the Emperor and his enigmatic tutor and to try and resurrect the glory of Rome. All their strength of character and bravery come into play as they guide the last Caesar in a dramatic journey of escape through a devastated Italy and Northern Europe to their ultimate destinies in the land of the Britons... and the beginning of a new legend.
Adrian Goldsworthy - Caesar (angol)
Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of the great Roman emperor’s life, Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor’s accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters during which he was high priest of an exotic cult, captive of pirates, seducer not only of Cleopatra but also of the wives of his two main political rivals, and rebel condemned by his own country. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realizes the full complexity of Caesar’s character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some two thousand years later. In the introduction to his biography of the great Roman emperor, Adrian Goldsworthy writes, “Caesar was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator . . . as well as husband, father, lover and adulterer.” In this landmark biography, Goldsworthy examines Caesar as military leader, all of these roles and places his subject firmly within the context of Roman society in the first century B.C.
György Spiró - Captivity
A literary sensation in Hungary, György Spiró’s Captivity is both a highly sophisticated historical novel and a gripping page-turner. Set in the tumultuous first century A.D., between the year of Christ’s death and the outbreak of the Jewish War, Captivity recounts the adventures of the feeble-bodied, bookish Uri, a young Roman Jew. Frustrated with his hapless son, Uri’s father sends the young man to the Holy Land to regain the family’s prestige. In Jerusalem, Uri is imprisoned by Herod and meets two thieves and (perhaps) Jesus before their crucifixion. Later, in cosmopolitan Alexandria, he undergoes a scholarly and sexual awakening—but must also escape a pogrom. Returning to Rome at last, he finds an entirely unexpected inheritance. Equal parts Homeric epic, brilliantly researched Jewish history, and picaresque adventure, Captivity is a dramatic tale of family, fate, and fortitude. In its weak-yet-valiant hero, fans will be reminded of Robert Graves’ classics of Ancient Rome, I, Claudius and Claudius the God.