Historical Novels: Ancient History

Greece, Rome, the British Isles, Egypt and the Middle East




For news on the latest reviews, author interviews and additions to this site, see the blog. Novels of ancient history for young people are listed on the YA Ancient History page.

Jump to:

Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome (includes the Etruscans and ancient Carthage)
Roman Britain
Ancient Ireland
Arthurian Britain
Ancient Egypt
Biblical Times and Ancient Middle East



Ancient Greece

The history of Ancient Greece stretches into prehistory, as myths and legends hint at what may have happened before the time of written history. After Hermann Schliemann unearthed magnificent gold artifacts in the 1870s at the Turkish site that he believed to be the location of ancient Troy, based on evidence in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, scholars gained new respect for the value of Homer's grasp of history. Modern archaeologists, excavating deeper, have found a series of cities built on top of each other, including a walled city which appears to have been destroyed by war, whose date corresponds to that of ancient Troy.

Ancient Crete, destroyed around 1400 B.C., is another civilization we have come to know from both legend and archaeology. The strange tale of the Minotaur, half-man, half-bull, seemed mere fantasy until the the bull-dancers painted on the walls of the Palace at Knossos suggested the vein of truth behind the legend.

History came into being with accounts like those of the Greek historians Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, who wrote about the war with Persia and Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens in the fifth century B.C.. Their accounts, laced with vivid anecdotes about Persian and Greek leaders, have inspired many historical novels.

Alexander the Great, the fourth century Macedonian warrior-king who conquered most of the world known to the Greeks of his day, is still recalled in the Middle East and beyond with tales praising him as an ancestor or reviling him as a devil. Historians from the first century B.C. to the second century A.D., who had access to sources now lost, provide the historical basis for a variety of superb novels.

The 36 Best Historical Novels for a Survey of Ancient Greek History, selected by David Maclaine

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Gertrude Atherton, The Immortal Marriage (1927), about Aspasia and her relationship with Pericles in ancient Athens.

Gertrude Atherton, The Jealous Gods (1928), about Alcibiades of Athens.

Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (2005), a literary novel about the experiences of Odysseus' wife, Penelope, while he was away fighting the Trojan War and voyaging home.

Alessandro Baricco, An Iliad (2004), a retelling of the Iliad which focuses on the human characters and leaves out the appearances of the gods and goddesses.

Henry Bauchau, Oedipus on the Road (1990 in the original French; first English edition 1997), about Oedipus during his years of wandering, the period Sophocles left out of his plays.

Katharine Beutner, Alcestis (2010), a literary novel based on the myth of Alcestis, who agreed to die in place of her husband. Review or Author Interview

Charles Rowan Beye, Odysseus: A Life (2004), a fictional "biography" of this legendary survivor of the Trojan War.

Nancy Bogen, Klytaimnestra, Who Stayed at Home (1980), a retelling of the Trojan War story from the perspective of Agamemnon's wife, which turns the tale on its head by presenting Odysseus as a villain; self-published.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Firebrand (1987), a feminist perspective of the Trojan War seen through the eyes of a Kassandra raised by Amazons.

Gillian Bradshaw, The Beacon at Alexandria (1986), about a fourth century Greek woman who disguises herself as a eunuch in order to study medicine in Alexandria.

Gillian Bradshaw, The Sand-Reckoner (2000), about Archimedes of Syracuse. Review

Gillian Bradshaw, The Sun's Bride (2008), about the helmsman of a third-century Rhodian ship whose mission is to hunt and destroy pirates. Review

Bryher, Gate to the Sea (1958), about a priestess in a community of enslaved Greeks in Poseidonia and her efforts to help her people escape; Bryher was the name adopted by author Annie Winnifred Ellerman. Review

Grant Buday, Dragonflies (2008), about Odysseus and his scheme to end the Trojan War with a Greek victory by building a gigantic, hollow, wooden horse.

M.N.J. Butler, The Fox (1995), about a Spartan prince during the long war between Athens and Sparta. Review

Moyra Caldecott, The Lily and the Bull (1979), about life in ancient Crete; self-published.

Taylor Caldwell, Glory and the Lightning (1974), about the courtesan Aspasia and Pericles of Athens.


Christian Cameron, Tyrant (2008), about an Athenian soldier who must become a mercenary after he is exiled from Athens; #1 in the Tyrant series. Review

Christian Cameron, Storm of Arrows (2009), about an Athenian in love with a Scythian warrior-princess, who leads his band of mercenary soldiers against Alexander's army; #2 in the Tyrant series. Review

Christian Cameron, Funeral Games (2010), about the brother-sister twins, heirs to a rich Black Sea kingdom, who become fugitives after their mother is killed and must journey west to take shelter with their father's old friend Diodorus, himself in the midst of a violent struggle for power after the death of Alexander the Great; #3 in the Tyrant series. Review

Christian Cameron, King of the Bosporus (2011), about twin brothers who set out to win vengeance against the man who stole the kingdom that is rightfully theirs; #4 in the Tyrant series. Review

Christian Cameron, Destroyer of Cities (2013), about a king and his sister who are allies of Rhodes as Alexander's successor Demetrius begins a campaign to conquer Rhodes in 306 B.C.; #5 in the Tyrant series. Review

Christian Cameron, Killer of Men (2010), about a Greek farm boy enslaved after a battle who vows vengeance as Persian armies threaten Greece; #1 in the Long War series. Review

Christian Cameron, Marathon: Freedom or Death (2011), about the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., which pitted the Greeks against the invading Persians; #2 in the Long War series. Review

Christian Cameron, Poseidon's Spear (2012), about a Greek who joins a brotherhood of freed slaves to gain revenge on the Carthaginian who enslaved him; #3 in the Long War series. Review

Christian Cameron, The Great King (2013), about a Greek soldier who fights in the Spartan expedition to Egypt; #4 in the Long War series.

Christian Cameron, God of War (2012, titled Alexander: God of War in the U.S.), about Alexander the Great from the perspective of his boyhood friend Ptolemy. Review


Peter Carnahan, Pharnabazus Sits on the Ground With the Spartan Captains (2002), a novel about the Persian ruler Pharnabazus and the Athenian general Alkibiades, narrated by a Spartan captain; self-published.

Lenny Cavallaro, The Trojan Dialogues (2003), a retelling of the story of the Trojan War from the perspective of Diomedes; self-published.

Mike Chapman, Achilles (2004), about Achilles; based on ancient Greek legends; self-published.

Lindsay Clarke, The War at Troy (2004), a retelling of the story of the Trojan War.

Lindsay Clarke, The Return from Troy (2005), about the homecoming of Greek leaders who fought in the Trojan War.

Alexander Cole, Colossus (2014), about a mahout whose courage in facing a rampaging war elephant impresses Alexander the Great.

Les Cole, The Sea Kings: The Prophecy (1996), about Cretan traders in the Bronze Age; #1 in the Sea King trilogy.

Les Cole, Lion at Sea: The Prophecy Continues (2001), about Cretan traders in the Bronze Age; #2 in the Sea King trilogy; self-published.

Les Cole, The Sea Peoples: The Prophecy Resolved (2002), about Cretan traders in the Bronze Age; self-published.

Elizabeth Cook, Achilles (2002), a literary novel about Achilles, the heroic Greek warrior who fought in the Trojan War. Review

Laurel Corona, Penelope's Daughter (2010), a retelling of Homer's Odyssey from the perspective of the daughter of Odysseus and Penelope.

Ian Crouch, The Shaping of Destiny (2010), about the young king Pyrrhus of Epirus, described by Hannibal as the second finest military leader in the world after Alexander; #1 in the planned Pyrrhic Victory series.

J.B. Dath, Olympia 420 (2005), about efforts to revive the Olympic Games during the war between Athens and Sparta.

William Stearns Davis, A Victor of Salamis: A Tale of the Days of Xerxes, Leonidas and Themistocles (1907), about the Greeks who defended their homeland from the Persian invasion. Review

L. Sprague de Camp, An Elephant for Aristotle (1958), about a man who undertakes a mission for Alexander the Great which involves a journey across the known world.

L. Sprague de Camp, The Arrows of Hercules (1965), about an engineer in the fourth century B.C. who invents an improved catapult and becomes involved in the war between Syracuse and Carthage. Review

L. Sprague de Camp, The Golden Wind (1969), about a second century B.C. Greek navigator who attempts a sea voyage from Egypt to India by sailing around the coast of Africa.

John Dempsey, Ariadne's Brother (1996), about Ariadne, a young queen of Minoan Crete shortly before its fall; self-published.

Alfred Duggan, Besieger of Cities (1963; also titled Elephants and Castles), a humorous novel about Demetrius I of Macedon, one of Alexander the Great's successors. Review

Ivan Efremov (or Yefremov), Thais of Athens (1972 in the original Russian), about the beautiful Athenian hetaira Thais, who traveled with the army of Alexander the Great.

Amanda Elyot, The Memoirs of Helen of Troy (2005), a retelling of the legendary story of Helen of Troy, whose beauty led to the Trojan War.

Jack England, Sword of Marathon (2012), about a "Gothic prince of Angland" who travels to Greece and participates in the Battle of Marathon; self-published.

John Erskine, The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1925), about the legendary Helen of Troy.

Michael Curtis Ford, The Ten Thousand (2001), about the Athenian soldier Xenophon and an army of ten thousand Greek mercenaries who fight in a war to topple the Persian ruler. Review

Sarah B. Franklin, Daughter of Troy (1998), about Briseis, the captive who becomes Achilles' mistress during the Trojan War.

John Gardner, The Wreckage of Agathon (1970), about a seer and his apprentice imprisoned because of their supposed involvement in a rebellion against the Spartan tyrant Lykourgos (commonly spelled Lycurgus). Review

David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow (2005), historical fantasy set in the Trojan War period; #1 in the Troy series.

David Gemmell, Shield of Thunder (2006), historical fantasy set in the Trojan War period; #2 in the Troy series.

David Gemmell, Fall of Kings (2007), historical fantasy set in the Trojan War period; #3 in the Troy series.

Margaret George, Helen of Troy (2006), about the woman at the center of the Trojan War.

Ellen Gilchrist, Anabasis: A Journey to the Interior (1994), about a slave girl seeking freedom during the Peloponnesian War.

Laura Gill, Helen's Daughter (2011), about the daughter of Helen of Troy, left behind at age nine when her mother is abducted, and reunited with her parents after the Trojan War when she is nineteen; self-published; available as an ebook only.

William Golding, The Double Tongue (1995), about a woman who becomes a Delphic oracle. Review

Jo Graham, Stealing Fire (2010), historical fantasy about Lydias of Miletus who follows Ptolemy to Egypt, after Alexander's death causes his empire to fall apart and the Goddess Isis urges Ptolemy to protect Egypt.

Robert Graves, Homer's Daughter, about who the author of the Odyssey may have been if, as some scholars have speculated, she was a woman.

Robert Graves, The Golden Fleece (also titled Hercules, My Shipmate) (1944), a retelling of the legend of Jason and the Argonauts by the author of I, Claudius. Review

Peter Green, The Laughter of Aphrodite (1993), about the ancient Greek poet Sappho of Lesbos. Review

Peter Green, Achilles His Armour (1955), about the Athenian general Alcibiades.


Kerry Greenwood, Cassandra (1995), about the prophetess who predicted the fall of Troy and was not believed; #1 in the Delphic Women trilogy.

Kerry Greenwood, Electra (1996), about Electra, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and her brother Orestes, who flee their home and plan vengeance after their mother murders their father; #2 in the Delphic Women trilogy.

Kerry Greenwood, Medea (1997), about the legendary sorceress who helped Jason acquire the Golden Fleece, and then killed her children by him in revenge; #3 in the Delphic Women trilogy.


Judith Hand, Voice of the Goddess (2001), about a woman and her lover in ancient Crete during a time of invasion and the volcanic eruption that destroyed the nearby island of Santorini.

Victor Davis Hanson, The End of Sparta (2011), about a farmer who serves in the Theban army under Epaminondas during the Battle of Leuktra.

Terence Hawkins, The Rage of Achilles (2009), a retelling of the story of The Iliad about the Trojan War.

T.L. Higley, Shadow of Colossus (2008), historical romance about a woman on the Greek island of Rhodes in 227 B.C.; Christian message; #1 in the planned Seven Wonders series

Tom Holt, The Walled Orchard (1997), a darkly comic novel set in Athens during the Peloponnesian War; originally published as two novels, Goatsong (1989) and The Walled Orchard (1990).

Tom Holt, Alexander at the World's End (1999), a darkly comic novel about a minor philosopher and Alexander the Great.

Tom Holt, Olympiad, a comic novel about the first Olympic Games.

Homer, The Iliad, the classic epic poem written in ancient history (800 B.C.) about the Trojan War. Review

Homer, The Odyssey, an epic poem based on legends about the wanderings of Odysseus, a Greek survivor of the Trojan War, and his return home to Ithaca; written around the eighth century B.C.

Peter Huby, Pasiphae (2000), based on the Greek myth about Pasiphae, the wife of the Cretan King Minos, and her passion for a white bull.


Glyn Iliffe, King of Ithaca (2008), about Odysseus and the beginning of the Trojan War, narrated by a soldier who accompanies him; #1 in the Adventures of Odysseus series.

Glyn Iliffe, The Gates of Troy (2009), about Odysseus and his efforts to find Achilles and persuade him to join the warriors of Greece in the war against Troy after Helen is Sparta is abducted; #2 in the Adventures of Odysseus series.

Glyn Iliffe, The Armour of Achilles (2010), about Odysseus near the end of the Trojan War; #3 in the Adventures of Odysseus series.


John James, Votan (1966), a humorous novel about a Greek merchant whose travels in Germanic lands inspire the beginnings of Norse mythology.

John James, Not For All the Gold in Ireland (1968), a humorous novel about a Greek merchant who meets figures from legend during his travels through Ireland and Britain; sequel to Votan.

Erica Jong, Sappho's Leap, about the poetess from the Greek Isle of Lesbos.

Faith L. Justice, Selene of Alexandria, about a young woman from a family of Greek Christians who yearns to become a physician; self-published.

Peter Katsionis, Patrida: A Novel of the Pankration (2009), about a young slave who wins his freedom by fighting in the pankration during the time of Alexander the Great's father, Philip of Macedon; self-published.

E.S. Kraay, The Olympian: A Tale of Ancient Hellas (2008), about an elderly poet in ancient Greece who recalls his admiration for a boxer who participated in the 75th Olympiad as Xerxes prepared to attack Greece; self-published. Brief Critique

Lyndall Baker Landauer, The Man Who Saved Athens (2002), about Themistokles, who successfully defended Athens from the Persians during the fifth century B.C.; self-published.

Tim Leach, The Last King of Lydia (2013), about Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia (now part of Turkey), who reputedly once asked the Athenian philosopher Solon who was the happiest man in the world.

C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (1956), a literary retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, set in a fictional kingdom.

Morgan Llywelyn, The Elementals, a four-part novel that links stories based on the destruction of the legendary Atlantis and the earthquake that destroyed Knossos with stories set in contemporary New England and in the future.

Ki Longfellow, Flow Down Like Silver (2009), about Hypatia of Alexandria, a pagan woman scholar in Greek Alexandria who was murdered by a Christian mob in 415 A.D.

Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean (2010), about Aristotle, who reluctantly accepts Philip of Macedon's request that he tutor Philip's son Alexander. Review

Annabel Lyon, The Sweet Girl (2013), about Aristotle’s daughter Pythias and the superstitious world she must live in after her father’s death.

David Malouf, Ransom (2009), a poetic novel inspired by the Iliad which focuses on the Trojan king Priam's visit to Achilles in the Greek camp after the deaths of Patroclus and Hector. Review


Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Spartan (1988), about two brothers, one raised in the Spartan warrior tradition, the other in a family of Helot slaves.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Child of a Dream (1998), about Alexander the Great; #1 in the Alexander trilogy.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Sands of Ammon (1998), about Alexander the Great; #2 in the Alexander trilogy.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Ends of the Earth (1998), about Alexander the Great; #3 in the Alexander trilogy.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Tyrant (2003 in the original Italian; first English edition 2005), about Dionysius, the Tyrant of Syracuse, and his military challenge to Carthage in the fifth century B.C. Review

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Talisman of Troy (2004; also titled Heroes), about a survivor of the Trojan War who journeys to Italy with a mother-goddess figure; based on legends about the Trojan War.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Lost Army (2008), about Xenophon's mistress, who accompanied his army of ten thousand Greek mercenaries in 410 B.C. in their effort to take the throne of Persia for Cyrus the Younger.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Odysseus: The Oath (2013), based on the Greek story of Odysseus and the Trojan War; #1 in a planned series.


Edison Marshall, Earth Giant, based on the legends about Hercules.

Jon Edward Martin, The Headlong God of War, about the Greek defense against the Persian invading force in 480 B.C.; self-published.

Jon Edward Martin, In Kithairon's Shadow, about the Greek defense against the Persians after the Battle of Thermopylae in 490 B.C.; self-published.

Jon Edward Martin, Shades of Artemis, about the Spartan commander Brasidas and the Peloponnesian War; self-published.

F. Van Wyck Mason, Lysander (1956), about a young soldier at the time of Alexander the Great.

Zachary Mason, The Lost Books of the Odyssey (2008), an experimental literary novel written in the form of an imagined lost original text of Homer's Odyssey.

Colleen McCullough, The Song of Troy (1998), about the Trojan War.

John McLeod, The Lion of Macedonia (2005), about the childhood and adolescence of Alexander the Great; #1 in the Alexander series; self-published.

John McLeod, Lord of the World (2006), about Alexander the Great from the time of his Persian campaign to his campaign on the borders of India; #2 in the Alexander series; self-published.

John McLeod, God of War (2008), about Alexander the Great from his later military campaigns to the end of his life; #3 in the Alexander series; self-published.

Mark Merlis, An Arrow's Flight (1998), a novel about Achilles' gay son which moves from a swinging modern city where he waits tables and works as a hustler back to ancient Troy where he is called to fulfill a prophecy that he will win the victory his father could not.

Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles (2011), about Achilles, a Greek hero in the Trojan War, and his boyhood friend Patroclus.

Nicholas Nicastro, Antigone's Wake (2007), about Sophocles and the Athenian fleet sent to punish the Isle of Samos after it revolts. Review

Nicholas Nicastro, Empire of Ashes: A Novel of Alexander the Great, a novel of warfare about Alexander.

Nicholas Nicastro, The Isle of Stone (2005), about two Spartan brothers who, despite their testy relationship, must fight alongside each other during the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens. Review

Scott Oden, Men of Bronze (2005), about a Phoenician warrior in 526 B.C. during the wars between Egypt and Persia.

Scott Oden, Memnon (2006), about Memnon of Rhodes, who fought on the Persian side against Alexander the Great. Review

Max Overton, Lion of Scythia (2004), about a cavalry officer in Alexander the Great's army who is captured by Scythians.

Max Overton, The Golden King (2004), about warfare among the Scythians as an officer of Alexander the Great struggles to gain influence in the tribe that has captured him.

Max Overton, Funeral in Babylon (2005), about a Greek officer who has gained power among the Scythians as the end comes for Alexander the Great.

Francesca Petrizzo, Memoirs of a Bitch (2011), about Helen of Troy.

Stephanie Plowman, The Road to Sardis (1965), about a young cousin of the Athenian general Alcibiades during the Peloponnesian War; the author intended this novel for adult readers, although the publisher promoted it for teens.

Stephanie Plowman, The Leaping Song (1975), about Greeks defending themselves from Persian invaders during the Battle of Salamis; the author intended this novel for adult readers, although the publisher promoted it for teens.

John H. Pollard, Helen, Queen of Sparta (2004), about the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta and her use as a pretext for a war against Troy which was seen as a threat to Greek shipping; self-published.

Richard Powell, Whom the Gods Would Destroy (1970), about a boy who grows up during the Trojan War.


Steven Pressfield, Last of the Amazons (2002), a novel of warfare based on the legend of Theseus and the Amazons from Greek mythology. Review

Steven Pressfield, Tides of War (2000), about the brilliant Athenian general Alcibiades. Review

Steven Pressfield, Gates of Fire (1998), about the suicidal Spartan effort to hold the pass at Thermopylae against a much larger Persian army in 480 B.C. Review

Steven Pressfield, The Virtues of War (2004), a novel of warfare about Alexander the Great; #1 in a series. Review

Steven Pressfield, The Afghan Campaign (2006), about a Macedonian soldier in Alexander the Great's army during its campaign in what is now Afghanistan; #2 in a series. Review


Pam and John Raggatt, The Bull Dancers of Knossos (1998), about a government official in Minoan Crete on the eve of an invasion by Athens.

Jane Rawlings, The Penelopeia (2003), a novel in verse form about the adventures of Penelope, Odysseus' wife, when she travels to consult the Pythian oracle after Odysseus' return from Troy.

Marc Read, New Stars for Old (2013), a collection of short stories about the history of astronomy featuring characters like Aristotle, Galileo and Newton.


Article about Mary Renault

Mary Renault, The King Must Die (1958), a realistic historical novel based on the legend of Theseus from Greek mythology. Review

Mary Renault, The Bull from the Sea (1962), a realistic historical novel based on the legend of Theseus from Greek mythology; sequel to The King Must Die. Review

Mary Renault, Fire from Heaven (1969), about Alexander the Great as a youth; #1 in the Alexander trilogy. Review

Mary Renault, The Persian Boy (1972), about Alexander the Great from the perspective of a Persian youth who became his lover after Alexander's conquest of Persia; #2 in the Alexander trilogy. Review

Mary Renault, Funeral Games (1981), about the friends of Alexander the Great after his death; #3 in the Alexander trilogy. Review

Mary Renault, The Last of the Wine (1956), about a student of Socrates and his experiences during the Peloponnesian War. Review

Mary Renault, The Mask of Apollo (1966), about the fourth century B.C. philosopher Plato in Syracuse, as narrated by a Greek actor. Review

Mary Renault, The Praise Singer (1978), about the Greek lyric poet Simonides. Review


Shan Sa, Alexander and Alestria (2008), a novel about Alexander the Great in which he has a love affair with an Amazon queen from the eastern steppe country.

Melissa Scott, A Choice of Destinies (1986), a novel of alternative history which imagines what might have happened if Alexander the Great had faced a choice between his campaign to conquer the East or challenging the emerging power of Rome.

Miranda Seymour, The Goddess, about Helen of Troy.

Miranda Seymour, Medea, based on an ancient Greek legend about a sorceress who told Jason how fo find the Golden Fleece.

Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships, a graphic novel incorporating archaeological findings with ancient legends to retell the Trojan War story; #1 in the Age of Bronze graphic novel series.

Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, a graphic novel incorporating archaeological findings with ancient legends to retell the Trojan War story; #2 in the Age of Bronze graphic novel series.

Eric Shanower, Age of Bronze: Betrayal, a graphic novel incorporating archaeological findings with ancient legends to retell the Trojan War story; #3 in the Age of Bronze graphic novel series.

George Shipway, Warrior in Bronze, about Agamemnon's rise to the throne of Mycenae.

George Shipway, King in Splendour, about Agamemnon and the Trojan War.

Brent Smith, A Wind from the West (2012), about the childhood and youth of Alexander the Great to the time of his father's assassination; #1 in a planned series; self-published.


Katarina Soul, Fortuna's Magic (2011), historical fantasy about a foundling raised by a sorceress and her efforts to develop powerful enough magical abilities to escape slavery; self-published; #1 in the Priestess of the Aegean trilogy.

Katarina Soul, The Etheric Realm (2012), historical fantasy about a woman who serves as a Delphic oracle but wishes to escape and return to her beloved; self-published; #2 in the Priestess of the Aegean trilogy.

Katarina Soul, The Elixir of Life (2012), historical fantasy about a woman who bands together with a group of other alchemists to defeat King Xerxes and preserve Greek democracy; self-published; #3 in the Priestess of the Aegean trilogy.


Rex Stout, The Great Legend (1916), a story about a soldier in the Trojan War; an early work by the author of the Nero Wolfe mystery series.

Thomas Sundell, A Bloodline of Kings (2001), about Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great. Review

Rosemary Sutcliff, The Flowers of Adonis (1969), about the brilliant but erratic Athenian general Alkibiades and the Peloponnesian War.

Greg Tobin, The Siege of Troy, about the Trojan War.


H.N. Turteltaub, Over the Wine-Dark Sea, straight historical fiction about ancient Greek seamen by an author who also writes alternative history novels under his real name, Harry Turtledove; #1 in a series.

H.N. Turteltaub, The Gryphon's Skull, about ancient Greek seamen; #2 in a series.

H.N. Turteltaub, The Sacred Land, about ancient Greek seamen; #3 in a series.

H.N. Turteltaub, Owls to Athens, about ancient Greek seamen; #4 in a series.


Barry Unsworth, The Songs of the Kings, about the Trojan War.

Gore Vidal, Creation, about a Persian ambassador to Athens and his travels through the ancient world, echoing those of Herodotus. Review

Hajo von Kracht, Pillar Island: A Minoan Novella (2011), about a young man who is driven out of his Bronze Age rural village in the Peloponnesus to discover the rich and violent world of Minoan Crete; self-published.

Brother G. (Gregory L. Walker), Shades of Memnon (1999), historical fantasy adventure featuring a black African warrior as a hero in the Trojan War; #1 in the African Legends Adventure series; self-published.

Brother G. (Gregory L. Walker), Ra Force Rising (2000), historical fantasy adventure featuring a black African hero of the Trojan War fighting for his family's survival; #2 in the African Legends Adventure series; self-published.

Brother G. (Gregory L. Walker), African Atlantis Unbound (2005), historical fantasy adventure featuring the son of a black African hero of the Trojan War; #3 in the African Legends Adventure series; self-published.

Florence Wallin, According to Helen (1997), a novel which reimagines Helen of Troy as the ruling queen over the region that would become Sparta.

Jill Paton Walsh, Farewell, Great King (1972), about Themistocles, who successfully defended Athens from the Persians during the fifth century B.C.

Evangeline Walton, The Sword Is Forged (1983), a retelling of the legend of Theseus and the Amazons.

Rex Warner, Pericles the Athenian (1963), about the great fifth century B.C. Athenian leader. Review

Christa Wolf, Cassandra, a literary, feminist perspective on the Trojan War by an East German author.

Christa Wolf, Medea, a literary retelling of the Medea story that looks behind the misogynistic fantasy of the ancient legend to portray a realistic woman.

Gene Wolfe, Soldier of the Mist (1986; Latro in the Mist combines this novel and the sequel, Soldier of Arete in one volume), about a Spartan mercenary who, after a head injury, loses his short-term memory and gains the ability to speak with gods and goddesses; #1 in the Soldier series.

Gene Wolfe, Soldier of Arete (1989), about a Spartan mercenary who, after a head injury, loses his short-term memory and gains the ability to speak with gods and goddesses; #2 in the Soldier series.

Gene Wolfe, Soldier of Sidon (2006), about a Spartan mercenary who, after a head injury, loses his short-term memory and gains the ability to speak with gods and goddesses; #3 in the Soldier series.

Frank Yerby, Goat Song (1967), about a boy prostitute during the time of the Peloponnesian Wars.


Ancient Greece: Mystery Novels

Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Anna Apostolou, A Murder in Macedon (1997), a fictional attempt to solve the mystery of who murdered Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great; Anna Apostolou is a pen name of Paul Doherty; #1 in a mystery series.

Anna Apostolou, A Murder in Thebes (1999), a mystery novel set during the time of Alexander the Great; Anna Apostolou is a pen name of Paul Doherty; #2 in a mystery series.

W. Sheppard Baird, The Minoan Psychopath (2007), a thriller set in Crete and the surrounding islands on the eve of the eruption that would destroy the Minoan civilization; self-published.

Daniel Chavarria, The Eye of Cybele (2002), an erotic literary mystery novel set in Athens during the Peloponnesian War.


Gary Corby, The Pericles Commission (2010), a humorous mystery about a sculptor's son in ancient Athens who impresses the up-and-coming politician Pericles with his deductions after a man is murdered, and is asked to solve the crime; #1 in the Athenian Mysteries series.

Gary Corby, The Ionia Sanction (2011), a humorous mystery about a sculptor's son who encounters numerous potentially deadly dilemmas while investigating the death of an Athenian official; #2 in the Athenian Mysteries series.

Gary Corby, Sacred Games (2013), about a sculptor's son whose best friend is accused of murdering his rival in the Olympic Games; #3 in the Athenian Mysteries series.


Paul Doherty, The House of Death (2001), a murder mystery set at the beginning of Alexander the Great's Persian campaign; #1 in the Alexander the Great mystery series.

Paul Doherty, The Godless Man (2002), a mystery featuring Alexander the Great's personal physician investigating a series of murders during Alexander's Persian campaign; #2 in the Alexander the Great mystery series.

Paul Doherty, The Gates of Hell (2003), a mystery featuring Alexander the Great's personal physician investigating the death of a scribe as Alexander prepares to invade Halicarnassus; #3 in the Alexander the Great mystery series.


Margaret Doody, Aristotle Detective (1978), about a former student of Aristotle who enlists the philosopher's help when his cousin is accused of murder; #1 in the Aristotle Detective mystery series.

Margaret Doody, Aristotle and Poetic Justice (2002), about a young man who teams up with the philosopher Aristotle to investigate the abduction of a silver merchant's heiress; #2 in the Aristotle Detective mystery series.

Margaret Doody, Aristotle and the Secrets of Life (2003; also published under the title Aristotle and the Mystery of Life), about a student who travels with Aristotle to the coast of Asia Minor where they investigate a murder; #3 in the Aristotle Detective mystery series.

Margaret Doody, Poison in Athens (2004), about a former student of Aristotle who discovers a corpse when he visits a brothel; #4 in the Aristotle Detective mystery series.

Margaret Doody, Mysteries of Eleusis (2005), about a former student of Aristotle who teams up with him to investigate a murder during a celebration of the Mysteries of Eleusis; #5 in the Aristotle Detective mystery series.


Michael B. Edwards, Murder at the Panionic Games, about a minor priest who has a murdered man die in his arms as the Panionic Games begin in 650 B.C.

Patrick Hatten, Champion of the Dead, about the student of an Athenian boxer and his quest to find out who killed the boxer after he dies suddenly of poison during the Olympic games

Roger Hudson, Death Comes by Amphora (2007), about an 18-year-old boy from an Athenian colony and his elderly slave who arrive in Athens amid the deadly political struggles of 461 B.C. following the defeat of the Persians.

Jose Carlos Somoza, The Athenian Murders (2002), a story within a story as the translator of an account of a murder investigation in Plato's Athens becomes convinced that he, too, is in danger.

Marilyn Todd, Blind Eye (2007), about a Spartan high priestess who investigates murders attributed to the legendary Cyclops.


Ancient Rome

Rome and its empire have been a popular subject of historical novels from the nineteenth century into the present. Suggesting the city's origins, legends tell of the Trojan War hero Aeneas fleeing to Italy after the fall of Troy and, more mysteriously, of the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf. Archaeological evidence shows Rome was founded around the eighth century B.C. as a city influenced by its Etruscan neighbors. According to legend, Rome was first ruled by a series of kings, most of whose names were Etruscan.

Around the fifth century B.C., the people of Rome overthrew their last king and established a republic which endured for almost five centuries. During the turmoil of the first century B.C., a series of dictators took control of the city, culminating in the extraordinary rise of Julius Caesar and the end of the Republic.

Rome began its development into an empire while it was still a republic, absorbing its Italian neighbors. Caesar's conquests in Gaul and elsewhere began an expansion by which the Empire grew to encompass most of Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean. The Empire's influence extended far beyond its official borders. Barbarian incursions, mutinies in its army, and the corruption and insanity of various emperors weakened the Empire and provide dramatic material for historical fiction. Its armies abandoned Britain in 410 A.D., the same year the city was sacked by the Visigoths. In the fifth century, Rome's territories were divided into an Eastern and a Western Empire.

In 476 Romulus Augustulus, the last Western Roman Emperor, was deposed by Odoacer, a Germanic warrior, marking the end of the Western Roman Empire and the beginning of the medieval period. Novels set in the Eastern Roman Empire after 476 are listed on the Medieval Constantinople and Byzantium page.

The 50 Best Historical Novels for a Survey of Ancient Roman History, selected by David Maclaine

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Jane Alison, The Love-Artist (2001), about the poet Ovid's relationship with a woman he meets on the shores of the Black Sea. Review

Michael E. Anderson, The Parthian Interpreter (2007), about the journey of a Roman senator and his Parthian slave to China during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

Poul Anderson, The Golden Slave (1960), about a Cimbrian chieftain sold into slavery after losing a war with Rome in 100 B.C., and his quest to free his beautiful wife, who was forced to become a concubine.

Gertrude Atherton, Dido, Queen of Hearts (1929), a retelling of Virgil's story of Aeneas and the Queen of Carthage.

John Beatty, The Fourth Part of Gaul (2004), about the revolt of the Veneti tribe of Gaul against Roman rule and the author's theory that the Veneti survivors sailed to America; self-published.

Emery Bekessy, Barabbas (1947), about the criminal released in place of Jesus before the crucifixion.

Albert A. Bell Jr., Daughter of Lazarus (2000), about a Roman senator's slave woman and her interest in Christianity during the reign of Domitian; self-published.

D.G. Bellenger, 68 A.D., about Servius Sulpicius Galba, who became Emperor of Rome after Nero's suicide in 68 A.D.; self-published.

Herbert W. Benario, Thusnelda: A German Princess in Ancient Rome (1993), about the wife of Arminius, the German chieftain who defeated Rome in 9 A.D., who lived the rest of her life in Rome after becoming a hostage there; self-published.

Stephen Lorne Bennett, Last of the Ninth (2012), about a second-century Roman legion annihilated in mysterious circumstances and a man known as "the Emperor's assassin" who is sent to track down an imperial spy who vanished along with the legion; self-published.

Gillian Bradshaw, Cleopatra's Heir (2002), a novel imagining what might have happened if Caesarion, Cleopatra's son by Julius Caesar, had survived the plot to assassinate him.

Gillian Bradshaw, Render Unto Caesar (2003), about a young Greek trader who is a Roman citizen and encounters prejudice when he goes to Rome to collect debts owed to his family. Review

Irene Brand, In This Sign Conquer (1996), about two brothers faced with the choice between the spiritual appeal of Christianity and the power of earthly politics during the early rule of Constantine the Great.

Wallace Breem, Eagle in the Snow (1970), about a Roman general trying to hold back a barbarian invasion during the time before the fall of Rome. Review

Wallace Breem, The Legate's Daughter (1974), about a disgraced centurion's efforts to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a legate while Augustus is ailing and the Empire's future is in doubt. Review

Hermann Broch, The Death of Virgil (1945), about Virgil, the Roman poet who wrote The Aeneid about the fall of Troy.


Nick Brown, Siege (2011), about a young Roman intelligence agent during the war between Rome and Queen Zenobia of Palmyra; #1 in the Agent of Rome series.

Nick Brown, The Imperial Banner (2012), about an imperial agent sent to Syria in 272 A.D. to find a missing Persian battle standard after the defeat of Queen Zenobia; #2 in the Agent of Rome series.

Nick Brown, The Far Shore (2013), about an imperial agent who travels to the edge of the Empire on the trail of an assassin who killed a Roman official on the Isle of Rhodes; #3 in the Agent of Rome series.


Jesse Browner, The Uncertain Hour (2007), about the last banquet of a Roman aristocrat who, having offended Emperor Nero, is planning his suicide and takes the opportunity to enjoy his friends and reflect on his career.

Bryher, Roman Wall (1954), set during the Roman period in what is now Switzerland; Bryher was the pen name of the feminist author Annie Winnifred Ellerman. Review

Bryher, The Coin of Carthage (1963), set during the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage. Review

Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), a romantic story about life in Pompeii that begins in the days just before Vesuvius erupted; Bulwer-Lytton is justly famous for his purple prose.

Jasper Burns, Vipsania: A Roman Odyssey (2006), about Tiberius and Vipsania, the wife he was forced to divorce against his will by command of Emperor Augustus; self-published.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, I Am a Barbarian (1967), about a slave owned by the mad Emperor Caligula; written in 1941 but not published until after the author's death.

Edward Burton, Caesar's Daughter (1999), about Julia Caesaris, the daughter of Augustus Caesar.

Lorna Cahall, The Actor King (2008), about the adventures and tribulations of an actor and his troupe as he travels the Roman Empire; self-published.

Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron (1965), about the Roman orator Cicero.

Frank Castle, Nero (1961), cover copy: "The throbbing story of the mad Caesar whose lust for flesh and blood wrought a reign of violence unequaled in history."

David Chacko, The Severan Prophecies, about the Severan dynasty emperors after the assassination of the Emperor Caracalla in 217; self-published.

Barry Clifton, Ben Hur: The Odyssey, a sequel to Lew Wallace's novel Ben Hur, which brings Ben Hur to Rome to defend the Apostle Paul after his arrest for missionary activities; Christian message; self-published.

Wilkie Collins, Antonina; Or, The Fall of Rome (1850), a romantic novel about a woman living through the sack of Rome by the Goths.

Bev Cooke, Keeper of the Light (2006), about Macrina the Elder, an Orthodox saint who lived in the fourth century and fled the Roman empire's persecution of Christians; Christian message.

David J. Cord, Dead Romans (2013), about a shepherd boy, the emperor's mistress and an aspiring writer during a time of plague in Ephesus in 166 AD.

David Corson, Domitia and Domitian (2000), about the Emperor Domitian who ruled Rome from A.D. 81-96 and his wife Domitia; self-published.

David Corson, Trajan and Plotina (2003), about the Emperor Trajan who ruled Rome from A.D. 98-117 and his wife Plotina; self-published.

Thomas B. Costain, The Darkness and the Dawn (1959), about Attila the Hun.

Elisabeth Roberts Craft, A Spy for Hannibal (1996), about a high priest in Carthage sent to Rome as a spy for Hannibal.

Stephen Dando-Collins, The Inquest (2005), about a Roman magistrate during the reign of Vespasian investigating the fledgling Christian movement and the rumors that a Jewish man has risen from the dead.


Peter Darman, The Parthian (2011), about a Parthian prince enslaved in Rome who joins the rebellion of Spartacus; #1 in the Parthian Chronicles series; self-published.

Peter Darman, Parthian Dawn (2011), about a Parthian prince during a time of warfare between Rome and Parthia in the first century B.C.; #2 in the Parthian Chronicles series; self-published.

Peter Darman, Parthian Vengeance (2012), about a Parthian king's adventures as he tries to hold onto his empire; #3 in the Parthian Chronicles series; self-published.

Peter Darman, Carrhae (2013), about a Parthian king trying to hold onto his empire as Rome threatens war against Parthia; #4 and last in the Parthian Chronicles series; self-published.


Lindsey Davis, The Course of Honour (1997), about Emperor Vespasian's mistress.

Lindsey Davis, Master and God (2012), about the unlikely friendship between a Praetorian Guard and a style-setting woman who makes wigs for the Emperor Domitian, and the choices they must make as Domitian descends into madness. Review

William Stearns Davis, A Friend of Caesar: A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic (1900).

Mario de Carvalho, A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening (1997), set in the Roman empire during the late second century, about the rise of Christianity in the province that became modern Portugal.

Robert DeMaria, Clodia (1965), about the poet Catullus, the beautiful and promiscuous Clodia, and Rome during the struggles of Caesar, Pompey and Crassus for power.

Luke Devenish, Den of Wolves (2008), about the young Livia, who would become the wife of Augustus Caesar; #1 in the planned Empress of Rome trilogy.

Louis de Wohl, The Living Wood (1947), about Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, her conversion to Christianity, and her search for the cross on which Jesus was crucified; Christian message.

Louis de Wohl, Imperial Renegade (1950), about Emperor Julian, who tried to revive paganism after the two previous emperors had made Christianity Rome's official religion.

William Dietrich, Scourge of God (2005), about Attila the Hun.

L. Sprague de Camp, Lest Darkness Fall (1941), about a history professor who goes back in time and tries to prevent the fall of Rome.


Gordon Doherty, Legionary (2011), about a soldier who fights in the Roman effort to recapture the Bosporus in 376 A.D.; #1 in the Legionary series; self-published.

Gordon Doherty, Viper of the North (2012), about a Roman soldier posted on the Danube in 376 A.D. as an attack threatens; #2 in the Legionary series; self-published.

Gordon Doherty, Land of the Sacred Fire (2013), about a Roman soldier from Trace to the Persian front in 377 A.D.; #3 in the Legionary series; self-published.

Gordon Doherty, Born in the Borderlands (2011), about a boy in Eastern Anatolia, at the border of the Byzantine empire, whose life is disrupted by Seljuk invaders in 1046 A.D.; #1 in the Strategos series; self-published.

Gordon Doherty, Rise of the Golden Heart (2013), about a Byzantine soldier fighting against Seljuk invaders in 1068 A.D.; #2 in the Strategos series; self-published.


James Douglas, The Isis Covenant (2012), an occult adventure about a Roman centurion in 64 A.D. searching for a relic of Isis, a disappearance in war-torn Berlin in 1945, and two present-day investigators.

Theodora DuBois, Captive of Rome (1962), about an Irish princess sold into slavery in Rome and captured by Goths during the sack of the city.

Stella Duffy, Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore (2011), about the child prostitute who would become the Empress Theodora; #1 in the Theodora series.

Stella Duffy, The Purple Shroud (2012), about Theodora in the years after she marries Justinian and becomes empress; #2 in the Theodora series.

James Duffy, Sand of the Arena, about a wealthy Roman who becomes a gladiator after a slave steals his identity following a deadly shipwreck; #1 in the Gladiators of the Empire series.

James Duffy, Fight for Rome, about a gladiator who wields power behind the scenes during the civil war following Nero's suicide; #2 in the Gladiators of the Empire series.


Alfred Duggan, Founding Fathers (1959; titled Children of the Wolf in the U.S.), about the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus. Review

Alfred Duggan, Winter Quarters (1956), about two men from Gaul who join the Roman army and travel across the Empire as far as Parthia. Review

Alfred Duggan, Three's Company (1958), about the civil war between Caesar and Pompey, the assassination of Caesar, and the government of the triumvirs from the perspective of Lepidus, who served as triumvir with Antony and Octavian. Review

Alfred Duggan, Family Favourites, about the Roman Emperor Elagabalus. Review


Helen Dunmore, Counting the Stars (2008), about the poet Catullus and his lover Clodia during a turbulent period in ancient Rome.

David Anthony Durham, Pride of Carthage (2005), about Hannibal's military campaign against Rome. Review

Georg Ebers, Homo Sum (1878), about a fifth-century Christian anchorite on the Sinai Peninsula.

Rebecca East, A. D. 62: Pompeii (2003), about a modern woman stranded in the past who becomes a slave in the household of Marcus Tullius in Pompeii; self-published.


Robert Fabbri, Tribune of Rome (2011), about the young Vespasian's arrival in Rome, where he hopes to find a patron and a military position but instead finds a city in turmoil during the rule of Emperor Tiberius; #1 in the Vespasian series.

Robert Fabbri, Rome’s Executioner (2012), about the young Vespasian and his dangerous mission to the Danube during the reign of Emperor Tiberius; #2 in the Vespasian series.

Robert Fabbri, False God of Rome (2013), about Vespasian, the future emperor of Rome, during the reign of Caligula; #3 in the Vespasian series.

Robert Fabbri, Rome’s Fallen Eagle (2013), about Vespasian during the reign of Emperor Claudius, when he is sent to Germania to retrieve the eagle lost there by the ninth legion four decades earlier; #4 in the Vespasian series.


Howard Fast, Spartacus (1951), about Spartacus, the gladiator who led a slave rebellion against Rome.


Lion Feuchtwanger, The Pretender (1936; titled Die Falsche Nero in German), about Terentius Maximus, who resembled Nero and led a rebellion against the Roman Emperor Titus.

Lion Feuchtwanger, Josephus (1932), about the first century Jewish historian Josephus during the years when he visits Rome, then witnesses the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.; #1 in the Josephus trilogy. Review

Lion Feuchtwanger, The Jew of Rome (1935), about the first century Jewish historian Josephus after the fall of Jerusalem, as he rises to a position of status in Rome; #2 in the Josephus trilogy. Review

Lion Feuchtwanger, Josephus and the Emperor (1942), about the first century Jewish historian Josephus and the deterioration of his relationship with the emperor Domitian as he begins to persecute Jews; #3 in the Josephus trilogy. Review


Gustave Flaubert, Salammbo (1862), about a young mercenary who falls in love with the daughter of the Carthaginian leader Hamilcar Barca. Review


Michael Curtis Ford, The Fall of Rome, a novel of warfare set in the last days of the Roman Empire.

Michael Curtis Ford, Gods and Legions, about the wars of Julian, the last pagan Emperor of Rome, who ruled from 360-363.

Michael Curtis Ford, The Last King, a novel of ancient warfare about Rome's enemy Mithridates.

Michael Curtis Ford, The Sword of Attila, a novel of ancient warfare about Attila the Hun.


Alistair Forrest, Libertas (2009), about a young Spaniard of the first century B.C. who resists the domination of Spain by Rome during the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great.

Géza Gárdonyi, Slave of the Huns (1901), about a Byzantine slave of the Huns; based on the historical account of the Byzantine diplomat Priscus about his visit to the court of Attila the Hun.

David Gibbins, The Last Gospel (titled The Lost Tomb in the U.S.), about a modern archaeologist who discovers a secret about the origin of Christianity while researching the ruins of a library in Pompeii

David Gibbins, Total War Rome: Destroy Carthage (2013), about a Roman legionary who serves under Scipio Aemilianus (later Scipio Africanus) before and during the Roman conflict with Carthage; based on the "Total War Rome" computer game.

Donna Gillespie, The Light Bearer (1994), about a Germanic woman warrior during the time of Nero who struggles to prevent Rome from conquering the German tribes.

Donna Gillespie, Lady of the Light (2006), about a Germanic woman married to a Roman man who has been secretly financing her people's resistance to Roman rule; sequel to The Light Bearer.

Sherrie Seibert Goff, The Arms of Quirinus, about King Romulus Silvius Quirinus, the legendary first king of Rome in the eighth century B.C.; #1 in the Seven Kings of Rome series; self-published.

Sherrie Seibert Goff, The Scent of Hyacinth, about King Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome; #2 in the Seven Kings of Rome series; self-published.

Sherrie Seibert Goff, The Warrior's Dance (2008), about King Tullus Hostilius, the legendary third king of Rome; #3 in the Seven Kings of Rome series; self-published.

Jose Gomez-Rivera, Flavius Aetius: The Last Conqueror (2004), a love story about the Empress Galla Placida and General Flavius Aetius and their struggle to preserve Rome during the last days of the Western Roman Empire; self-published.

R.S. Gompertz, No Roads Lead to Rome (2010), a comic novel about the Roman province of Hispania in 123 A.D.; self-published.

Jo Graham, Black Ships (2008), historical fantasy about an oracle who guides Aeneas on his journey to a new land after the fall of Troy.

Dewey Gram, Gladiator, a novelization of the film about a Roman general who becomes a gladiator in order to avenge the murder of his family.

Ralph A. Graves, The Lost Eagles (1955), about a young Roman soldier's attempt to recover the legionary eagle standards lost in the disastrous Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.

Robert Graves, I, Claudius (1934), a novel about Claudius during the reigns of Augustus through Caligula until he became Emperor of Rome in 41 A.D.; the television mini-series of the same name was based on this novel. Review

Robert Graves, Claudius the God (1935), about the reign of Emperor Claudius; sequel to I, Claudius. Review

George Green, Hawk (2005), about a man who hunts animals for Roman gladiatorial contests and undertakes a dangerous mission north of the Alps in 34 A.D.

Peter Green, The Sword of Pleasure: Being the Memoirs of the Most Illustrious Lucius Cornelius Sulla (1957), about the Roman dictator Sulla.

Hella S. Haasse, Threshold of Fire: A Novel of Fifth Century Rome (1993), about the Christian persecutions of pagans in Rome during the time of Emperor Hadrian.

Barbara Hambly, Search the Seven Hills (1983; titled The Quirinal Affair in the UK), a thriller set in ancient Rome that revolves around a strange new religious cult, the Christians.

Robert Harris, Pompeii, a novel of ancient history, about the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii.

Robert Harris, Imperium, about Cicero's rise to political power in ancient Rome; #1 in the Cicero trilogy. Review

Robert Harris, Lustrum (2009; titled Conspirata in the U.S.), about Cicero's year as consul in 63 B.C., as Julius Caesar plots to gain power and Cicero wonders whether he can justify using illegal methods in order to save the Roman Republic; #2 in the Cicero trilogy. Review at The Nashville Ledger

Anne Hart, Proper Parenting in Ancient Rome (2007), about a young Roman patrician who returns home after his studies in Alexandria to find his father missing; self-published.

Nicholas Henry, Raelina's Flowers (2007), about a Roman soldier who survives the massacre in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D.; self-published.

John Hersey, The Conspiracy (1972), about the poet Lucan and the playwright and philosopher Seneca, investigated for subversive political activities by Emperor Nero's spies. Review

Cecelia Holland, The Death of Attila (1973), about a Hun warrior in the time of Attila. Review

Thomas Holt, A Song for Nero (2003), a thriller exploring the possibility that Nero survived beyond the date he was believed to have died.

Lance Horner, Rogue Roman (1965), about an actor who, after becoming a gladiator, is recruited to impersonate Emperor Nero.

Peter Huby, Carthage, about Rome's destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C.

Damion Hunter, The Centurions (1981), about the rivalry of two half-brothers in the Roman legions posted in Germania during the reign of Vespasian; Damion Hunter is a pen name of Amanda Cockrell; #1 in the Centurions series.

Damion Hunter, Barbarian Princess (1982), about the rivalry of two half-brothers in the Roman legions as one is assigned to escort a barbarian princess; Damion Hunter is a pen name of Amanda Cockrell; #2 in the Centurions series.

Damion Hunter, The Emperor's Games (1984), the careers of two half-brothers in the Roman legions diverge as one fights pirates in Gaul and the eruption of Vesuvius looms; Damion Hunter is a pen name of Amanda Cockrell; #3 in the Centurions series.

Patricia Hunter, Our Master, Caesar (2011), about Julius Caesar and the people around him; self-published.


Conn Iggulden, The Gates of Rome, about Julius Caesar as a youth, when he chooses the losing side in the struggle between Marius and Sulla to control Rome; #1 in the Emperor series.

Conn Iggulden, The Death of Kings, about the dangers Caesar faced during his rise to power, including capture by Mediterranean pirates and the slave rebellion of Spartacus; #2 in the Emperor series.

Conn Iggulden, The Field of Swords, about the friendship and rivalry between Caesar and Brutus as Caesar moves toward the fateful decision to cross the Rubicon and make war in Rome; #3 in the Emperor series.

Conn Iggulden, The Gods of War, about Caesar and the civil war he pursued in order to unseat Pompey as dictator of Rome; #4 in the Emperor series.

Conn Iggulden, The Blood of Gods (2013), about the struggle for power in Rome after the assassination of Julius Caesar.


Douglas Jackson, Caligula (2008), about an elephant trainer and a gladiator who become involved in a plot to kill the insane Emperor Caligula

Douglas Jackson, Claudius (2009), about Caratacus, who leads the British defense against the Roman invasion, and the keeper of the elephant Emperor Claudius brings to Britain to strike fear into its defenders.

Douglas Jackson, Hero of Rome (2010), about a Roman tribune who leads a defending band of Roman military veterans under attack by Boudica and her British rebels; #1 in the Gaius Valerius Verrens series.

Douglas Jackson, Defender of Rome (2011), about a celebrated soldier who returns to Rome, scarred by his experiences in Britain, and is given the responsibility of capturing the leader of the new Christian sect; #2 in the Gaius Valerius Verrens series.

Douglas Jackson, Avenger of Rome (2012), about a Roman hero sent to Antioch as war with Parthia is about to begin; #3 in the Gaius Valerius Verrens series.

Douglas Jackson, Sword Of Rome (2013), about a Roman hero who takes on the mission of assassinating Emperor Nero, ushering in the Year of the Four Emperors; #4 in the Gaius Valerius Verrens series.


Brenda Jagger, Antonia (1984), about a young woman of a patrician Roman family whose marital prospects shift during the Year of the Four Emperors (69 A.D.) as each new emperor comes to power.

Brenda Jagger, Daughter of Aphrodite (1981), about a first century Greek courtesan whose clients include the son of Emperor Tiberius and the powerful captain of the Praetorian Guard, Sejanus.

John Jakes, The Man from Cannae (first published 1963 as Traitors' Legion under the pen name Jay Scotland), about the Second Punic War between Carthage and Rome.

John James, The Bridge of Sand (1976), a novel which imagines that the Roman satirist Juvenal led a military expedition to conquer Ireland.

Benita Kane Jaro, The Key , about the poet Catullus and his love affair with Clodia; #1 in the Key trilogy, but can be read as a standalone. Review

Benita Kane Jaro, The Lock, about Cicero and the events that led to the downfall of the Roman Republic; #2 in the Key trilogy.

Benita Kane Jaro, The Door in the Wall, about a young politician who must choose whether to support Julius Caesar or Pompey the Great in their struggle for power in Rome; #3 in the Key trilogy.

Leon Jenner, Bricks (2011), about a master bricklayer who remembers a past life as a Druid priest who tricked Julius Caesar.

Gary Jennings, Raptor, about a hermaphrodite Goth, his travels through the crumbling fifth century Roman empire, and his friendship with the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great.


Ben Kane, The Forgotten Legion (2010), about three men who join the Roman army and fight under Crassus in the disastrous Battle of Carrae in Parthia in 55 B.C.; #1 in the Forgotten Legion Chronicles series. Review

Ben Kane, The Silver Eagle (2009), about Roman soldiers trapped in Parthia after a disastrous battle, and the search of the sister of one of the soldiers for her lover in Gaul amid the uprising led by Vercingetorix; #2 in the Forgotten Legion Chronicles series.

Ben Kane, The Road to Rome (2010), about veterans of the disastrous Battle of Carrae and their struggle to return to Rome, while the sister of one of them faces danger in Rome; #3 in the Forgotten Legion trilogy.

Ben Kane, Spartacus: The Gladiator (2012), about Spartacus, the leader of a slave rebellion against Rome, from the time he leaves his service as an auxiliary in the Roman army until, betrayed into slavery as a gladiator, he escapes and organizes the rebellion; #1 in the Spartacus series.

Ben Kane, Spartacus: Rebellion (2012), about Spartacus as his army of rebels against Rome, initially victorious, faces the challenge of an army raised by Crassus; #2 in the Spartacus series.

Ben Kane, Hannibal: Enemy of Rome (2013), about a Carthaginian boy sold into slavery in Rome who makes friends with his owner's son, but is destined to face him on the battlefield, as the young Carthaginian general Hannibal prepares to make war on Rome; #1 in the Hannibal series.

Ben Kane, Hannibal: Fields of Blood (2013), about a young Carthaginian who fights under Hannibal in the Battle of Cannae; #2 in the Hannibal series.

Ben Kane, Clouds of War (2014), about two friends fighting on opposite sides during the Roman siege of Syracuse in 213 B.C.; #3 in the Hannibal series.


William Kelso, The Shield of Rome (2011), about a man who rallies Roman spirits after the Battle of Cannae, the greatest defeat in Rome's history; self-published.

William Kelso, The Fortune of Carthage (2012), about a Roman farmer and his family on the eve of Hannibal's attack; self-published.

Arthur Koestler, The Gladiators (1939), about the slave revolt led by Spartacus. Review

Ross Laidlaw, Attila: The Scourge of God, a novel of warfare about Attila the Hun and the Roman general Aetius.

Ross Laidlaw, Theoderic (2010), about Theoderic, the Gothic chieftain who rose to rule the remains of the Roman Empire after it began to fall apart in the fifth century.

Patrick Larkin, The Tribune, a thriller with a Christian message set in Roman Galilee during the time of Jesus.

Ross Leckie, Hannibal (1996), about Hannibal, the Carthaginian general who invaded Rome; #1 in the Carthage trilogy. Review

Ross Leckie, Scipio Africanus (1998; also titled Scipio), a novel of ancient history, about the life of Scipio Africanus, the Roman general who defeated Hannibal; #2 in the Carthage trilogy. Review

Ross Leckie, Carthage (2001), about the destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War; #3 in the Carthage trilogy. Review

Ursula K. Le Guin, Lavinia (2008), about the Italian woman who, according to legend, married Aeneas after the Trojan War and helped him found the city of Rome.

Andrew Levkoff, The Bow of Heaven (2011), about a Greek philosophy student who becomes a slave of Marcus Licinius Crassus; #1 in the Other Alexander series; self-published.

Morgan Llywelyn, Etruscans, a fantasy novel based on legends about the ancient Etruscans, the forerunners of Roman civilization.

Morgan Llywelyn, Druids, about Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gallic resistance against Caesar, and the druids of Gaul.

Morgan Llywelyn, The Greener Shore, about Gallic druids who fled to Ireland after the Roman conquest of Gaul; sequel to Druids.

Jack Ludlow, The Pillars of Rome , about two young patricians during the time of the Roman Republic who swear loyalty to each other and to Rome; #1 in the Republic trilogy.

Jack Ludlow, The Sword of Revenge , about a corrupt Roman senator during the time of the Republic; #2 in the Republic trilogy.

Jack Ludlow, The Gods of War, about the heir to a powerful Roman senator as danger mounts from Rome's Celtic enemies; #3 in the Republic trilogy.

James Mace, Soldier of Rome: The Legionary, about a young Roman legionary in the force sent to Germania to avenge the destruction of three legions in the Teutoburg Forest; self-published; #1 in the Soldier of Rome series.

James Mace, Soldier of Rome: The Sacrovir Revolt, about a Roman legionary during the reign of Emperor Tiberius, as the threat of a rebellion in Gaul looms; self-published; #2 in the Soldier of Rome series.

James Mace, Soldier of Rome: Heir to Rebellion, about a Roman centurion stationed in the Lugdunum (now Lyon), Gaul, as a series of murders upsets the city; self-published; #3 in the Soldier of Rome series.

James Mace, Soldier of Rome: The Centurion, about a Roman centurion; self-published; #3 in the Soldier of Rome series.

Paul L. Maier, The Flames of Rome, about the spread of Christianity in Rome during the reign of Nero; Christian message.

David Malouf, An Imaginary Life (1978), about the poet Ovid and his relationship with a feral boy during his exile from Rome on the coast of the Black Sea.


Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Ides of March (2009), a political thriller set during the last days of Julius Caesar.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Empire of Dragons, about a Roman soldier captured along with Emperor Valerian by the Persians and his journey to China after he escapes.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Tower, a dual-time novel about an Etruscan who is the sole survivor of a first-century Roman mission in the Sahara and a modern man trying to understand why his father has disappeared in the desert, their stories linked by a mysterious tower.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Last Legion (2002), about a band of Romano-British soldiers who journey to Rome in 470 A.D. as the Empire is beginning to collapse.


F. Van Wyck Mason, The Barbarians (1954), about an Iberian prince who becomes a slave in Carthage and his quest for revenge.


Allan Massie, Augustus, about the first emperor of Rome; #1 in the author's Imperial series.

Allan Massie, Tiberius (1991), about Augustus' successor as emperor of Rome; #2 in the author's Imperial series.

Allan Massie, Caesar, about the rise of Julius Caesar; #3 in the author's Imperial series.

Allan Massie, The Evening of the World, a novel of ancient history, about a Roman soldier's wanderings after the fall of Rome; #1 in the Dark Ages trilogy (#2, Arthur the King, is set in Arthurian Britain; #3, Charlemagne and Roland, is set in early medieval Europe).

Allan Massie, Antony (1997), about Mark Antony, one of the assassins of Julius Caesar, and his struggle with Octavian for leadership in Rome after Caesar's death.

Allan Massie, Caligula (2003), a sympathetic portrayal of one of the most emotionally disturbed Roman emperors.

Allan Massie, Nero's Heirs (1999), about the "year of the three emperors" after the death of Nero.


Terry McCarthy, The Sword of Hannibal (2005), about a mercenary who becomes involved in Hannibal's march across the Alps to invade Rome.


Colleen McCullough, The First Man in Rome (1990), about the Roman consul Gaius Marius; #1 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, The Grass Crown (1991), about the Roman dictator Sulla; #2 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, Fortune's Favorites (1993), about the later years of the Roman dictator Sulla; #3 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, Caesar's Women (1996), about the rise of Julius Caesar; #4 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, Caesar (1997; also titled Caesar: Let the Dice Fly), about the mature Julius Caesar; #5 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, The October Horse (2002), about Julius Caesar's intervention in the civil war between Cleopatra and her brother; #6 in the Masters of Rome series. Review

Colleen McCullough, Antony and Cleopatra (2007), about Cleopatra's scheme to make her son emperor of Rome in the wake of Julius Caesar's death; #7 in the Masters of Rome series. Review


Melanie McDonald, Eromenos (2011), about the youth Antinous of Bithynia and his seven-year affair with Emperor Hadrian.

Naomi Mitchison, The Conquered (1923), about the conflicted relationship of a Gaul and a Roman military officer during and after Julius Caesar's Gallic War. Review

Pat Mizell, The Day Gaul Died (2012), about the Gallic leader Vercingetorix and his revolt against Rome; self-published.

Kathleen Morgan, Enchant the Dream (1996), historical romance about a Germanic priestess and a Celtic chieftain forced into slavery in ancient Rome.

Talbot Mundy, Caesar Dies (1934), about the plot to kill the Roman Emperor Commodus after he goes insane.

H. Warner Munn, The Lost Legion, an adventure story about a legion sent to Asia by the mad Emperor Caligula.

William Napier, Attila (2005; also titled The Scourge of God), about the early life of Attila the Hun; #1 in the Attila the Hun trilogy.

William Napier, The Gathering of the Storm (2007), about the early life of Attila, as he returns from exile to claim his kingdom and strives to unite the Huns and Scythians; #2 in the Attila the Hun trilogy.

William Napier, Attila: The Judgment (2008), about Attila's campaign against Rome; #3 in the Attila the Hun trilogy.

John Henry Newman, Callista: A Tale of the Third Century (1855), about a young woman in Roman Africa and the process by which she converts to Christianity; written by an Anglican convert to Catholicism who became a cardinal

Kyle Onstott and Lance Horner, Child of the Sun (1966), about the "effeminate" and “perverted" Varius Avitus Bassianus, or Elagabalus, who became Emperor of Rome in A.D. 218

Vincent Panella, Cutter's Island (2000), about Julius Caesar's experience of being kidnapped by pirates as a young man (an actual historical event).

R.W. Peake, Marching With Caesar: Conquest of Gaul (2012), about a man who joins the Tenth Legion while Julius Caesar is governor of Spain, and participates in the conquest of Gaul; self-published.


Kate Quinn, Mistress of Rome (2010), about a Jewish slave girl in first-century Rome who falls in love with a gladiator but becomes the mistress of the Emperor Domitian; #1 in the Mistress of Rome series.

Kate Quinn, Daughters of Rome (2011), about two Roman sisters whose lives are changed dramatically during the bloody Year of Four Emperors, 69 A.D.; #2 in the Mistress of Rome series.

Kate Quinn, Empress of the Seven Hills (2012), about a senator's daughter and a former gladiator who remain loyal to Emperor Trajan even as his fall approaches; #3 in the Mistress of Rome series.


Chet Raymo, Valentine: A Love Story (2007), a novel based on the tradition that the original St. Valentine was a physician who fell in love with a blind woman in ancient Rome.

Robert Raymond, Fire and Bronze (2005), about a princess of Tyre who became Queen Dido; based on legends about the founding of Carthage.

Boris Raymond, The Phoenix Circle (2007), about a group of Roman aristocrats struggling to prevent the destruction of the Empire as barbarians close in on it and a new religion gains power; self-published.

Angela Render, Forged by Lightning: A Novel of Hannibal and Scipio (2006), about the generals who led the Roman and Carthaginian armies during the Second Punic War; self-published.

Patrick Rivette, The Chief Centurion: A Soldier for Rome (2001), about a Roman soldier who rescues the early Christian leader Paul from an angry mob; self-published.

Francine Rivers, A Voice in the Wind (1993), #1 in the Mark of the Lion series about the rise of Christianity in ancient Rome; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, An Echo in the Darkness (1994), #2 in the Mark of the Lion series about the rise of Christianity in ancient Rome; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, As Sure as the Dawn (1995), #3 in the Mark of the Lion series about the rise of Christianity in ancient Rome; Christian message.

Keith Roberts, The Boat of Fate (1971), about a young Roman during the disintegration of the Roman Empire.

Kathleen Robinson, Dominic (1991), about an orphaned dwarf from Gaul who travels through the collapsing Roman empire.

Kathleen Robinson, Heaven's Only Daughter (1993), historical romance about a Roman princess and a Gothic king during the fifth-century fall of Rome

M.J. Rose, The Reincarnationist (2007), about a man who suddenly, after a terrorist bombing in Rome, begins vividly recalling past lives in Rome in 391 A.D. and in 1884 New York.

David M. Ross, In the Army of Marcus Batallius (2002), about the commander of a newly formed legion charged with the responsibility of establishing a Roman fort in Germanic territory on the east side of the Rhine; self-published.


Barry Sadler, The Eternal Mercenary (1979), about a Roman soldier present at the crucifixion and doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; #1 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

Barry Sadler, Casca 5: The Barbarian (1981), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in Germany during the time of the Roman Empire; #5 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#2 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, God of Death (1979), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who travels to Mexico with a group of Viking warriors; #2 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#3 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 3: The Warlord (1980), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in the Mediterranean and in China; #3 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#4 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 6: The Persian (1982), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who becomes a commander of the Persian army; #6 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#5 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 7: The Damned (1982), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who takes part in Rome's struggle to defend itself against the Huns and Visigoths; #7 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#6 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 9: The Sentinel (1983), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in Constantinople and North Africa; #9 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#7 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 13: The Assassin (1985), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who joins the Hashishi assassins during the time of the Seljuk Turks; #13 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#8 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 19: The Samurai (1988), about a soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who becomes a samurai in medieval Japan; #19 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#9 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 22: The Mongol (1990), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights alongside the Mongol warrior who will become Genghis Khan; #22 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#10 chronologically of the first 22 books of the first 22 books). .

Barry Sadler, Casca 10: The Conquistador (1984), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who goes to Mexico with Cortez; #10 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#11 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 15: The Pirate (1985), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who joins Blackbeard's pirate crew; #15 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#12 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 17: The Warrior (1987), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in the South Sea Islands; #17 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#13 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 18: The Cursed (1987), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights in China during the Boxer Rebellion; #18 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#14 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 21: The Trench Soldier (1989), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights on the British side in World War I; #21 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#15 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 4: The Panzer Soldier (1980), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights on the German side in World War II; #4 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#16 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 11: The Legionnaire (1984), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights for the French Foreign Legion in Vietnam; #11 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#17 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 16: The Desert Mercenary (1986), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights against the Tuareg in North Africa; #16 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#18 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 14: The Phoenix (1985), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who serves in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War; #14 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#19 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 20: Soldier of Gideon (1988), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights for Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War; #20 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#20 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 8: Soldier of Fortune (1983), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in Cambodia during the time of the Khmer Rouge; #8 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#21 chronologically of the first 22 books).

Barry Sadler, Casca 12: The African Mercenary (1984), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who joins a team sent to depose a twentieth century African dictator; #12 in the Eternal Mercenary series (#22 chronologically of the first 22 books).

(Sadler series) Paul Dengelegi, Barry Sadler's Casca: The Liberator (1999), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; #23 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Paul Dengelegi, Barry Sadler's Casca: The Defiant (2001), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ; set in medieval Venice; #24 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: Halls of Montezuma (2006), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights during the Mexican-American War; #25 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: Johnny Reb (2007), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights in the Civil War; #26 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: The Confederate (2008), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights in the Civil War; #27 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: The Avenger (2008), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, and his struggle to destroy a secret religious sect in the Byzantine Empire during the years 535-552 in the reign of Justinian; #28 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Michael B. Goodwin, Barry Sadler's Casca: Immortal Dragon (2008), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who battles against a Thuggee sect with stolen nuclear weapons and a device which allows them to become invisible; #29 in the Eternal Mercenary series.

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: Napoleon's Soldier (2009), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights for the French in the 1812 campaign against Russia; #30 in the Eternal Mercenary series. Review

(Sadler series) Tony Roberts, Barry Sadler's Casca: The Conqueror (2009), about a Roman soldier doomed to remain alive until the second coming of Christ, who fights during the Norman invasion of England in 1066; #31 in the Eternal Mercenary series.


Richard Ben Sapir, The Far Arena (1978), about a Roman gladiator brought to life in the twentieth century.

Steven Saylor, Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome (2007), a time-sweep novel about ancient Rome from its earliest founding as a settlement on the banks of the Tiber into the time of Caesar Augustus. Review

Steven Saylor, Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome (2010), a sweep-of-history novel about ancient Rome from 14 A.D., the end of Caesar Augustus's reign to the death of Hadrian in 141 A.D. Review or Author Interview


Simon Scarrow, Under the Eagle (2000), about a Roman officer and the new recruit to Rome's Second Legion whom he must train, on their way to Britain in 42 A.D.; #1 in the Eagle series. Review

Simon Scarrow, The Eagle's Conquest (2001), about a Roman centurion fighting in the campaign to conquer Britain in 43 A.D.; #2 in the Eagle series. Review

Simon Scarrow, When the Eagle Hunts (2002), about a Roman centurion in Britain in the winter of 44 A.D.; #3 in the Eagle series. Review

Simon Scarrow, The Eagle and the Wolves (2003), about a Roman centurion in Britain in the summer of 44 A.D.; #4 in the Eagle series. Review

Simon Scarrow, The Eagle's Prey (2004), about a Roman centurion in Britain fighting against the army organized by Caratacus; #5 in the Eagle series. Review

Simon Scarrow, The Eagle's Prophecy (2005), about a Roman soldier assigned to defeat a gang of pirates who have stolen some scrolls vital to the Empire's future; #6 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow, The Eagle in the Sand (2006), about a Roman soldier struggling to avert trouble in Syria; #7 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow, Centurion (2007), about a Roman centurion sent to defend Palmyra from Parthia, #8 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow, The Gladiator (2009), about two Roman centurions who arrive in Crete to find it devastated by an earthquake and on the verge of a rebellion against Rome; #9 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow, The Legion (2010), about a Roman prefect and his centurion friend who must go to Egypt to put a stop to a rebel gladiator and his band who have been posing as Roman soldiers and causing general mayhem; #10 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow, Praetorian (2011), about two army veterans summoned to Rome in 50 A.D. by Emperor Claudius's secretary to investigate a Republican movement known as "the Liberators"; #11 in the Eagle series.

Simon Scarrow and T.J. Andrews, Arena (2013), about a Roman legionary who must reluctantly remain in the city to train a young gladiator; features the Macro character from the Eagle series.


M.C. Scott, The Emperor's Spy (2010), about a Roman spy who returns from his post in Britannia and is assigned to root out revolutionaries in Rome, only to find that his best friend Saulos, a Christian convert, is at the bottom of the trouble and planning an act of terrorism; #1 in the Rome series.

M.C. Scott, The Coming of the King (2011), about a spy for Emperor Nero, a former friend of his who is determined to destroy a Roman province, and a woman seeking vengeance for the death of her father; #2 in the Rome series.

M.C. Scott, The Eagle of the Twelfth (2012), about a young Macedonian recruited to the unlucky Twelfth Legion shortly before their Eagle is taken during a campaign in Judaea; #3 in the Rome series.

M.C. Scott, Rome: The Art of War (2013), about a spy during the Year of the Four Emperors, A.D. 69; #4 in the Rome series.


Rafael Scott, The Lion's Brood (2004), about the Carthaginian general Hannibal, from his childhood to his war upon Rome; self-published.


Harry Sidebottom, Fire in the East (2008), about a Roman soldier sent to organize the defense of a city on the eastern border of the Roman Empire in 255 A.D. from a threatened attack by the Sassanid Empire in Persia; #1 in the Warrior of Rome series. Review

Harry Sidebottom, King of Kings (2009), about a Roman general who returns to Rome in 256 AD amid an atmosphere of religious fanaticism to find that he has enemies in the city who would like to see him dead; #2 in the Warrior of Rome series. Review or Author Interview

Harry Sidebottom, Lion of the Sun (2010), about a Roman solider who vows to wreak vengeance on the Sassanids who capture Emperor Valerian in 260 A.D.; #3 in the Warrior of Rome series. Review

Harry Sidebottom, The Caspian Gates (2011), about a Roman solider whose knowledge of the barbarian Goths makes him uniquely qualified to defeat them in 262 A.D. as they threaten the Roman city of Ephesus, already shattered by an earthquake; #4 in the Warrior of Rome series. Review

Harry Sidebottom, The Wolves of the North (2012), about a Roman soldier charged with turning two savage barbarian tribes against each other before their raiding destroys the Empire; #5 in the Warrior of Rome series. Review

Harry Sidebottom, The Amber Road (2013), about a Roman soldier sent to the far north to raise troops in support of the emperor against another claimant to the throne; #6 in the Warrior of Rome series.


Henryk K. Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis (1896), about Rome in the time of Nero; by a Polish author who subsequently won the Nobel prize in literature. Review

Frank Slaughter, Constantine: The Miracle of the Flaming Cross (1965), about the first Roman emperor to adopt Christianity.

Norman Spinrad, The Druid King (2003), about Vercingetorix, the Celtic chieftain who led the resistance to Caesar's conquest of Gaul. Review


John Stack, Ship of Rome (2009), about the captain of a ship in the small Roman fleet as war breaks out with Carthage and the Romans realize they need a naval force; #1 in the Masters of the Sea series. Review

John Stack, Captain of Rome (2010), a novel of naval warfare about a young ship captain whose inexperienced commander's orders send him into a trap; #2 in the Masters of the Sea series. Review

John Stack, Master of Rome (2011), about a Greek serving as a commander in the Roman navy who escapes the Carthaginians and a storm at sea to fall afoul of Roman politics; #3 in the Masters of the Sea series. Review


John Stewart, The Centurion (1995), about an imperial legate to Judea and a centurion drawn to the teachings of Jesus during the period before and after the crucifixion; Christian message.

Elisabeth Storrs, The Wedding Shroud (2010), about a young Roman woman married to an Etruscan in the fifth century B.C. and both shocked and seduced by the hedonistic Etruscan lifestyle.

George Strickland, The Lion of Africa: Hannibal of Carthage (2008), about Hannibal, who defeated the Roman army after bringing war elephants with his army across the Alps; self-published.

Justin Swanton, Centurion's Daughter (2011), about a Christian girl in Roman Gaul in 486 A.D. near the fall of the Roman Empire who travels to Soissons in search of her father.

Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove, Household Gods (1999), about a modern woman who travels back in time to ancient Rome.

Mark Tedesco, I am John, I am Paul (2012), about two fourth-century Roman soldiers, the Christian martyrs John and Paul; self-published.

Edward Thomson, Atilus the Slave (1975), #1 in the Gladiators series.

Edward Thomson, Atilus the Gladiator (1975), #2 in the Gladiators series.

Edward Thomson, Gladiator (1978), #3 in the Gladiators series.

Stephanie Thornton, The Secret History: A Novel of Empress Theodora (2013), about the Byzantine prostitute who rose to power as the mistress and then wife of Emperor Justinian.

Colin Thubron, Emperor (1978), about Constantine's military campaign to rule the entire Roman Empire and his conversion to Christianity, told in the form of documents and journal entries by various characters.

Harry Turtledove, Give Me Back My Legions! (2009), about the disastrous Roman defeat to the Germans under Arminius in the Teutoberg Forest in 9 AD.

L.J. Trafford, Palatine (2013), about a man so disgusted by the moral degeneracy of the court of Emperor Nero that he decides to remove him; #1 in the Four Emperors series; self-published.

L.J. Trafford, Galba's Men (2013), about a man who aspires to be adopted by the childless and aging Emperor Galba; #2 in the Four Emperors series; self-published.

Peter Vansittart, The Wall (1990), about a family in third-century Rome after Emperor Aurelian builds a wall around the city.

Henry Venmore-Rowland, The Last Caesar (2012), about Aulus Caecina Severus, a hero of the war against Boudica, who joins a conspiracy to overthrow Caesar's dynasty in 69 A.D.

Henry Venmore-Rowland, The Sword and the Throne (2013); about Aulus Caecina Severus during the Year of the Four Emperors; sequel to The Last Caesar.

Gore Vidal, Julian (1964), about Rome's Emperor Julian, who tried to revive paganism during his rule from 360-363. Review

Virgil, The Aeneid (written in the first century B.C.), an epic poem which incorporates ancient legends about the fall of Troy and the founding of Rome.

Lew Wallace, Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880), about a Hebrew prince in Roman Judea during the time of Jesus whose best friend, a Roman, becomes his enemy; Christian message.

Mika Waltari, The Etruscan (original Finnish edition 1955; first English edition 1956), about a young Etruscan man and his spiritual development as he travels through Greece and Italy in the fifth century B.C.

Rex Warner, Young Caesar (1958), a biographical novel about Julius Caesar's early years in the form of an autobiography.

Rex Warner, Imperial Caesar (1960), a biographical novel about Julius Caesar in the form of an autobiography; sequel to The Young Caesar.

Paul Waters, Of Merchants and Heroes (2008; titled The Republic of Vengeance in the U.S.), about a young Roman at the end of the third century B.C. who pursues the pirates who murdered his father across Greece and Italy during the rise of Philip of Macedon. A 2008 "find" by reviewer Annis

Paul Waters, Cast Not The Day (2009), about a young man in fifth century Roman Britain who becomes involved in the conflict between Christianity and classical paganism as the Empire begins to split at the seams; sequel to The Republic of Vengeance.

Paul Waters, The Philosopher Prince (2010), about two young Romans whose only hope after they have been charged with treason is the emperor's nephew Prince Julian, who is himself hated by the emperor; sequel to Merchants and Heroes and The Republic of Vengeance.

Evelyn Waugh, Helena (1950), about the mother of Constantine the Great and her quest to locate the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Review

Russell Whitfield, Gladiatrix (2009), about a first century Spartan woman forced to become a gladiatrix. Review

Russell Whitfield, Roma Victrix (2011), about a former gladiatrix who finds her new life of luxury unsatisfying and is invited back to the arena to fight the new Gladiatarix Prima; sequel to Gladiatrix.

Leonard Wibberley, The Testament of Theophilus (1973), about a skeptical Roman converted to Christianity during the time of the Gospels.

Thornton Wilder, The Ides of March (1948), about the assassination of Julius Caesar. Review

John Williams, Augustus (1972), about the Roman Emperor Augustus and his rise to power; winner of a National Book Award. Review

David Wishart, I, Virgil (1995), about the ancient Roman poet who wrote the Aeneid.

David Wishart, Nero (1996), about the Roman Emperor Nero from the perspective of his "Advisor on Taste."

Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian (1951), a literary novel written in the form of the memoirs of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Review


Ancient Rome: Mystery Novels

Jump to long-running series mysteries, or scroll down for stand-alone mysteries and shorter series:

The "Falco" and "Flavia Alba" series by Lindsey Davis
"SPQR" series by John Maddox Roberts
"Roma Sub Rosa" series by Steven Saylor
"Claudia Seferius" series by Marilyn Todd
"Marcus Corvinus" series by David Wishart


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Albert A. Bell Jr., All Roads Lead to Murder: A Case From the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (2002), a mystery in which Luke the Apostle and the Roman scholars Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, traveling through Smyrna on their way to Rome, investigate the murder of a fellow traveler; #1 in the Pliny the Younger mystery series.

Albert A. Bell Jr., The Blood of Caesar: A Second Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (2008), a mystery in which the Roman scholars Tacitus and Pliny the Younger are asked to find out who murdered a mason whose body was found in Domitian's library; #2 in the Pliny the Younger mystery series.

Albert A. Bell Jr., The Corpus Conundrum: A Third Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (2011), a mystery in which the Roman scholar Pliny the Younger must investigate the case of a body which turns up at his villa and then mysteriously disappears; #3 in the Pliny the Younger mystery series. Review


Richard Blake, The Ghosts of Athens (2012), about a Roman senator who, returning from war in Egypt, is forced to make a side trip to Athens where he must solve a murder that could have political implications.

Philip Boast, The Third Princess, about the seventh son of a Roman aristocrat assigned to guard a Christian princess after his family is murdered during the time of Nero; #1 in the Septimus Quistus mystery series

Philip Boast, The Son of Heaven (2007), about the seventh son of a Roman aristocrat assigned to guard a Chinese Emperor's heir from the Huns along the Spice Road; #2 in the Septimus Quistus mystery series.

Ron Burns, Roman Nights , about a Roman lawyer investigating a series of murders of Stoic philosophers; #1 in the Livinius Severus mystery series

Ron Burns, Roman Shadows, about a Roman lawyer in the days after the murder of Julius Caesar; #2 in the Livinius Severus mystery series.


Lindsey Davis, The Silver Pigs (1989), a Roman informer's efforts to bring a group of traitors to justice are complicated by his impulsive decision to rescue a pretty girl and a trail that leads to Britannia; #1 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Shadows in Bronze (1990), a palace spy tries to uncover the culprits plotting to assassinate Emperor Vespasian; #2 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Venus in Copper (1991), after being bailed out of prison, where he landed after making a small accounting error, a Roman investigator is hired to assist a family of freed slaves avoid trouble; #3 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, The Iron Hand of Mars (1992), an informer travels to Gaul on a mission for the Emperor Vespasian; #4 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Poseidon's Gold (1993), a Roman informer must try to clear his own family's name; #5 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Last Act in Palmyra (1994), a Roman informer tries to find out who murdered the playwright for a traveling comedy troupe; #6 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Time to Depart (1995), a Roman informer must start his investigation afresh when murders begin again even though he has succeeded in having Rome's worst criminal exiled; #7 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, A Dying Light in Corduba (1996), a Roman informer's murder investigation leads to the olive oil business; #8 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Three Hands in the Fountain (1996), a Roman informer tracks down a serial killer who leaves body parts in the aqueducts; #9 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Two for the Lions (1998), a Roman informer is caught by surprise when the killing of a lion who is a star in the gladiatorial games leads to the murder of a trainer; #10 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, One Virgin Too Many (1999), a Roman informer's new duties as Procurator of the Sacred Poultry of the Senate and People of Rome lead him into trouble; #11 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Ode to a Banker (2000), a Roman informer and amateur poet stumbles into a case of murder after a banker offers to publish his work; #12 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, A Body in the Bath House (2001), a Roman informer travels to an expensive new building project in Britannia (today known as Fishbourne Palace) to investigate suspected corruption and a series of fatal accidents; #13 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, The Jupiter Myth (2002), in muddy Britannia where he has just solved a mystery, an informer for the Roman Emperor must solve a new case of murder before he can return home; #14 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, The Accusers (2003), a Roman informer lands in trouble after becoming involved in a legal case that leads to complications; #15 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Scandal Takes a Holiday (2004), a Roman informer's task of finding a missing gossip monger proves more difficult than expected; #16 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, See Delphi and Die (2005), a Roman informer travels to Greece on the emperor's business; #17 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Saturnalia (2007), about an informer for Emperor Vespasian who finds it especially difficult to find a missing woman and solve a case of murder during the Roman holiday of Saturnalia; #18 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Alexandria (2009), about an informer for Emperor Vespasian who must interrupt his vacation in Alexandria to investigate a death in the Great Library; #19 in the Falco mystery series. Review

Lindsey Davis, Nemesis (2010), about an informer for Emperor Vespasian whose search for a serial killer is interrupted when his case is taken away from him by an official whose motives may be less than pure; #20 in the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, Falco: The Official Companion (2010), a guide to the Falco mystery series.

Lindsey Davis, The Ides of April (2013), about a young Roman woman working as an informer who finds herself suspected of murder after one of her clients dies; #1 in the Flavia Alba mystery series about the daughter of the detective in the Falco mystery series.


Paul Doherty, Domina (2002), a sympathetic mystery novel about Agrippina the Younger, the wife of Emperor Claudius and mother of Nero; #1 in the Ancient Rome series.

Paul Doherty, Murder Imperial, about a crisis faced by the new Emperor Constantine when a series of courtesans he had visited are murdered; #2 in the Ancient Rome series.

Paul Doherty, The Song of the Gladiator, about a theological debate sponsored by Constantine during the summer of 313 A.D.; #3 in the Ancient Rome series.

Paul Doherty, The Queen of the Night, about a mysterious series of murders of veteran soldiers in the summer of 314 in Rome which resemble barbaric practices of the Picts; #4 in the Ancient Rome series.

Paul Doherty, Murder's Immortal Mask, about a serial killer who, having suspended his crimes since Constantine became emperor, suddenly begins killing again; #5 in the Ancient Rome series.


Shifra Hochberg, The Lost Catacomb (2014), a mystery with multiple timelines including three love stories set in the early days of the Roman Empire, the Holocaust in Italy. and the present day.

Jess Steven Hughes, The Sign of the Eagle (2012), about the Celtic wife of a Roman officer who must make a dangerous journey to prove her husband innocent of treason and solve the murders of two slaves.


Bruce Macbain, Roman Games (2010), a mystery featuring Pliny the Younger as sleuth, investigating the murder of a senator at Emperor Domitian's command while the law courts are in recess during the Roman Games; #1 in the Pliny the Younger series.

Bruce Macbain, The Bull Slayer (2013), a mystery featuring Pliny the Younger, during his service as the Roman governor of Bithynia, investigating the murder of an official, possibly by a worshipper of a barbarian god; #2 in the Pliny the Younger mystery series.

Albert Noyer, The Cybelene Conspiracy, a mystery set in the fifth century Roman Empire, #1 in the Getorius and Arcadia mystery series.

Albert Noyer, The Secundus Papyrus, a mystery set in the fifth century Roman Empire, #2 in the Getorius and Arcadia mystery series.

Albert Noyer, The Saint's Day Deaths, a mystery set in the fifth century Roman Empire, #3 in the Getorius and Arcadia mystery series.

Ben Pastor, The Water Thief, Emperor Diocletian's historian investigates the death of a man drowned in the Nile; #1 in the Aelius Spartianus mystery series.

Ben Pastor, The Fire Waker, Emperor Diocletian's historian investigates the case of a man seemingly resurrected from the dead - and then murdered; #2 in the Aelius Spartianus mystery series.


John Maddox Roberts, The King's Gambit, about a Roman official in the time of Pompey and Crassus whose investigation of an ex-slave's murder unravels a web of corruption in the highest levels of government; #1 in the SPQR mystery series; SPQR was short for "Senatus Populusque Romanus," meaning "The Senate and the People of Rome."

John Maddox Roberts, The Catiline Conspiracy, about a Roman official whose investigation of government corruption endangers the life of his friend; #2 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, The Sacrilege, about a Roman official who discovers a link between an act of sacrilege that disrupts a sacred women's rite and a series of murders; #3 in the SPQR mystery series

John Maddox Roberts, The Temple of the Muses, about a Roman official whose diplomatic mission to Egypt is disrupted by murder; #4 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, Saturnalia, about a disgraced Roman called back from exile to investigate a murder during the wild celebration of Saturnalia; #5 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, Nobody Loves a Centurion, about a young Roman who joins Caesar's not-yet-victorious army in Gaul and is assigned to investigate the murder of a centurion hated by all the men serving under him; #6 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, The Tribune's Curse, about a Roman official assigned to investigate the murder of a man who called down a forbidden curse on the army of Crassus; #7 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, The River God's Vengeance, about a Roman official whose investigation of the collapse of a tenement building reveals that someone may have caused it intentionally; #8 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, The Princess and the Pirates, about a Roman official who sets out to rid the Mediterranean Sea of pirates; #9 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, A Point of Law, about a Roman on trial for corruption who suddenly finds himself charged with murder when the man who accused him turns up dead; #10 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, Under Vesuvius, about a Roman official who must find out who killed a priest's daughter in a town near Mount Vesuvius; #11 in the SPQR mystery series.

John Maddox Roberts, Oracle of the Dead (2008), about a Roman magistrate who investigates the murders of priests of Apollo while he vacations in southern Italy; #12 in the SPQR mystery series.


Steven Saylor, Roman Blood (1991), about a citizen of ancient Rome who makes his living as a "finder" and investigates the case of a young man accused of killing his father; #1 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, Arms of Nemesis (1992), about a Roman citizen who investigates a case of murder on the estate of the richest man in Rome, as the Spartacan slave revolt stirs tension between Roman slaves and their masters; #2 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, Catilina's Riddle (1993), about a Roman citizen reluctantly drawn back into the city's intrigues when Cicero asks him to find out more about Cicero's rival Catilina; #3 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, The Venus Throw (1995), about a Roman investigator hired by a beautiful and scandalous woman to find out who murdered one of his clients; #4 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, A Murder on the Appian Way (1996), about an investigator asked by Pompey the Great to find out who murdered Publius Clodius; #5 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, Rubicon (1999), about a Roman citizen whom Pompey the Great forces to investigate a murder during the time when Caesar's army crosses the Rubicon into Rome; #6 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, Last Seen in Massilia (2000), about an investigator who tries to find out whether the young woman he has seen fall to her death from Sacrifice Rock was pushed; #7 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, A Mist of Prophecies (2002), about an investigator who becomes obsessed with finding out who murdered the beautiful seeress who dies in his arms; #8 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, The Judgment of Caesar (2004), about a Roman investigator who brings his ailing wife to Egypt for a cure and becomes enmeshed in the struggle between Caesar, Cleopatra and King Ptolemy for control of Egypt; #9 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series.

Steven Saylor, The Triumph of Caesar (2008), about a retired investigator who reluctantly accepts a commission from Julius Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, to look into the rumored assassination plots against her husband; #10 in the Roma Sub Rosa mystery series. Review

Steven Saylor, The Seven Wonders (2012), about a clever young Roman's travels to the seven wonders of the ancient world, where he finds a mystery to solve at each landmark; #11 in the Roma Sub Rosa series, and a prequel to the other mysteries.

Steven Saylor, Raiders of the Nile (2014), about a clever young Roman's visit to Egypt, where he becomes involved in a project to steal the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great; #12 in the Roma Sub Rosa series.

Steven Saylor, The House of the Vestals (1997), mystery short stories featuring the characters in the Roma Sub Rosa series.

Steven Saylor, A Gladiator Dies Only Once (2005), mystery short stories featuring the characters in the Roma Sub Rosa series.


Marilyn Todd, I, Claudia, about a former prostitute married to a wealthy Roman, who must find out who is killing her new clients; #1 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Virgin Territory , about a former prostitute, now widowed, who accepts the job of escorting a vestal virgin back to her family, only to find out the woman is not all she seems; #2 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Man Eater, about a beautiful widow who finds herself accused of murder; #3 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Wolf Whistle, about a beautiful widow who investigates the murder of five slave girls; #4 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Jail Bait, about a beautiful widow who begins a flirtation that ends in murder; #5 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Black Salamander, about a beautiful widow who accepts the job of carrying a pouch to Gaul and finds herself entangled in a treasonous plot; #6 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Dream Boat, about a former prostitute, now widowed, who must find her kidnapped teenage stepdaughter; #7 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Dark Horse, about a beautiful widow who flees trouble in Rome only to have it catch up with her at an Arcadian villa; #8 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Second Act, about a beautiful widow who helps an investigator try to stop a serial rapist during the holiday season of Saturnalia; #9 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Widow's Pique, about a beautiful widow who witnesses a murder; #10 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Stone Cold, about a beautiful widow who goes to Gaul to find the truth behind her father's disappearance there when she was a child; #11 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Sour Grapes, about a beautiful widow who investigates a series of murders when she visits her stepmother's estate; #12 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.

Marilyn Todd, Scorpion Rising, about a beautiful widow who goes to Gaul to investigate the murder of a child; #13 in the Claudia Seferius mystery series.


Don Westenhaver, Nero's Concert (2009), about a gladiator asked to investigate the murder of three senators at the time of the great fire which burned Rome to the ground in 64 A.D.; self-published.


David Wishart, Ovid (1995), about a grandson of the patron of the exiled Roman poet Ovid who stirs up a dangerous mystery when he asks why Emperor Augustus has forbidden Ovid's ashes to be returned to Rome for burial, #1 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Germanicus (1997), about a cultivated Roman who is alarmed when the Empress Livia asks him for a dangerous favor: to investigate the death of her grandson Germanicus; #2 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, The Lydian Baker (1998), #3 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Sejanus (1998), about a cultivated Roman who has just buried his father when two senators ask him to investigate Sejanus, the likely successor to the Emperor Tiberius; #4 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Old Bones (2000), about a cultivated Roman who must clear his father-in-law of a murder charge, a project which uncovers a case of wine fraud and worse; #5 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Last Rites (2001), about a Roman sleuth who needs his wife's help when he's called upon to investigate a possible murder during a night devoted to a woman-only celebration of the rites of the Good Goddess; #6 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, White Murder (2002), about a Roman sleuth who must investigate the murder of a super-star chariot racer; #7 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, A Vote for Murder (2003), about a Roman sleuth who interrupts his holiday in the Alban Hills to investigate the murder of a candidate for consul; #8 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Parthian Shot (2004), about a Roman sleuth who must investigate the attack on a visiting Parthian prince before it results in an international incident; #9 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Food for the Fishes (2005), about a Roman sleuth who investigates the murder of an obnoxious, wealthy fish farmer who was drowned in one of his own eel tanks; #10 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, In at the Death (2007), about a Roman sleuth who investigates a suspicious case of apparent suicide; #11 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series.

David Wishart, Illegally Dead (2008), about a Roman sleuth who investigates a puzzling case of poisoning in Castrimoenium, outside his usual territory; #11 in the Marcus Corvinus mystery series


Roman Britain

In 43 A.D. under Emperor Claudius, Rome finally added the southeastern part of Britain to its conquests, although the British resistance led by Caratacus slowed the process of westward expansion considerably. The Iceni warrior queen Boudica shocked Rome in 61 A.D. by leading a bloody rebellion. This woman warrior has long fascinated writers and readers of historical novels. The Romans were never able to conquer the Picts in what is now Scotland. They built Hadrian's Wall to discourage tribes to the north from encouraging or assisting rebellions by tribes within Roman territory.

During the 400 years of Roman rule, life in most of Britain became thoroughly Romanized. Retired soldiers settled down with British wives, and British chieftains and their families adopted Roman names and served as government officials. The departure of the Roman army in 410 A.D. was no welcome event for most Britons. Orderly government collapsed, and Saxon and Irish raiders attacked the coast and inland settlements along navigable rivers.

Historical novelists have written vividly about many periods of Roman Britain, but have especially focused on the conquest period, Boudica's rebellion, and the collapse of Roman rule.

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Lindsay Allason-Jones, Roman Woman: Everyday Life in Hadrian's Britain (1989), a scholarly blend of fact and fiction portraying a year in the life of a British woman married to a retired Roman soldier in York.


Stephen Baxter, Emperor (2006), alternative history about a Celtic noble who sides with Rome during its conquest of Britain, because of a prophecy in his family's hands; #1 in the Time's Tapestry series.

Stephen Baxter, Conqueror (2007), alternative history about a girl in Anglo-Saxon Britain on the eve of the Norman Conquest who remembers the prophecy handed down in her family after Vikings destroy the last written copies; #2 in the Time's Tapestry series.

Stephen Baxter, Navigator (2007), alternative history about the English and Spanish descendants of a family with memories of a prophecy, during 1492, when Europe's only Muslim state fell and Columbus sailed westward; #3 in the Time's Tapestry series.

Stephen Baxter, Weaver (2008), alternative history set in a Nazi-occupied Britain during the 1940s; #4 in the Time's Tapestry series.


Gillian Bradshaw, Dark North (2007), about an African scout in a Roman cavalry unit sent to Britain to conquer the north in A.D. 208. Review

Gillian Bradshaw, Island of Ghosts (1998), about a Sarmatian prince who, while serving in the Roman legions in Britain during the rule of Marcus Aurelius, uncovers a potentially dangerous conspiracy.

John Henry Clay, The Lion and the Lamb (2013), about a young man in late fourth-century Roman Britain, a time of barbarian invasions from the north.

Amanda Cockrell, The Legions of the Mist (1979), about the disappearance of Rome's Ninth Legion in Scotland during the first century (scholars now believe the legion probably was not lost but was redeployed to the Rhineland).

Richard Denham and M.J. Trow, Britannia: Part I: The Wall (2014), about four soldiers stationed at Hadrian's Wall in 367 A.D. when it comes under attack from the north.

William Dietrich, Hadrian's Wall (2004), about a Roman soldier posted on the northern border of Roman Britain during the late fourth century.

Alfred Duggan, The Little Emperors (1951), about a treasury official in fifth-century Roman Britain during the crisis leading to Rome's withdrawal.

Barbara Erskine, Kingdom of Shadows, about a modern woman haunted by the ghosts of a Roman soldier, his faithless wife and her druid lover after an archaeological dig disturbs their bones

Barbara Erskine, On the Edge of Darkness (1998), time-slip romance about a sixth-century Celtic girl with magical abilities who travels in time, falls in love with a boy in the 1930s, and becomes trapped in the twentieth century.

Barbara Erskine, The Warrior's Princess (2008), about a present-day London woman whose life becomes mysteriously entwined with that of a Celtic princess who lived through the battle in which Caratacus was defeated by the invading Romans.

Barbara Erskine, Time's Legacy (2010), about a modern-day woman priest in England who slips 2000 years back in time after she begins seeing a ghostly congregation in the Anglican church she serves and her superior accuses her of witchcraft. Review at Reading the Past

Bernardine Evaristo, The Emperor's Babe: A Verse Novel of Londinium, 211 A.D. (2001), a novel in verse form about a daughter of Sudanese immigrants to Roman Britain who has an affair with Emperor Septimius Severus.

Alan Fisk, Lord of Silver, about a young fourth century Briton who lives north of Hadrian's Wall in the fourth century who travels into Roman Britain and beyond. Review by Carla Nayland

Haley Elizabeth Garwood, Ashes of Britannia (2001), a novel based on the life of Boudica (here spelled Boadicea), the Celtic queen who led a rebellion against Rome; self-published.

Pauline Gedge, The Eagle and the Raven (1978), about Caradoc and Boudicca, leaders of the British resistance to Roman rule.

Alan Gold, Warrior Queen: The Story of Boudica, Celtic Queen (2005), about Boudica and her rebellion against Rome in 61 A.D.

Sarah Harrison, The Dreaming Stones, about women who live near Hadrian's Wall, two of them in modern times and one in Roman Britain.

William Kelso, Caledonia (2013), about a retired legionary who sets out to find his missing son, an auxiliary Roman cavalry soldier sent on a mission in the north after the Battle of Mons Graupius; self-published.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, The Last Legion, about a small band of soldiers from Britain who travel to the City of Rome in the year 470, as the empire is crumbling, in order to rescue the son of the last emperor and raise him to power.

Elizabeth May, Roman Sunset, about the struggle of the Britons to survive when the Romans abandon Britain in the fifth century; self-published through Lulu.

Minnette Meador, The Centurion and the Queen, historical romance about a Roman centurion and a Celtic queen who fall in love at the time of Boudican revolt.

Minnette Meador, The Edge of Honor, historical romance about the love between a Roman centurion and a Celtic queen in the aftermath of the Boudican revolt; sequel to The Centurion and the Queen; available as an e-book only.

Paul Morgan, The Pelagius Book (2005), about the fifth century Celtic philosopher Pelagius, who rejected the doctrine of original sin and was condemned for originating what became known as the Pelagian Heresy.

William Napier, Julia, about a woman from Spain, a Roman soldier and their travels in Britain and the Middle East in the fourth century. Review by Carla Nayland

Diana Paxson, White Mare, Red Stallion (1976), about the love of two young people from warring Pictish tribes north of Roman Britian, in what is now Scotland.

Stephanie Plowman, To Spare the Conquered (1960), about a young Roman officer serving in Britain during the rebellion of Boudica; the author intended this novel for adult readers, although the publisher promoted it for teens.


Anthony Riches, Wounds of Honour (2009), about a Roman soldier condemned to death by the crazed Emperor Commodus who hides himself among the troops at Hadrian's Wall just before an army of Briton rebels attacks; #1 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, Arrows of Fury (2010), about a Roman centurion posted at Hadrian's Wall whose fellow soldiers may be as dangerous to him as the rebellious Britons if they discover that the Emperor wants him dead; #2 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, Fortress of Spears (2011), about a Roman Centurion chosen for a mission in northern Britain beyond Hadrian's Wall, just as agents of the Emperor arrive from Rome with the assignment of assassinating him; #3 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, The Leopard Sword (2012), about a Roman Centurion who must leave Britain and go to Germania, where he fights to defeat a powerful bandit chieftain; #4 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, The Wolf's Gold (2012), about Roman auxiliaries sent to the Danube to protect the gold mines of Alburnus Major from a Sarmatian attack; #5 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, The Eagle's Vengeance (2013), about Roman auxiliaries sent north of Hadrian's Wall in Brittania to recover a lost legionary eagle; #6 in the Empire series.

Anthony Riches, The Emperor’s Knives (2014), about a young centurion who returns to Rome to take revenge on the assassins who killed his family; #7 in the Empire series.


Joseph E. Roesch, Boudica: Queen of the Iceni (2006), a realistic novel about Boudica and her rebellion against Rome in 61 B.C. Review by Carla Nayland


Manda Scott, Dreaming the Eagle (2003), about the childhood of Boudica, who would become queen of the Iceni tribe (or Eceni as Scott spells it) and lead a rebellion against Rome; #1 in the Boudica series.

Manda Scott, Dreaming the Bull (2004), about Boudica as a young woman during the early years of the Roman conquest of Britain; #2 in the Boudica series.

Manda Scott, Dreaming the Hound (2005), about Boudica during the years after the Romans defeat Caradoc, who led the British armies fighting to remain free of Roman rule; #3 in the Boudica series.

Manda Scott, Dreaming the Serpent Spear (2006), about Boudica, the queen of the Iceni (or Eceni as Scott spells it) and the rebellion she leads against Rome; #4 in the Boudica series.


Anya Seton, The Mistletoe and the Sword (1955), historical romance/adventure about a young standard-bearer for Rome's Ninth Legion and a foster daughter of Boudica.

George Shipway, Imperial Governor (1968), about the first century rebellion of Queen Boudica, from the perspective of the Roman Governor of Britain. Review

James Sinclair, Warrior Queen (1977), about Boudica (called Boadicea in this novel) and her military general.

Joann Smith, Boudicca, about Boudicca (also spelled Boudica) and her rebellion against Rome.

Rosemary Sutcliff, The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965), about a freed gladiator who impersonates the king of a northern tribe of Britons as part of a Roman scheme to begin a war between two rival tribes. Review at Mark Adderley's Blog

Lindsay Townsend, Flavia's Secret (2008), historical romance about a young woman slave who works as a scribe in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath) and finds she is dangerously attracted to her new owner, a Roman soldier.


Henry Treece, The Golden Strangers (1956; titled The Invaders in the U.S.), about the arrival of the Celts in Britain; #1 (chronologically by setting) in the Celtic series.

Henry Treece, The Dark Island (1952; titled The Savage Warriors in the U.S.), about the defeat of Caratacus by the Romans after their invasion of Britain; #2 (chronologically by setting) in the Celtic series.

Henry Treece, Red Queen, White Queen (1958; titled The Pagan Queen in the U.S.), about Boudica and the rebellion she led against Rome; #3 (chronologically by setting) in the Celtic series.

Henry Treece, The Great Captains (1956), a realistic story of King Arthur and the struggle of Celtic Britain to survive after the departure of the Romans; #4 (chronologically by setting) in the Celtic series.


Jules Watson, The White Mare, is a historical fantasy novel set in ancient Scotland (then known as Alba) during the period when Rome was attempting to expand its conquest of Britain northward; the main character is a priestess; #1 in the Dalriada Trilogy.

Jules Watson, The Dawn Stag, is a historical fantasy novel set in ancient Scotland (then known as Alba) during the period when Rome was attempting to expand its conquest of Britain northward; the main character is a priestess; #2 in the Dalriada Trilogy.

Jules Watson, The Boar Stone (titled Song of the North in the U.S.), is a historical fantasy novel set in ancient Scotland (then known as Alba) during the period when Rome was attempting to expand its conquest of Britain northward; the main character is a priestess; #3 in the Dalriada Trilogy.

David Wishart, The Horse Coin (1999), about the first century Boudican rebellion in Roman Britain, from the Roman perspective.

Simon Young, Farewell Britannia: A Family Saga of Roman Britain, about four centuries of a family in Roman Britain, from the conquest to the departure of the legions.


Roman Britain: Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Ruth Downie, Medicus (2006; also titled Ruso and the Disappearing Dancing Girls), a physician for a Roman army legion in Britain investigates a series of deaths in a house of prostitution; #1 in the Gaius Petreius Ruso mystery series.

Ruth Downie, Terra Incognita (2008; also titled Ruso and the Demented Doctor), a physician for a Roman army legion in Britain investigates a soldier's death by beheading; #2 in the Gaius Petreius Ruso mystery series.

Ruth Downie, Persona Non Grata (2009; titled Ruso and the Root of All Evils in the U.K.), a physician for a Roman army legion in Britain is called back to Gaul at a seriously inconvenient time and becomes the chief suspect when a man is poisoned; #3 in the Gaius Petreius Ruso mystery series. Review and Author Interview

Ruth Downie, Caveat Emptor (2011; titled Ruso and the River of Darkness in the U.K.), about a Roman physician and his native British wife who must find out who murdered a tax collector in Londinium; #4 in the Gaius Petreius Ruso mystery series. Review

Ruth Downie, Semper Fidelis (2013), about a Roman legionary physician in norther Britain who suspects foul play on the eve of a visit from Emperor Hadrian; #5 in the Gaius Petreius Ruso mystery series.


Jane Finnis, Get Out or Die (2003), about a young Italian woman who keeps an inn in Roman Britain in 91 A.D. who helps a traveler hunt down a band of rebels intent on expelling all Roman from Britain; #1 in the Aurelia Marcella mystery series. Review

Jane Finnis, A Bitter Chill (2005), about an innkeeper in first century Roman Britain whose Saturnalia celebration is disrupted by murder; #2 in the Aurelia Marcella mystery series. Review

Jane Finnis, Buried too Deep (2008), about an innkeeper in first century Roman Britain whose brother's assignment of salvaging a shipwrecked cargo is complicated by murder; #3 in the Aurelia Marcella mystery series.


Mike Ripley, Boudica and the Lost Roman (2005), a mystery about a Roman spy who arrives in the camp of the Iceni Queen Boudica just as she mobilizes for warfare.


Rosemary Rowe, The Germanicus Mosaic (1999), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who investigates a case of murder for his patron, only to have his main suspect turn up murdered as well; #1 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, Murder in the Forum (2000), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who suspects foul play when a brutal favorite of the Emperor chokes on a nut at a dinner party and two dinner guests disappear soon after; #2 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, A Pattern of Blood (2001), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who investigates an attack on a wealthy decurion, soon followed by the decurion's murder; #3 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, The Chariots of Calyx (2002), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who has difficulty concentrating on the murder he has been asked to investigate in Londinium after he catches a glimpse of his former wife, lost years ago to slavery; #4 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, The Legatus Mystery (2003), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who must investigate the bizarre murder of a Roman ambassador followed by an outbreak of uncanny wailing noises and mysterious bloodstains; #5 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, The Ghosts of Glevum (2004), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who must investigate when a dinner guest is found dead in the vomitorium; #6 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, Enemies of the Empire (2005), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who is in no position to refuse when his patron asks him along on a trip to the fringes of the Empire, in country where the Silurian tribes have not forgotten the betrayal and defeat of Caractacus; #7 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, A Roman Ransom (2006), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who is rousted from his sickbed to find a man's missing wife and baby son; #8 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, A Coin for the Ferryman (2007), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who must investigate when a corpse is discovered just as a ceremony is about to begin granting a slave his freedom and marriage to the woman he loves; #9 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, Death at Pompeia's Wedding (2008), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who is hired to exonerate a bride who seems to have confessed to murdering her father on her wedding day; #10 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, Requiem for a Slave (2010), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who must interrupt his regular work to find a killer after a murdered pie-maker is found in his workshop; #11 in the Libertus mystery series.

Rosemary Rowe, The Vestal Vanishes (2011), about a mosaic-maker in second century Roman Britain who must find out why a former vestal virgin vanishes on the eve of her wedding; #12 in the Libertus mystery series.


Kelli Stanley, Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping (2008), about the physician of Agricola, the Roman governor of Britain, and his efforts to find out who cut the throat of a Syrian spy; #1 in the Roman Noir series.

Kelli Stanley, The Curse-Maker (2011), about a Roman physician who goes to Bath for a holiday with his wife and investigates the murder of a professional curse-maker; #2 in the Roman Noir series.


Ancient Ireland
First Century B.C. - Fifth Century A.D.

Ancient Ireland belongs more to the realm of legend than history, but Ireland is exceptionally rich in legends of its past. Who is to say these legends have less truth mingled within them than the legends of Troy so dramatically vindicated by Schliemann's discoveries? Though Cuchullain and Queen Maeve may or may not have been real people, Saint Patrick certainly was. Novels have been written about all of them and more.

Fantasy authors who base their work on Celtic myths and legends sometimes use the theme of a monumental struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. This idea is a post-Christian introduction which does not appear in pagan Celtic mythology.


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Brian Cullin, Seekers of the Chalice (2008), a fantasy novel about a clash between good and evil wizards, very loosely based on Irish legends.


Randy Lee Eickhoff, The Raid, a retelling of the Irish legend of the young warrior Cuchullain's heroism in the Cattle Raid of Cooley; #1 in the Ulster series.

Randy Lee Eickhoff, The Feast, a retelling of an ancient Irish legend about a battle of wits between three warriors striving to be named their king's champion; #2 in the Ulster series.

Randy Lee Eickhoff, The Sorrows, a retelling of three legends of pagan Ireland; #3 in the Ulster series.

Randy Lee Eickhoff, The Destruction of the Inn, a retelling of the legends about Connaire, high king of Ireland in the first century B.C.; #4 in the Ulster series.

Randy Lee Eickhoff, He Stands Alone, a retelling of the legends about the Irish hero Cuchullain; #5 in the Ulster series.


Patricia Finney, A Shadow of Gulls, about an Irish harper cursed by Queen Maeve and caught up in the legendary Cattle Raid of Cooley in the first century B.C.

Patricia Finney, The Crow Goddess, about an Irish harper in Roman Britain during a first century B.C. Celtic revolt against Rome; sequel to A Shadow of Gulls.

George Green, Hound, about the legendary Irish hero Cuchullain.


Ellen Evert Hopman, Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey (2008), about a woman in third-century Ireland who serves as a Druid healer and falls in love with a warrior she treats; #1 in the Druid trilogy.

Ellen Evert Hopman, The Druid Isle (2010), about a Druid healer's daughter who goes to an isle of Druids to learn to become a healer and priestess, where she meets a man who has escaped from the Christian monastery where he was raised; #2 in the Druid trilogy.

Ellen Evert Hopman, Priestess of the Fire Temple: A Druid's Tale (2012), about an Irish high king's daughter who has been raised with both pagan and Christian values and, after escaping an unhappy marriage, goes in search of true love; #3 in the Druid trilogy. Review at the Booklolly blog


Kate Horsley, Confessions of a Pagan Nun (2001), about a woman who studied to become a druid but later joins a Christian convent. Review

Stephen Lawhead, Patrick: Son of Ireland, about the fifth century Briton who converted Ireland to Christianity; incorporates fantasy elements.


Morgan Llywelyn, Red Branch (also titled On Raven’s Wing), a retelling of the legends about the ancient Irish hero Cuchullain.

Morgan Llywelyn, Finn MacCool, a retelling of the legends about Finn MacCool, the leader of the Fianna, the warrior band pledged to defend the ancient kings of Ireland.

Morgan Llywelyn, The Isles of the Blest, based on ancient legends about Connla and the Irish afterworld.


Juliet Marillier, Daughter of the Forest (1999), historical fantasy about an Irish chieftain's daughter whose six elder brothers are placed under an enchantment by her father's new wife; based on the Grimm's fairy tale "The Six Swans"; #1 in the Sevenwaters series.

Juliet Marillier, Son of the Shadows (2001), historical fantasy about a young woman who is a seer and healer and must travel from her home to heal an outlaw; #2 in the Sevenwaters series.

Juliet Marillier, Child of the Prophecy (2002), historical fantasy about a young sorceress who must prevent the Fair Folk from regaining control of Ireland; #3 in the Sevenwaters series.

Juliet Marillier, Heir to Sevenwaters (2008), historical fantasy about a young woman who must travel into the realm of the Fair Folk to reclaim her stolen baby brother; #4 in the Sevenwaters series.

Juliet Marillier, Seer of Sevenwaters (2010), historical fantasy about a young woman sent to a remote island to complete her druidic training, where the survivors of a shipwreck lead her into a quest; #5 in the Sevenwaters series.

Juliet Marillier, Flame of Sevenwaters (2012), historical fantasy about a young woman with a gift for healing who, while returning home, finds the body of a man murdered by the ruling prince; #6 in the Sevenwaters series.


Juilene Osborne-McKnight, I Am of Irelaunde (2000), historical fantasy about an encounter between the former Roman slave who would become St. Patrick and the legendary Irish bard Osian.

Juilene Osborne-McKnight, Daughter of Ireland (2002), historical fantasy about a druid priestess and the king who first brought Christianity to Ireland.

Juilene Osborne-McKnight, Bright Sword of Ireland (2002), a feminist retelling of Irish legends about Queen Medb and Cuchullain.

Juilene Osborne-McKnight, Song of Ireland (2006), historical fantasy about the coming of the Celts to Ireland and their conflicts with the Danu, the ancient "little people" of Ireland.


Janet Paisley, Warrior Daughter (2009), a violent novel about the warrior woman who trained the legendary Irish warrior Cúchulainn.

Gail Sherrill Phillips, To Hold Her Head High (2008), about the daughter of a Roman general and a Celtic mother who is kidnapped into slavery in fifth century Ireland; self-published.

Cindy Thomson, Brigid of Ireland, about a fifth century Irish woman's conversion to Christianity.

Jules Watson, The Swan Maiden (2009), a retelling of the ancient Irish legend of Deirdre of the Sorrows, cursed at birth to become a woman of great beauty and bring disaster to the Kingdom of Ulster.

Jules Watson, The Raven Queen (2011), a novel based on the Irish legend of Queen Maeve.

Linda Windsor, Maire (2000), about a warrior queen in fifth-century Ireland and how her heart changes after a raid in which she takes a Christian man hostage; Christian message; #1 in the Fires of Gleannmara series.

Linda Windsor, Riona (2001), about a sixth-century Irish woman who gives up her dream of a life in the church when she saves three orphaned children from slavery and marries in order to provide them with a family; Christian message; #2 in the Fires of Gleannmara series.

Linda Windsor, Deirdre (2002), about a seventh-century Irish princess who becomes the captive and bride of a Saxon prince and the reason he rediscovers his mother's Christian faith; #3 in the Fires of Gleannmara series.


Arthurian Britain

The legend of King Arthur has long captured imaginations. It flowered during the twelfth century, fascinated Victorian England, and has seen a new blossoming in our own time. Archaeological work on British hillforts abandoned after the Roman conquest but refortified after the Roman departure in 410 A.D. provide an sketchy underpinning of facts beneath the legend. A wave of Saxon expansion swept westward from the original Saxon settlements on Britain's eastern coast, until it was abruptly halted and reversed. By a king named Arthur?

In the border between history and legend, historical novelists have taken up the challenge of defining who Arthur and the men and women around him may have been. Rosemary Sutcliff's Sword at Sunset was the earliest and is still among the best portrayals of an Arthur figure in a realistic fifth century setting, and more recent novelists have followed her lead. Others have been inspired by the legend to create fantasy worlds which borrow, to a greater or lesser degree, from what we know of the history. In The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley reimagined the Arthurian legends from a pagan, feminist perspective. Though her novel includes many fantasy elements, it also incorporates ideas from early Welsh sources that show Arthur at odds with the Christian church. Her novel brought a new perspective to the King Arthur legend that reflects glimmers of what may have been a real controversy between Celtic pagans and Christians during the post-Roman period.

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon (1982), historical fantasy about the women of King Arthur's court, which upends the traditional version of the legend by portraying Morgan le Fay as an admirable pagan priestess and Merlin and many of the Christians as unsympathetic characters; #1 in the Avalon series.

Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson, The Forest House (1993; also titled The Forests of Avalon), historical fantasy about a druid priestess who falls in love with a Roman soldier, a prequel to The Mists of Avalon; #2 in the Avalon series.

Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson, Lady of Avalon (1997), historical fantasy about a Celtic priestess in Roman Britain; #3 in the Avalon series.

Marion Zimmer Bradley and Diana L. Paxson, Priestess of Avalon (2000), historical fantasy about Helena, the British woman who would become the wife of the Roman emperor Constantine, portrayed in this novel as a Celtic high priestess; #4 in the Avalon series.

Diana L. Paxson, Ancestors of Avalon (2004), historical fantasy which imagines Britain was settled by refugees from the destruction of Atlantis who taught the native Britons to move megalithic stones; a prequel to The Forest House and #5 in the Avalon series.

Diana L. Paxson, Ravens of Avalon (2007), historical fantasy about the Celtic queen Boudica and her rebellion against Rome and the priestess who taught Boudica; a prequel to The Forest House and #6 in the Avalon series.

Diana L. Paxson, Sword of Avalon (2007), historical fantasy about the newly forged sword Excalibur and the boy entrusted with it; #7 in the Avalon series.


Gillian Bradshaw, Hawk of May (1980), about King Arthur's knight Gawain (given his Celtic name Gwalchmai in this novel); historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #1 in the Down the Long Wind trilogy.

Gillian Bradshaw, Kingdom of Summer (1981), about King Arthur's knight Gawain (given his Celtic name Gwalchmai in this novel); historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #2 in the Down the Long Wind trilogy.

Gillian Bradshaw, In Winter's Shadow (1982), based on the earlier Celtic legends about Queen Guinevere (given her Celtic name Gwynhwyfar in this novel) and the fall of Arthur's kingdom; historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #3 in the Down the Long Wind trilogy.

Elizabeth Chadwick, First Knight, about the love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere.

Catherine Christian, The Pendragon (1978), the story of King Arthur as narrated by his boyhood friend Bedivere.

Lavinia Collins, The Warrior Queen (2014), an erotic retelling of the Arthurian legend from the perspective of Guinevere; #1 in a planned series.

Bernard Cornwell, The Winter King (1995), a grittily realistic novel about Arthur, in a well-researched historical setting; #1 in the Warlord Chronicles series.

Bernard Cornwell, Enemy of God (1996), a grittily realistic novel about Arthur, in a well-researched historical setting; #2 in the Warlord Chronicles series.

Bernard Cornwell, Excalibur (1997), a grittily realistic novel about Arthur, in a well-researched historical setting; #3 in the Warlord Chronicles series.

Alfred Duggan, The Conscience of the King, based on the legends about Cerdic, the King of Wessex, and his defeat to Arthur at the Battle of Mount Badon.


Anna Elliott, Twilight of Avalon: A Novel of Trystan & Isolde (2009), a reimagining of the Tristan and Isolde legend in a brutally realistic sixth century British setting; #1 in the Twilight of Avalon trilogy. Review

Anna Elliott, Dark Moon of Avalon (2010), about a clairvoyant woman and the warrior who escorts her to the Saxon kingdom of Cerdic to seek an alliance that will help them save Britain from its treacherous new king; #2 in the Twilight of Avalon trilogy.

Anna Elliott, Sunrise of Avalon (2011), about Isolde, formerly High Queen of Britain, and the mercenary soldier Trystan, to whom she is secretly married; #3 in the Avalon trilogy.


Parke Godwin, Firelord, a retelling of the King Arthur legend in a realistic post-Roman historical setting, with elements of fantasy.

Parke Godwin, Beloved Exile, about Queen Guinevere after the death of King Arthur.


Kathleen Cunningham Guler, Into the Path of Gods (1998), about a Welsh spy and a clairvoyant woman searching for the grail and other mystical objects that constitute Macsen's Treasure; #1 in the Macsen's Treasure series.

Kathleen Cunningham Guler, In the Shadow of Dragons (2002), about a spy for Merlin and the spy's clairvoyant wife and their efforts to track down an assassin who is plotting against King Uther; #2 in the Macsen's Treasure series.

Kathleen Cunningham Guler, The Anvil Stone (2006), about a spy for Merlin and the spy's clairvoyant wife and their efforts to find an assassin; #3 in the Macsen's Treasure series.

Kathleen Cunningham Guler, A Land Beyond Ravens (2009), about a spy for King Uther and the spy's clairvoyant wife who come under suspicion as a newly powerful Christian church tries to prevent the rise of Uther's heir Arthur; #4 in the Macsen's Treasure series.


Helen Hollick, The Kingmaking (1995, 2009), about Arthur and Gwenhwyfar from their childhood to their marriage in a realistic setting circa 450-550 AD; #1 in the Pendragon's Banner trilogy. Review

Helen Hollick, Pendragon's Banner (1996), about King Arthur and Queen Gwenhwyfar; #2 in the Pendragon's Banner trilogy. Review at The Tome Traveller Weblog

Helen Hollick, Shadow of the King (1997), about King Arthur and Queen Gwenhwyfar; #3 in the Pendragon's Banner trilogy.


M.K. Hume, King Arthur: Dragon's Child (2009), about the young Arthur (called Artorex in this novel) and his battle to protect the land from Saxon marauders during the last years of Uther Pendragon's reign; #1 in the King Arthur trilogy.

M.K. Hume, King Arthur: Warrior of the West (2009), about Arthur and Guinevere (called Artor and Wenhaver in this novel) during their early years as High King and Queen of the Britons; #2 in the King Arthur trilogy.

M.K. Hume, King Arthur: The Bloody Cup (2010), about the aging Artor as pagans in his kingdom seek an ancient relic in order to unleash the forces of evil; #3 in the King Arthur trilogy.

M.K. Hume, Clash of Kings (2010), about a gifted boy raised by his grandmother after he is rejected as a "demon seed," and then apprenticed to a healer; #1 in the Prophecy series.

M.K. Hume, Death of an Empire (2012), about Merlin as a boy journeying to Constantinople in search of his father; #2 in the Prophecy series.

M.K. Hume, Web of Deceit (2013), about Merlin during Uther Pendragon's war against the Saxons; #3 in the Prophecy series.

M.K. Hume, The Last Dragon (2014), about an illegitimate son of King Arthur who struggles to reconcile his sense of duty to Britain with his loyalty to the boy who inherits the kingship; #1 in the forthcoming Twilight of the Celts series.


Mercedes Lackey, Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (2009), historical fantasy about King Arthur's queen.


Stephen Lawhead, Taliesin, historical fantasy about a British bard; #1 in the Pendragon series

Stephen Lawhead, Merlin, historical fantasy about King Arthur's bard; #2 in the Pendragon series

Stephen Lawhead, Arthur, historical fantasy about King Arthur; #3 in the Pendragon series

Stephen Lawhead, Pendragon, historical fantasy about King Arthur; #4 in the Pendragon series

Stephen Lawhead, Grail, historical fantasy about King Arthur; #5 in the Pendragon series


Morgan Llywelyn, After Rome (2013), about two very different cousins who remain in Britain after the departure of Rome and become leaders.

Allan Massie, Arthur the King (2003), an unromanticized story about the struggle for power in Britain after the Romans depart; #2 in the Dark Ages trilogy (#1, The Evening of the World, is set in ancient Rome; #3, Charlemagne and Roland, is set in early medieval Europe)

Nancy McKenzie, Queen of Camelot (originally published as two novels, The Child Queen and The High Queen), about Guinevere, King Arthur’s queen in fifth century Britain

Nancy McKenzie, The Grail Prince, about Galahad after the death of King Arthur and the fall of Camelot.

Nancy McKenzie, The Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Essyllte (2003), a retelling of the tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde, set in sixth century Britain during the years after the fall of Camelot.

Rosalind Miles, Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle (2002), a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde legend, blending early and high medieval elements in the setting, about the pagan Irish princess and healer who must wed the King of Cornwall despite her love for another man; #1 in the Tristan and Isolde trilogy.

Rosalind Miles, The Maid of the White Hands (2003), a retelling of the Tristan and Isolde legend, blending early and high medieval elements in the setting, about the adulterous lovers of legend; #2 in the Tristan and Isolde trilogy.

Rosalind Miles, The Lady of the Sea (2005), a reimagining of the Tristan and Isolde legend, blending early and high medieval elements in the setting, in which Isolde returns to Ireland as a warrior queen; #3 in the Tristan and Isolde trilogy.

Leon Mintz, Ambrosius Aureliani (2010), about Ambrosius, a forerunner of the legendary King Arthur; #1 in a planned series; self-published.

Sharan Newman, Guinevere, based on the legends about Guinevere, in a realistic historical setting; #1 in the Guinevere trilogy.

Sharan Newman, The Chessboard Queen, based on the legends about Guinevere, in a realistic historical setting; #2 in the Guinevere trilogy.

Sharan Newman, Guinevere Evermore, based on the legends about Guinevere, in a realistic historical setting; #3 in the Guinevere trilogy.

Diana L. Paxson, The White Raven (1988), historical fantasy based on the legend of Tristan and Isolde, featuring Isolde's companion Branwen as the central character; some fantasy elements in a realistic historical setting in sixth century Ireland and Cornwall.

Diana L. Paxson: for novels continuing Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series, see listings under Marion Zimmer Bradley above.

John Cowper Powys, Porius (1951), about a Welsh prince's son and his journey in Wales as King Arthur attempts to raise native Britons to fight against Saxon invaders; the 2000 edition published by Overlook restores some 500 pages of the author's manuscript that did not appear in the original edition.

Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave, about King Arthur's enchanter Merlin; historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #1 in the Merlin trilogy.

Mary Stewart, The The Hollow Hills, about King Arthur's enchanter Merlin; historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #2 in the Merlin trilogy.

Mary Stewart, The Last Enchantment, about King Arthur's enchanter Merlin; historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; #3 in the Merlin trilogy.

Mary Stewart, The Wicked Day, a sympathetic portrayal of Mordred; historical fantasy within a mostly realistic historical setting; follows the third novel in the Merlin trilogy.

Rosemary Sutcliff, Sword at Sunset (1963), a historically realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends. Review

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, a time-travel novel that gives a tragicomic view of knights in armor; although the medieval setting is not accurate for the historical Arthur's time, the sensibility of the novel serves as a harshly realistic corrective to the over-romanticized literature of Twain's time.

Peter Vansittart, Lancelot (1978), about the decline of Britain after the departure of Rome, as narrated by Lancelot; #1 in a trilogy.

Peter Vansittart, The Death of Robin Hood (1981), a novel which imagines that Robin Hood lived in Britain from prehistoric times into the 1930s; #2 in a trilogy.

Peter Vansittart, Parsifal (1988), about an archetypal man who lives through pre-Roman times in Britain through the defeat of Nazi Germany; #3 in a trilogy.


Jack Whyte, The Skystone, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends about a Roman general and his ironsmith friend, which imagines how Excalibur may have been made; #1 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Singing Sword, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends about the years after Britain was abandoned by Rome; #2 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Eagles' Brood, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends about Merlyn and Uther Pendragon; #3 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Saxon Shore, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends about Arthur's youth; #4 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Fort at River's Bend (originally published in one volume with The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis as The Sorcerer), a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends, about Merlyn's task of educating Arthur for the kingship; #5 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Sorcerer: Metamorphosis (originally published in one volume with The Fort at River's Bend as The Sorcerer), a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends, about Merlyn and Arthur after the latter is crowned king; #6 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, Uther, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends, about Uther Pendragon; #7 in the Camulod Chronicles series (this story not in chronological order).

Jack Whyte, The Lance-Thrower, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends, about a Frank who swears fealty to Arthur; #8 in the Camulod Chronicles series.

Jack Whyte, The Eagle, a realistic novel based on the King Arthur legends, about Camelot and the high point of Arthur's reign; #9, the final novel in the Camulod Chronicles series.


Linda Windsor, Healer (2010), Christian-themed romance about a young Scottish woman living alone, with only her pet wolf for companionship, whose life changes when she heals a wounded stranger; #1 in the forthcoming Brides of Alba series.

Joan Wolf, Road to Avalon, a romantic retelling of the story of King Arthur.

Joan Wolf, Born of the Sun, about conflicts between the Celts and Saxons in Britain 80 years after the death of King Arthur; sequel to Road to Avalon

Sarah Woodbury, The Last Pendragon (2010), about the heir to the throne of Arthur and the daughter of his sworn enemy; self-published.

Persia Woolley, Child of the Northern Spring (1987), a realistic novel about Guinevere; #1 in the Guinevere trilogy.

Persia Woolley, Queen of the Summer Stars (1990), a realistic novel about Guinevere; #2 in the Guinevere trilogy.

Persia Woolley, The Legend in Autumn (1991), a realistic novel about Guinevere; #3 in the Guinevere trilogy


Arthurian Britain: Mysteries


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Tony Hays, The Killing Way (2009), about a one-armed former British warrior with a grudge against Arthur who is called upon to find the truth when Merlin is blamed for a grisly murder. Review

Tony Hays, The Divine Sacrifice (2010), about an adviser to King Arthur who joins him for a meeting at Glastonbury Abbey, where he finds himself called on to investigate the murder of one of the monks; #2 in the Malgwyn ap Cuneglas mystery series.

Tony Hays, The Beloved Dead (2011), about an adviser to King Arthur who comes across a series of brutal murders of young girls while he escorts a woman and her father to Arthur's stronghold where she is to be married; #3 in the Malgwyn ap Cuneglas mystery series.

Tony Hays, The Stolen Bride (2012), about an adviser to King Arthur who must find out who murdered a lesser king amid warfare between the tribes and threats from the Saxons; #4 in the Maelgwyn ap Cuneglas mystery series. Review at Publisher's Weekly


The Medieval Murderers, Hill of Bones (2011), linked short mystery stories about murderous deeds at a hill where a young seer buries a mysterious dagger during the time of King Arthur.


Ancient Egypt

Egypt has one of the oldest civilizations whose history is documented in writing, by hieroglyphic inscriptions dating to as early as the fourth century B.C. The pyramids and great stone temples built by the pharaohs still impress us. Embalming techniques used by ancient Egyptian priests to preserve the bodies of the pharaohs and their families were intended to confer immortality, serving a longing we still feel today.

Among the most famous Egyptian rulers were Akhenaten, who introduced monotheism; Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh of the fifteenth century B.C.; Ramses II, generally considered to be Egypt's greatest pharaoh; Tutankhamen, whose magificent tomb was discovered in 1922; and Cleopatra, whose affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony have sparked the romantic imagination of writers from Shakespeare's time to our own.

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Inge H. Borg, Khamsin, The Devil Wind of The Nile (2011), about a high priest in ancient Egypt; self-published.

Moyra Caldecott, Tutankhamun and the Daughter of Ra (2004), about Tutankhamun's sister-wife, Ankesenamun.

Moyra Caldecott, Hatshepsut: Daughter of Amun (1989), about Hatshepsut, the eighteenth dynasty female pharaoh of Egypt.


Stephanie Dray, Lily of the Nile (2010), about Cleopatra's daughter Selene, brought to Rome to grow up in Emperor Augustus's household after her mother dies. Review or Author Interview

Stephanie Dray, Song of the Nile (2011), about Cleopatra's daughter Selene and her marriage to King Juba of Mauretania; sequel to Lily of the Nile.

Stephanie Dray, Daughters of the Nile (2013), about Cleopatra Selene during her years as Queen of Mauritania; #3 in the Cleopatra's Daughter trilogy.


Allen Drury, A God Against the Gods (1976), about Akhenaten, the pharaoh who adopted monotheism, and his wife Nefertiti.

Allen Drury, Return to Thebes (1977), about Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and the brief reign of Tutankhamen; sequel to A God Against the Gods.

Georg Ebers, An Egyptian Princess (1864), an adventure novel about the sixth century B.C. conquest of Egypt by Cambyses II, founder of the Persian Empire; the author, a German Egyptologist, discovered the "Ebers Papyrus," an ancient medical document.

Georg Ebers, Uarda: A Romance of Ancient Egypt (1877), about a daughter of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II.

Karen Essex, Kleopatra, about the queen who ruled Egypt during the time of Julius Caesar.

Colin Falconer, When We Were Gods: A Novel of Cleopatra (2000), about the Egyptian queen.

J. Suzanne Frank, Reflections in the Nile, a time-travel romance in which a modern woman becomes a priestess in Egypt during the time of Moses and the Exodus.


Pauline Gedge, Child of the Morning (1977), about Hatshepsut, the woman pharaoh who ruled Egypt in the fifteenth century B.C. Review

Pauline Gedge, The Twelfth Transforming, about the reign of Akhenaten from the perspective of his mother, Queen Tiye.

Pauline Gedge, Scroll of Saqqara , set in ancient Egypt; also titled Mirage.

Pauline Gedge, House of Dreams, about an Egyptian peasant who becomes the concubine of a pharaoh; also titled Lady of the Reeds.

Pauline Gedge, House of Illusions, about an Egyptian peasant who becomes the concubine of a pharaoh; sequel to House of Dreams.

Pauline Gedge, The Hippopotamus Marsh, about the Egyptian revolt against the Hyksos Dynasty and the emergence of the Eighteenth Dynasty, #1 in the Lords of the Two Lands trilogy.

Pauline Gedge, The Oasis, about the Egyptian revolt against the Hyksos Dynasty and the emergence of the Eighteenth Dynasty, #2 in the Lords of the Two Lands trilogy.

Pauline Gedge, The Horus Road, about the Egyptian revolt against the Hyksos Dynasty and the emergence of the Eighteenth Dynasty, #3 in the Lords of the Two Lands trilogy.

Pauline Gedge, The Twice Born, historical fantasy about an Egyptian who revives while his body is being prepared for burial, after which he begins to have visions of other people's deaths.


Margaret George, The Memoirs of Cleopatra (1997), about the queen who ruled Egypt during the time of Julius Caesar.

Noel B. Gerson, The Hittite (1961), about a senior Hittite general in 1275 B.C. and his political and military challenges in 1275 BC as he fights the Egyptians under Ramses II and forces them to withdraw at the Battle of Kadesh.

William Golding, The Scorpion God (1971), a novella about an ancient Egyptian ruler in the time before the pharaohs, published in a collection with a novella ("Clonk Clonk") about a matriarchal society in prehistoric Africa and one about a Roman emperor whose world is upended when an inventor of such fantastic items as the pressure cooker and the steam engine arrives in his court ("Envoy Extraordinary").

Jo Graham, Hand of Isis (2009), about Charmian, Cleopatra's handmaiden.

Maria Dahvana Headley, Queen of Kings (2011), horror fantasy which imagines Cleopatra as a shape-shifting vampire seeking revenge for Antony's death.

T.L. Higley, Guardian of the Flame (2009), about a woman guard at the lighthouse in Alexandria in 48 B.C. when Julius Caesar and his armies capture the city; Christian message.

Lavender Ironside, The Sekhmet Bed (2011), about Ahmose, wife of Thutmose II and mother of Hatshepsut; #1 in the planned She-King series; self-published. Review


Christian Jacq, Ramses: The Son of the Light, about the youth of Ramses II, Egypt's greatest pharaoh; #1 in the Ramses series.

Christian Jacq, Ramses: The Temple of a Million Years (also titled The Eternal Temple), about Ramses' struggle to retain the crown; #2 in the Ramses series.

Christian Jacq, Ramses: The Battle of Kadesh, about Ramses' effort to defend Egypt after the Hittites attack by seizing their fortress at Kadesh; #3 in the Ramses series.

Christian Jacq, Ramses: The Lady of Abu Simbel, about Ramses' labor of love to build temples for his wife, Nefertari; #4 in the Ramses series.

Christian Jacq, Ramses: Under the Western Acacia, about Ramses' continuing effort to preserve Egypt's peace as he grows older; #5 and last in the Ramses series.

Christian Jacq, Nefer the Silent, about artisans who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs; #1 in the Stone of Light series.

Christian Jacq, The Wise Woman, about artisans who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs; #2 in the Stone of Light series.

Christian Jacq, Paneb the Ardent, about artisans who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs; #3 in the Stone of Light series.

Christian Jacq, The Place of Truth, about artisans who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs; #4 and last in the Stone of Light series.

Christian Jacq, The Empire of Darkness, about the woman who leads the resistance of Thebes after a foreign Hyksos army has taken over the rest of Egypt; #1 in the Queen of Freedom trilogy.

Christian Jacq, The War of the Crowns, about the woman who leads the resistance of Thebes after a foreign Hyksos army has taken over the rest of Egypt; #2 in the Queen of Freedom trilogy.

Christian Jacq, The Flaming Sword, about the woman who leads the resistance of Thebes after a foreign Hyksos army has taken over the rest of Egypt; #3 in the Queen of Freedom trilogy.

Christian Jacq, The Tree of Life, about an apprentice scribe kidnapped by sailors and the pharaoh Seostris III, both of whom play a role in the effort to protect Egypt from looming destruction; #1 in the Mysteries of Osiris series.

Christian Jacq, The Conspiracy of Evil, about a young scribe and the pharaoh Seostris III, both of whom play a role in the effort to protect Egypt from looming destruction; #2 in the Mysteries of Osiris series.

Christian Jacq, The Way of Fire, about a young scribe and the pharaoh Seostris III, both of whom play a role in the effort to protect Egypt from looming destruction; #3 in the Mysteries of Osiris series.

Christian Jacq, The Great Secret (2005), about a scribe, the pharaoh Seostris III, and the secret of resurrection; #4 and last in the Mysteries of Osiris series.

Christian Jacq, For the Love of Philae, a stand-alone novel about a sixth century Egyptian priestess who preserved the ancient mysteries after Christianity was imposed on Egypt.

Christian Jacq, Tutankhamun: The Last Secret (2009), a thriller about a New York lawyer who discovers he is the illegitimate son of archaeologist Howard Carter and that only he can continue his father's quest for a mysterious papyrus from the tomb.


William Klein, The Woman Who Would Be Pharaoh (2009), about Anhkesenamun, Tutankhamun's young widow.


Naguib Mahfouz, Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth, about the pharoah who attempted to introduce monotheism to ancient Egypt.

Naguib Mahfouz, Khufu's Wisdom, about the pharoah who built the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Naguib Mahfouz, Rhadopis of Nubia, about the love between a courtesan and the young Pharaoh Merenra during the third century B.C.

Naguib Mahfouz, Thebes at War, about the war to liberate Egypt from its Hyksos rulers during the sixteenth century B.C.

Naguib Mahfouz, Voices From the Other World, short stories set in ancient Egypt.


Norman Mailer, Ancient Evenings, a surrealistic, Maileresque novel about Menenhetet, an ancestor of Rameses IX

Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Pharaoh (1958), about Hatshepsut, the woman pharaoh who ruled Egypt in the fifteenth century B.C.

Michelle Moran, Nefertiti, about the beautiful chief wife of the fourteenth century B.C. pharaoh Akhenaten.

Michelle Moran, The Heretic Queen (2008), about Nefertari, the overlooked palace orphan who became Ramesses the Great's queen. Review

Michelle Moran, Cleopatra's Daughter (2009), about Cleopatra's daughter by Marc Antony and her siblings as captives in Rome after Cleopatra's death.

Anna Patricio, Asenath (2011), about an Egyptian fisherman's daughter forced into slavery who falls in love with Joseph (of the Bible story) shortly before he is thrown into prison.

Lester Picker, The First Pharaoh (2012), about King Narmer and the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt; #1 in the First Dynasty series; self-published.

Lester Picker, The Dagger of Isis (2012), about Meryt-Neith, her marriage to King Wadjet, and her succession to the throne after his death; #2 in the First Dynasty series; self-published.

Martha Rofheart, The Alexandrian, about Cleopatra.

Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak: The Living Face of Ancient Egypt (1950), an esoteric novel about a boy who becomes an initiate for the priesthood in ancient Egypt.

Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate (1950), an esoteric novel about an initiate for the priesthood in ancient Egypt; sequel to Her-Bak: The Living Face of Ancient Egypt.

Wilbur Smith, River God, an adventure novel set in Egypt of the eighteenth century B.C.; #1 in the Egyptian series.

Wilbur Smith, Warlock, an adventure novel set in Egypt of the eighteenth century B.C.; #3 in the Egyptian series (#2, The Seventh Scroll, is set in the present day).

Wilbur Smith, The Quest, an adventure novel set in Egypt of the eighteenth century B.C.; #4 in the Egyptian series.

Duncan Sprott, The Ptolemies, a humorous novel about Ptolemy I, the first Greek pharaoh, narrated by the Egyptian god Thoth.

Duncan Sprott, The House of the Eagle, about the first three Ptolemies in the line of Greek pharaohs; #1 in the Ptolemies series.

Duncan Sprott, Daughter of the Crocodile, about the second three Ptolemies in the line of Greek pharaohs; #2 in the Ptolemies series.

Judith Tarr, King and Goddess (1996), about Hatshepsut, the eighteenth dynasty female pharaoh of Egypt.

Lindsay Townsend, Blue Gold (2009), historical romance set in 1560 B.C., a time of war during the Hyksos period.

Mika Waltari, The Egyptian (original Finnish edition 1945; first English edition 1949; also titled Sinuhe the Egyptian in English), about a young Egyptian man who rises to become royal physician for Akhenaten, the pharaoh who introduced monotheism to Egypt.

Blake A. Willey, Scribe's Ascent (2006); about a man who rises from lowly origins to become second to the pharaoh in power and instrumental in the "Amarna" revolution; #1 in the Amenhotep, Son of Hapu series; self-published.

Blake A. Willey, Scribe's Duty (2007); about a man who rises from lowly origins to become second to the pharaoh in power and instrumental in the "Amarna" revolution; #2 in the Amenhotep, Son of Hapu series; self-published.


Ancient Egypt: Mysteries and Thrillers

Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Agatha Christie, Death Comes as the End (1944), about a young widow in Thebes in 2000 B.C. who returns to her father's house shortly before he brings home a new concubine who falls - or is pushed - to her death from a cliff; possibly the first full-length historical mystery novel ever written. Review


Paul Doherty, The Mask of Ra (1998), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #1 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, The Horus Killings (1999), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #2 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, The Anubis Slayings (2000), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #3 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, Slayers of Seth (2001), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #4 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, The Assassins of Isis (2004), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #5 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, The Poisoner of Ptah (2007), about a judge in Egypt of the 18th Dynasty who solves mysteries; #6 in the Amerotke series.

Paul Doherty, An Evil Spirit Out of the West (2003), about a man who becomes the protector and confidant of the young pharaoh Akhenaten; #1 in the Ancient Egypt mystery series.

Paul Doherty, The Season of the Hyaena (2005), a mystery set in the court of the six-year-old pharaoh Tutankhamen; #2 in the Ancient Egypt mystery series.

Paul Doherty, The Year of the Cobra (2006), a mysery set during the reign of the ailing pharaoh Tutankhamen; #3 in the Ancient Egypt mystery series.


Nick Drake, Nefertiti (2006), about a detective assigned to investigate by Pharaoh Akhenaten when Nefertiti vanishes just before the crucial festival celebrating the new capital city dedicated to the sun god; #1 in the Rai Rahotep series.

Nick Drake, Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows (2008), about a detective amid the struggles for political power during the reign of eighteen-year-old Tutankhamum; #2 in the Rai Rahotep series.

Brad Geagley, Year of the Hyenas (2005), the Pharaoh's clerk is assigned to solve the murder of an old, blind priestess, and discovers black magic is involved; #1 in the Semerket mystery series.

Brad Geagley, Day of the False King (2005), the Pharaoh's clerk goes to Babylon to borrow an idol said to have healing powers, and to learn if the woman he loves is still alive; #2 in the Semerket mystery series

Anton Gill, City of the Horizon (1991), about a scribe who lost his position in court when Tutankhamen succeeded Akhenaten as pharaoh, now making his living as an investigator of mysteries; #1 in the Egyptian Mystery series.

Anton Gill, City of Dreams (1993), about a former scribe trying to keep a low profile while investigating a series of murders which may have been committed by a person of high status; #2 in the Egyptian Mystery series.

Anton Gill, City of the Dead (1993), about a former scribe asked to investigate the death of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamen, supposedly in a hunting accident; #3 in the Egyptian Mystery series.


Kerry Greenwood, Out of the Black Land (2013), about a scribe for Pharaoh Amenhotep IV who discovers that the pharaoh, planning to suppress the worship of all gods but one, is mad and a danger to Egypt.


Lauren Haney, The Right Hand of Amon (1997), an Egyptian police commander during the reign of Hatshepsut must find out who murdered a soldier; #1 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.

Lauren Haney, A Face Turned Backward (1999), an Egyptian police commander patrols the river for stolen elephant tusks and uncovers a murderous plot driven by greed; #2 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.

Lauren Haney, A Vile Justice (1999), an Egyptian police commander wonders whether four mysterious killings are the work of men or gods; #3 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series

Lauren Haney, A Curse of Silence (2000), an Egyptian police commander investigates the murder of a prince beloved by his people and discovers a shocking secret; #4 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.

Lauren Haney, A Place of Darkness (2001), an Egyptian police commander investigates a case of smuggling that may be linked to a series of fatal accidents; #5 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.

Lauren Haney, A Cruel Deceit (2002), while investigating a series of murders, an Egyptian police commander uncovers a conspiracy that may involve Queen Hatshepsut herself; #6 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.

Lauren Haney, Flesh of the God (2003), a prequel about Lieutenant Bak's first case, in which he hesitates to condemn a woman who appears to have killed her husband; #7 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series

Lauren Haney, A Path of Shadows (2003), while sailing north on a new assignment, an Egyptian police commander must find out why death is stalking his fellow voyagers; #8 in the Lieutenant Bak mystery series.


T.L. Higley, City of the Dead (2009), about the Grand Vizier in charge of building the Great Pyramid who must hunt down the killer responsible for a series of murders at the site; Christian message.


Christian Jacq, Beneath the Pyramid (2004), about a judge who must investigate the deaths of five guards at the sphinx during the reign of Ramses the Great; #1 in the Judge of Egypt trilogy.

Christian Jacq, Secrets of the Desert (2004), about a judge who discovers a plot to overthrow the pharaoh but is sent to a prison camp on a false charge before he can complete his investigation; #2 in the Judge of Egypt trilogy.

Christian Jacq, Shadow of the Sphinx (2004), about a chief magistrate and his wife trying to solve a murder and halt a conspiracy to overthrow the pharaoh; #3 in the Judge of Egypt trilogy.

Christian Jacq, Manhunt (2007), about a young scribe who finds his boss and fellow scribes murdered at their workplace; #1 in the Vengeance of the Gods series.

Christian Jacq, The Divine Worshipper (2008), about a young scribe unjustly accused of murder while Egypt is threatened in different ways by both Greece and Persia; #2 in the Vengeance of the Gods series.


Lynda S. Robinson, Murder in the Place of Anubis (1994), Tutankhamen's chief investigator must find out who desecrated the Place of Anubis, where the dead are prepared for burial; #1 in the Lord Meren mystery series.

Lynda S. Robinson, Murder at the God's Gate (1995), Tutankhamen's chief investigator must find out who is behind the threats to the young Pharaoh's life; #2 in the Lord Meren mystery series.

Lynda S. Robinson, Murder at the Feast of Rejoicing (1996), while on leave from his official duties, Tutankhamen's chief investigator discovers that someone close to him may be a murderer; #3 in the Lord Meren mystery series.

Lynda S. Robinson, Eater of Souls (1997), Tutankhamen's chief investigator risks his life by trying to find the truth behind Nefertiti's suspicious death, and hunts down a serial killer among the common people; #4 in the Lord Meren mystery series.

Lynda S. Robinson, Drinker of Blood (1998), still trying to find out who killed Nefertiti, Tutankhamen's chief investigator must find out who is trying to discredit him; #5 in the Lord Meren mystery series.

Lynda S. Robinson, Slayer of Gods (2001), Tutankhamen's chief investigator gains the assistance of a beautiful woman known as the "Eyes of Babylon" to help him find out who killed Nefertiti; #6 in the Lord Meren mystery series.


Paul Sussman, The Hidden Oasis (2009), a thriller about a modern archaeologist, a shipment from a decommissioned Russian nuclear facility that disappeared in 1988, and a mysterious object taken into the Egyptian desert in 2152 B.C. by fifty priests from the crumbling Old Kingdom.

June Trop, The Deadliest Lie (2013), a mystery about a young woman aspiring to be a scholar in first-century Alexandria who tries to find out who stole a valuable alchemical scroll.




Biblical Times and Ancient Middle East

The Bible is filled with dramatic and powerful stories about kings, queens, and religious leaders of the Middle East, the cradle of three great religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Writers have been expanding these stories into novels since the nineteenth century, sometimes with deep reverence for religious tradition, sometimes with a desire to shock readers into a different way of looking at old beliefs, but always with the hope that readers will find new meaning in these ancient tales.

There is some overlap between this category and the Middle East page. If you don't see what you're looking for here, try there.

Jump to Mystery Novels


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Jack Adler, Parthian Retreat: The Road to Seres (2006), about a Parthian brother and sister who become wards of Rome after their father is killed in battle; #1 in the Parthian trilogy.

Jack Adler, Seres Sanctuary (2006), about a Parthian brother and sister who travel to China, where he becomes involved in court intrigue and she marries; #2 in the Parthian trilogy.

Jack Adler, Parthian Karma (2007), about a Parthian brother and sister who travel to India; #3 in the Parthian trilogy.


Tessa Afshar, Harvest of Rubies (2012), about a talented young woman who works as a scribe at the Persian court; Christian message.

Naomi Alderman, The Liars' Gospel (2012), a retelling of the story of Jesus from the perspectives of his mother, his betrayer, the high priest of the temple, and the Jewish rebel whose life is spared when Pontius Pilate offers the choice between him and Jesus. Review at The Guardian

Jeffrey Archer and Francis J. Maloney, The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot (2007), a novel in the form of a memoir by Judas's son Benjamin about Judas's motives for betraying Jesus and his life after Jesus's crucifixion.

Alexander Baron, Queen of the East (1956), about Zenobia of Palmyra, the third century queen who went to war with Rome during the time of Emperor Aurelian.


Sam Barone, Eskkar and Trella: The Beginning (2012), about a young man in ancient Mesopotamia who flees his clan when his family is murdered, and a young woman who is captured and enslaved after a similar experience; #1 in the Eskkar Saga.

Sam Barone, Dawn of Empire (2007), about the builder of the first walled city, his fight to defend it, and his love for a slave girl; #2 in the Eskkar Saga.

Sam Barone, Empire Rising (2008), about the ruler of a walled city which comes under threat while he is away trying to expand his empire; #3 in the Eskkar Saga.

Sam Barone, Conflict of Empires (2010; also titled Quest for Honour), about a king and queen who begin building a professional army to defend their city against attack; #4 in the Eskkar Saga.

Sam Barone, Battle for Empire (2012), about a king who sends his rebellious son away to a steppe tribe to learn the skills of a warrior; #5 in the Eskkar Saga.

Sam Barone, Clash of Empires (2013), about the king and queen of a walled city who must defend it from a powerful empire whose army vastly outnumbers theirs; #6 in the Eskkar Saga.


Giaconda Belli, Infinity in the Palm of her Hand (Spanish 2008, English translation, 2009), a poetic retelling of the story of Adam and Eve.

Christine Blake, Woman Redeemed, about Mary Magdalene and the women who traveled with Jesus; draws from legends arising from a variety of religious traditions.

J.H. Brennan, Dark Moon (1980), a novel about Mary Magdalene and her efforts to become freed from the demon that has possessed her and driven her into a life of prostitution; includes a naturalistic explanation of how Jesus may have been revived after his crucifixion.

Sigmund Brouwer, The Weeping Chamber (1998), about a Cyrenian merchant's encounter with Jesus during the week leading up to the crucifixion.

Anthony Burgess, Man of Nazareth, a literary retelling of the life of Jesus; #1 in the Biblical trilogy

Anthony Burgess, The Kingdom of the Wicked, a literary novel about the birth of Christianity following the crucifixion; #2 in the Biblical trilogy.

Anthony Burgess, Moses (1976), a narrative poem about Moses leading the Jews out of Egypt; #3 in the Biblical trilogy.

Taylor Caldwell, Dear and Glorious Physician, about Luke, who wrote one of the New Testament Gospels.

Taylor Caldwell, Great Lion of God, about Saul of Tarsus, who would become St. Paul, the author of several books of the New Testament.

Taylor Caldwell, I, Judas, a sypathetic portrayal of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus.


Orson Scott Card, Sarah (2000), based on the Old Testament story of the wife of Abraham; #1 in The Women of Genesis series.

Orson Scott Card, Rebekah (2001), based on the Old Testament story of the wife of Abraham's son Isaac; #2 in The Women of Genesis series.

Orson Scott Card, Rachel and Leah (2004), based on the Old Testament story of the daughters of Laban, who marry Jacob; #3 in The Women of Genesis series.


William B. Chalfant, The Young Sabellius, about the early years of Sabellius, a Christian evangelist of the late second and early third century who grows up in Africa as the son of a Roman lady and a Greek sea captain; self-published; #1 in the Sabellius series.

William B. Chalfant, Sabellius in Rome, about Sabellius's years as a pastor in Rome; self-published; #2 in the Sabellius series.

William B. Chalfant, Sabellius in Africa, about Sabellius's return to Africa after the death of his first wife, where he falls in love with a maidservant; self-published; #3 in the Sabellius series.

William B. Chalfant, Lost Memories of Eden (2008), a fantasy novel which imagines that Noah was the son of a fallen angel from the constellation of Orion; self-published.

William B. Chalfant, The Queen and the Heretic (2008), a novel which imagines that the warrior queen Zenobia had a love affair as a teenager with a boy who would later become Bishop Paul of Samosata, a Monarchianist heretic; self-published.


Don Clifford, Ben Solomon: A Bastard Prince Denied His Throne (2008), an adventure story about the illegitimate eldest son of King Solomon and his hapless struggle to improve his status; self-published.

Thomas B. Costain, The Silver Chalice, about a silversmith who is commissioned to make a cover for the holy grail during the years following the crucifixion; Christian message.

Elisabeth Roberts Craft, The Ambassador's Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Mesopotamia (2007), about the daughter of a Mesopotamian king's ambassador who travels the ancient world with her father in the fourteenth century B.C.

Elisabeth Roberts Craft, In the Court of the Queen: A Novel of Mesopotamia (2001), about an aging queen of Ur in 2000 B.C. and the young virgins chosen to entertain her during her last years.


Elizabeth Cunningham, The Passion of Mary Magdalen (2006), a novel depicting Mary Magdalen as a Celtic priestess sold into slavery by the Romans; #1 in the Maeve Chronicles series.

Elizabeth Cunningham, Magdalen Rising: The Beginning (2007), about the love between Jesus and Mary Magdalen; #2 in the Maeve Chronicles series.

Elizabeth Cunningham, Bright Dark Madonna (2009), about Mary Magdalen after the death of Jesus; #3 in the Maeve Chronicles series.

Elizabeth Cunningham, Red-Robed Priestess (2011), about Mary Magdalen after the death of Jesus; #3 in the Maeve Chronicles series.


Jump to end of series

Peter Danielson, Children of the Lion (1980), about the Old Testament patriarch Abraham; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #1 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Shepherd Kings (1981), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #2 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Vengeance of the Lion (1983), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #3 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Lion in Egypt (1984), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #4 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Golden Pharaoh (1986), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #5 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Lord of the Nile (1986), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #6 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Prophecy (1987), about an Egyptian pharaoh during the exile of the Israelites in Egypt; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #7 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Sword of Glory (1987), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #8 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Deliverer (1988), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #9 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Exodus (1989), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #10 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Sea Peoples (1990), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #11 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Promised Land (1990), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #12 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Invaders (1991), based on Old Testament stories; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #13 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Trumpet and the Sword (1992), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by George Warren, the author of the first 14 books in this series; #14 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Prophets and Warriors (1993), based on Old Testament stories; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by Franklin King for this novel; #15 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Departed Glory (1993), based on Old Testament stories about King Saul's wars against the Philistines; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by Hugh Zachary, the author of #16-18 in this series; #16 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Death of Kings (1994), based on the Old Testament story of King Saul and David; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by Hugh Zachary, the author of #16-18 in this series; #17 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, The Shining King (1995), based on Old Testament stories about King David; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by Hugh Zachary, the author of #16-18 in this series; #18 in the Children of the Lion series.

Peter Danielson, Triumph of the Lion (1996), based on Old Testament stories about King David's wars; Christian message; Peter Danielson was a pen name used by James Reasoner for this novel; #19 in the Children of the Lion series.


William Stearns Davis, Belshazzar: A Tale of the Fall of Babylon (1902), a retelling of the Biblical story about the sixth century B.C. fall of Babylon.

L. Sprague de Camp, The Dragon of the Ishtar Gate (1961), about a first century BC expedition from Persia to search for the source of the Nile and a mythical beast said to live there.

Anita Diamant, The Red Tent, a feminist literary novel about the wives and daughters of the Old Testament patriarch Jacob. Review

Debra Diaz, Woman of Sin (2010), about an Athenian woman sold as a slave in Rome who ends up in Palestine where she meets a man who changes her life; available as an e-book only.

Lloyd C. Douglas, The Robe, about a Roman soldier who was present at the crucifixion; Christian message.

Shlomo DuNour, Adiel (2001), a retelling of the story of Genesis through Noah and the Flood, narrated by the angel Adiel.

India Edghill, Delilah (2009), a retelling of the story of Samson and Delilah, which focuses on a sympathetic portrait of Delilah as a priestess of the Philistine goddess Atargatis. Review or Author Interview

India Edghill, Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen, about Michal, the daughter of King Saul.

India Edghill, Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba, about the pagan Queen of Sheba and her search for an heir to her throne.

Elissa Elliott, Eve: A Novel of the First Woman (2009), a reimagining of the story of Eve which combines the biblical story with an authentic historical background.

Eva Etzioni-Halevy, The Song of Hannah (2005), about the mother of the Old Testament prophet Samuel.

Eva Etzioni-Halevy, The Garden of Ruth (2006), about a niece of the Old Testament prophet Samuel who encounters opposition when she tries to find out about King David's great-grandmother Ruth.

Eva Etzioni-Halevy, The Triumph of Deborah (2008), about the Israelite judge Deborah, and the love triangle that begins when she persuades the warrior Barak to lead an attack against the Canaanites. Review or Author Interview

Howard Fast, My Glorious Brothers (1948), about the revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC., the event commemorated by the Hanukkah festival.

Howard Fast, Moses, Price of Eygpt (1958), about Moses growing up in the household of the Pharaoh Ramses II, and later rejecting the corruption and decadence of the court to embrace his kinship with the enslaved Hebrew people.

Howard Fast, Agrippa's Daughter (1964), about Berenice, the mistress of the Roman Emperor Titus.

David J. Ferreira, David: The Warrior King (2009), a novel set in 1000 B.C. about the biblical King David, from anointing to crowning; Christian message.

Lion Feuchtwanger, Jephthah and his Daughter (1958; also titled Jephta and his Daughter), about the Biblical military commander who vows to sacrifice the first thing he sees on returning home if he defeats the enemy, only to be greeted by his daughter as he returns victorious.

Gustave Flaubert, Herodias (1877), about Herod, Salome and the execution of John the Baptist; Flaubert was the author of the classic Madame Bovary.

Tim Frank, Daughter of Lachish (2010), about a young woman of ancient Judah who escapes and survives in the hills after the Assyrians vanquish the city of Lachish.

Ernest K. Gann, The Antagonists (also titled Masada), about the group of Jews who defied Rome and were defeated at Masada during the first century.

Ernest K. Gann, The Triumph, about the Roman general Flavius Silva and his involvement in the struggle between Titus and Domitian to become emperor; sequel to The Antagonists

Ginger Garrett, Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther (2005), based on the Biblical story of Queen Esther; Christian message.

Ginger Garrett, Dark Hour (2006), about the daughter of Queen Jezebel; Christian message; #1 in the planned Serpent Moon trilogy.

Haley Elizabeth Garwood, Zenobia (2005), about the third century queen of Syria, Zenobia, who fought against Rome; self-published.

Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, The Betrayal: The Lost Life of Jesus (2008), a novel that explores an alternative view of the life of Jesus which was suppressed by the early church.

Margaret George, Mary Called Magdalene (2003), about Mary Magdalene, one of the earliest disciples of Jesus and an important figure in the early Christian Church. Review

Anthony Giarmo, Sweet Muse of Madness (2012), about a religious acolyte from Sumer who travels to Thessaly, where he is attracted to the passionate culture of Goddess worship there; self-published.

Alan Gold, Jezebel (2001), about Jezebel, the Phoenician princess condemned for promiscuity in the Bible.

Seth Grahame-Smith, Unholy Night (2012), a comic novel which imagines the Three Wise Men were really thieves escaped from Herod's prison.

Robert Graves, King Jesus (1946), a novel portraying Jesus as a wise poet, the son of Mary and Herod's son Antipater; based on Graves' scholarly research and incorporating his interest in mythology.

Nicholas Guild, The Assyrian (1987), about an Assyrian prince in the seventh century B.C. with a gift for leadership, although his brother is the designated heir to the throne.

Nicholas Guild, The Blood Star (1989), about an Assyrian prince banished from the capital city of Ninevah who travels through the Mediterranean world of the seventh century B.C. fleeing his brother's assassins.

Marek Halter, The Book of Abraham, a novel that moves between modern and ancient history, about two men named Abraham, the Biblical patriarch and a man in World War II Warsaw.

Marek Halter, The Children of Abraham, a sequel to The Book of Abraham.

Marek Halter, Sarah, about the wife of the patriarch Abraham; #1 in the Canaan trilogy. Review

Marek Halter, Zipporah, about Moses' African wife; #2 in the Canaan trilogy.

Marek Halter, Lilah, about the sister of Ezra; #3 in the Canaan trilogy.

Marek Halter, Mary of Nazareth, a novel which portrays Mary, the mother of Jesus, as an educated woman and passionate advocate for nonviolence.

Brooks Hansen, John the Baptizer (2009), a literary novel about John the Baptist.

Lee Harmon, Revelation: The Way It Happened (2010), about a Jewish father and son fifty years after Jesus's death who read and discuss a letter from the Apostle John which became the Book of Revelation; Christian message.

Alice Hoffman, The Dovekeepers (2011), about four women who work in the dovecote at Masada during the period before the Romans besiege the Jewish community there. Review


Angela Elwell Hunt, Magdalene (2006), about Mary Magdalene.

Angela Elwell Hunt, Dreamers (1998), about a slave girl in ancient Egypt who falls in love with her fellow slave, the Hebrew outcast Joseph; Christian message; #1 in the Legacies of the Ancient River series.

Angela Elwell Hunt, Brothers (1997), about a man who leads his brothers into Egypt to buy grain during a famine and fails to recognize their outcast brother Joseph, now a high official in pharaoh's court; Christian message; #2 in the Legacies of the Ancient River series.

Angela Elwell Hunt, Journey (1997), about the sons of Joseph and the exodus from Egypt; Christian message; #3 in the Legacies of the Ancient River series.


Larry Huntsperger, The Fisherman (2004), a retelling of the Gospel story from the perspective of Simon Barjona, whom Jesus renames Peter.

Christian Jacq, Master Hiram and King Solomon, about King Solomon, the Phoenician mason he hires to build his temple and the woman they both love, the Queen of Sheba.

Paul Justice, Sodom: Five Ancient Cities (2010), a retelling of the Biblical story of Abram and his travels to Sodom and Gomorrah; self-published.

Shlomo Kalo, The Chosen (1994 in the original Hebrew, first English translation 2008), a retelling of the Old Testament story of Daniel, who is exiled from his native Judea and rises to a position of power in Babylon, where his destiny of becoming God's prophet is fulfilled.

Rebecca Kanner, Sinners and the Sea (2013), a novel which imagines the life of Noah's wife.

Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ, a controversial literary reinterpretation of the Gospel story.

Clysta Kinstler, The Moon Under Her Feet (1989), historical fantasy that tells the story of Jesus from the perspective of a Mary Magdalene who is a high priestess of ancient mother goddess traditions.

Zoe Klein, Drawing in the Dust (2009), about a modern archaeologist in Israel who discovers a set of ancient scrolls when she agrees to excavate under the house of a couple who claim it is haunted by the ghosts of ancient lovers.

Rebecca Kohn, The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther, about the Biblical story of Esther, a young Jewish woman forced to join the king's harem.

Par Lagerkvist, Barabbas (1950), about the criminal released in place of Jesus before the crucifixion; by a Nobel Prize-winning author.

Par Lagerkvist, Herod and Mariamne (1967), about Herod and his compassionate wife Mariamne, whom he executed after building a beautiful temple inspired by his love for her; Lagerkvist won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1951.


Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, John's Story: The Last Eyewitness (2006), about the John, who becomes the last surviving Apostle, living to the age of ninety; Christian message; #1 in the Jesus Chronicles series.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Mark's Story: The Gospel According to Peter (2007), about the life of the Apostle Mark and his efforts to spread the teachings of Jesus after the crucifixion; Christian message; #2 in the Jesus Chronicles series.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Luke's Story: By Faith Alone (2009), about Luke, the Gospel writer who never met Jesus; Christian message; #3 in the Jesus Chronicles series.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Matthew's Story (2010), about the Judean tax-collector who becomes the Apostle Matthew; Christian message; #4 in the Jesus Chronicles series.


Warren Lamb, Faithful Journey (2007), a retelling of the Acts of the Apostles from the New Testament from the perspective of various Apostles; Christian message; self-published.

Stephanie Landsem, The Well (2013), about a Samaritan woman and her reviled mother, whose lives are changed by the Jewish teacher Jesus.

Tosca Lee, Iscariot (2013), a sympathetic portrayal of Judas.

Norah Lofts, Esther (1950), about the young Jewish woman who becomes the wife of King Ahasuerus.

Norah Lofts, How Far to Bethlehem? (1965), about Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus. Review

Ki Longfellow, The Secret Magdalene, a feminist portrayal of Mary Magdalene based on the Gnostic Gospels.

Nancy Madore, The Hidden Ones (2012), about ancient supernatural events and a present-day woman who is kidnapped by a secret society believing her to be the ancient demoness Lilith; #1 in a planned series; self-published.

Paul Maier, Pontius Pilate, about the Roman governor of Judea who changed history by sentencing Jesus to death.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Pharaoh, about a modern archaeologist who makes a discovery relating to the effort in 586 B.C. to rescue the Ark of the Covenant as Jerusalem is about to be destroyed by the Babylonians.

Allan Massie, King David (1995), a portrayal of the Biblical King David as a shrewd politician and a complex, flawed man of faith.

Antoinette May, Pilate's Wife, based on a legend that Pilate's wife tried to dissuade him from crucifying Jesus.

Kathleen McGowan, The Expected One (2006), about a woman historian whose dreams and visions drive her to visit France, where she discovers ancient scrolls describing the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

James Michener, The Source, about the Jewish people and their ancestors who lived in what is now Israel from prehistoric times into the mid-twentieth century; a classic Michener sweep-of-history novel

Naomi Mitchison, The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931), about a Scythian woman with magical powers who must flee across the ancient world with her husband after the death of her father.

Nathaniel Ogle, Mariamne, The Last of the Asmonean Princesses (1839), about the wife of King Herod of Judea and the jealousy of Herod's sister Salome, who persuades him to execute her; available free online from Google Book Search.

Anthony O'Neill, Scheherezade (2002), about Scheherezade twenty years after her wedding, as she relies once again on her storytelling skill to protect herself after she is kidnapped on a trip to Baghdad.

Petru Popescu, Girl Mary (2009), about Jesus's mother Mary as a teenager before her marriage.

Anne Provoost, In the Shadow of the Ark, a literary novel about Noah and the Flood.

Philip Pullman, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (2010), a retelling of the Gospel story which imagines that Jesus and Christ were twin brothers, Jesus physically healthy and sociable, Christ sickly and precociously interested in church teachings.

Anne Rice, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, a portrayal of the childhood of Jesus based on the New Testament, apocryphal legends and recent historical research; #1 in the planned Christ the Lord trilogy.

Anne Rice, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (2008), about the young Jesus at the beginning of his ministry; #2 in the planned Christ the Lord trilogy.

Alexandra Ripley, A Love Divine (1996), about Joseph of Arimathea, who offered the use of his tomb after Jesus was crucified.


Francine Rivers, The Priest, about Moses' brother Aaron; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, The Warrior, about the Old Testament heroes Caleb and Joshua; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, The Prince, about King David's friend Jonathan; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, The Prophet, about the Old Testament Prophet Amos; Christian message.

Francine Rivers, The Scribe, based on the New Testament stories about Silas and Paul; Christian message.


Peter Rodgers, The Scribes (2012), about a group of scribes for the second-century Christian Church; self-published.

Johannes Selhofer, Javelin (2009), about the lance carried by Gaius Longinus at Golgotha, discovered by a Russian officer in the ruins of the Reichs Chancellery at the end of World War II and traced back through history; self-published.

Robert Silverberg, Gilgamesh the King, a retelling of the ancient Sumerian legend of Gilgamesh in a realistic setting.


Jill Eileen Smith, Michal (2009), about the young King David's first wife; #1 in the Wives of King David series.

Jill Eileen Smith, Abigail (2010), about a young widow who becomes a second wife to King David; Christian message; #2 in the Wives of King David series.

Jill Eileen Smith, Sarai (2012), about Sarai, the barren wife of the Biblical patriarch Abram; #1 in the planned Wives of the Patriarchs series.


C.K. Stead, My Name Was Judas (2006), a reimagining of the story of Judas, the betrayer of Jesus.

Diana Wallis Taylor, Mary Magdalene (2012), a retelling of the Biblical story of Mary Magdalene; Christian message.

Diana Wallis Taylor, Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate (2013), a novel which imagines the life of Pontius Pilate's wife; Christian message.

Ralph Thorpe, The Gospel of the King of the Jews (2011), a sympathetic portrayal of Judas as a simple shepherd tricked by the high priests into betraying Jesus.

Colm Toibin, The Testament of Mary (2012), a novel which imagines Mary, the mother of Jesus, reflecting as an older woman on the death of her son. Review


Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Jonah: Living in Rebellion (1980), about the Old Testament prophet swallowed by a whale; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, John: Son of Thunder (1980), about the man who wrote the Gospel of John; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Mary Magdalene (1985), a novel which envisions Mary Magdalene as a woman forced into prostitution and possessed by demons; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Noah (1985), about the Old Testament figure who built an ark to survive the Flood; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Ruth: A Love Story (1986), about the woman at the center of the Old Testament Book of Ruth; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Esther (1988), about the woman at the center of the Old Testament Book of Esther; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Mark: Eyewitness (1988), about the man who wrote the Gospel of Mark; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Song of Abraham (1989), about the Old Testament figure of Abraham, Prince of Ur; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Joseph: Dreamer of Dreams (1989), about the Old Testament figure sold by his brothers into a life of slavery in Egypt; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Moses: The Deliverer (1990), about the Old Testament prophet who led the Israelites out of Egypt; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Joshua: God's Warrior (1991), about the Old Testament warrior who fought the Battle of Jericho; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Samson (1992), a story of love and deceit about the Old Testament figure who lost his strength when his hair was cut; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Jerusalem: The City of God (1995), about Jerusalem through the centuries of the Biblical period; Christian message.

Ellen Gunderson Traylor, Melchizedek: King of Jerusalem (1997), about an early Old Testament king of Jerusalem during the period after Noah and the Flood; Christian message.


Brian Trent, Never Grow Old: The Novel of Gilgamesh (2007), based on the ancient legend of Gilgamesh; self-published.

Russ Wallace, Zenobia: Birth of a Legend (2011), about Queen Zenobia of Palmyra; self-published.

Mika Waltari, The Secret of the Kingdom (original Finnish edition 1959; English translation 1961), about a Roman citizen traveling in Jerusalem whose experience of Jesus's crucifixion leads him to study Jesus's life and convert to Christianity.

Mika Waltari, The Roman (original Finnish edition 1964; English edition 1966), about the son of a Roman convert to Christianity whose travels bring him from Rome, where a boyhood friendship with Nero brings him uncomfortably close to the emperor, to Greece, Britain and Jerusalem; sequel to The Secret of the Kingdom.

Judith Weingarten, The Chronicle of Zenobia, the Rebel Queen (2006), about a Jewish lawyer in third century Palmyra (now Syria) who rises to become the friend and confident of Queen Zenobia, who went to war against Rome in the time of Emperor Aurelian.

Timonthy S. Wilkinson, Prophet of Israel (2008), based on the Biblical story of the child Samuel, who was given to the Jewish high priest Eli to be raised in the Temple during a time of conflict between the Jews and the Philistines; self-published.

Niall Williams, John, about the Apostle John during the last years of his life in exile on the Isle of Patmos.

Joan Wolf, A Reluctant Queen (2011), based on the Biblical story of Queen Esther.

Joan Wolf, This Scarlet Cord (2012), a love story inspired by the Biblical story of Rahab, a Jericho prostitute who helped betray the city to Joshua and the Israelites by helping two spies escape from the city.

Kristen Wolf, The Way (2011), about a woman who becomes Christianity’s greatest spiritual leader.

Barbara Wood, The Serpent and the Staff (2013), historical romance about a Syrian woman at the time of the fall of Jericho, a winemaker's daughter who is forced into marriage with a man who has the falling sickness, despite her love for another man.

Frank Yerby, Judas, My Brother (1968), a retelling of the Gospel story from an unusual perspective.

Sean Young, Violent Sands, a thriller set in Roman Judea about Barabbas and the Zealots.


Biblical Times and Ancient Middle East: Mysteries


Click on the title for more information from Powell's Books or another online source, or if you're outside the U.S., try The Book Depository.


Frederick Ramsay, The Eighth Veil (2012), about a Talmudic scholar in Jerusalem required by Pontius Pilate to investigate the murder of a servant girl in Herod's palace.


Back to Top