Ancient Rome - Resource Bibliography

Publications - Ancient Rome

Chronicle of the Roman Republic

By Philip Matyszak
Thames & Hudson (June 2003)
240 Pages

Philip Matyszak describes fifty-seven of the foremost Romans of the Republic, spanning the centuries from its birth to its bloody death. Supported by a wealth of pictorial and archaeological detail, these personal histories provide an overview of the development and expansion of Rome, encompassing foreign and civil wars as well as social strife

and key legislation.

 

A Great Introduction into Roman Studies!

Chronicle of the Roman Emperors

By Chris Scarre
Thames & Hudson (1995)
240 Pages

The biographical portraits of the principal emperors from Augustus to Constantine, together with a concluding section on the later emperors, make the book a comprehensive history of imperial Rome. In addition to timelines detailing major events, each emperor is introduced by a coin portrait, a bust, and a datafile listing key information, such as name at birth, full imperial titles, and place and manner of death.

This is the first book to focus on the succession of rulers of Imperial Rome!

The Oxford History of the Roman World

By John Boardman, Jasper Griffin, & Oswyn Murray
Oxford University (2001)
536 Pages

This authoritative and compelling work tells the story of the rise of Rome from its origins as a cluster of villages to the foundation of the Roman Empire by Augustus, to its consolidation in the first two centuries CE. It also discusses aspects of the later Empire and its influence on Western civilization, not least of which was the adoption of Christianity.

The Most Comprehensive Publication on the Roman Empire!

Ancient Rome - A History of a Civilization That Ruled the World

By Anna Maria Liberati and Fabio Bourbon
Stewart, Tabori and Chang (1996)
292 Pages

Aided by color maps, dramatic aerial and on-site photographs and highly detailed color drawings, they chart the young republic's transformation into an unwieldy empire, its intensive exploitation of the lands it conquered, its architecture, literary and philosophical culture. 

 

A particularly valuable section documents the spread of Roman civilization from Gaul and Germany -- cornerstones of the empire -- to far-flung outposts like Britannia, the Danube provinces, Iberia, Syria and Armenia.

This Work Will Delight and Reward Both Novices and Specialists!

Northern Italy Before Rome

By Lawrence Barfield
Thames & Hudson (1971)
208 Pages

This book deals with the culture history of Northern Italy, that is, the area north of the Apennines in the modern Italian state. It is especially welcome to prehistorians specializing in Central European and Mediterranean archaeology.  After a brief discussion of the history of prehistoric research in Northern Italy and a presentation of the geographical background, Barfield gives syntheses of various prehistoric, protohistoric, and historic periods. 

The Origins of Rome

By Raymond Bloch
Frederick A. Praeger (1960)
212 Pages

This is a fine informative study of pre-Roman italian cultures including the Villanovans culture, Etruscans, Latins, Sabines, Campanians, and others. It covers the era of 7 kings prior to the Republic, resulting in hatred of monarchy after 509, so much so that 500 years later Augustus maintained a pretext of continuation of the Republic. Besides culture there is some politics, linguistics, art, and architecture from archaeological and historical sources. It's a good introduction to the geography of Italy.

Roman Conquests - Macedonia and Greece

By Philip Matyszak
Pen and Sword (2010)
208 Pages

With the defeat of Carthage, the stage was set for the clash of two of the most successful military systems of the ancient world, the Roman legions versus the Macedonian phalanx.

This publication gives a clear narrative of the course of these wars, explaining how the Roman war machine coped with formidable new foes and the challenges of unfamiliar terrain and climate. Specially commissioned color plates bring the main troop types vividly to life in meticulously researched detail.

The Fall of Greece to the Romans!

Roman Conquests - Gaul

By Michael M. Sage
Pen and Sword (2012)
208 Pages

Before Caesar, Rome had already established a foothold across the Alps in Gaul and Michael Sage starts with these early acquisitions which were largely reactive and defensive. The Gauls were one of the great warrior societies of ancient Europe and some of Rome's heaviest defeats were suffered here at the end of the second century BC.

This context makes all the more remarkable the dazzling success of the audacious campaigns, just half a century later, by which Caesar rapidly completed the initial conquest of the rest of Gaul. The subsequent revolts that soon occurred, culminating in the great unified rising under Vercingetorix, are also covered in detail, with the epic siege of Alesia as the dramatic climax.

Roman Conquests - Asia Minor, Syria, and Armenia

By Richard Evans
Pen & Sword (2011)
192 Pages

While conquering Greece and Macedonia the Romans defeated an intervention by the Seleucid Empire, the most powerful of the Hellenistic states founded by Alexander the Great's successors.

Soon Roman armies crossed to Asia for the first time to carry the war to the Seleucids. Here they faced one of the most sophisticated armies of the ancient world, evolved from Alexander's all-conquering war machine with the exotic additions of elephants, scythed chariots and heavily armored cataphract cavalry.

Roman Conquests - North Africa

By Nic Fields
Pen & Sword (2011)
176 Pages

This work follows the Romans into the dark continent during the First and Second Punic Wars, then cover in detail her vindictive final conquest and destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War. The subsequent long wars against the slippery Numidian prince, Jugurtha, which tested the Roman military system to the limit, also occupy a central place.

 

With a cast of characters including Hannibal, the Scipios, Marius, Sulla and the wily Jugurtha, this is sure to be a popular addition to the series. 

Conquest of North Africa!

The Roman Invasion of Britain

By Graham Webster
Routledge (1999)
244 Pages

In his much acclaimed trilogy, now up-dated and revised, Dr Webster builds up a fascinating and lively picture of Britain in the first century AD and discusses in detail the various types of evidence and the theories based upon them. Graham Webster gives the background of Britain before the invasion and goes on to describe the Roman forces, the personalities involved, the actual invasion - the crucial battle on the Meday - and Claudius's triumphal entrance into Camulodunum, the British capital.

The Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43 was one of the most important turning points in the history of the British Isles.

The Twelve Caesars

By Suetonius 
Penguin Classics 
464 Pages

As private secretary to the Emperor Hadrian, the scholar Suetonius had access to the imperial archives and used them (along with eyewitness accounts) to produce one of the most colourful biographical works in history.

 

The Twelve Caesars chronicles the public careers and private lives of the men who wielded absolute power over Rome, from the foundation of the empire under Julius Caesar and Augustus, to the decline into depravity and civil war under Nero and the recovery that came with his successors.

An essential primary source on Roman history and a fascinating achievement of scholarship covering a critical period in the Empire.

The Cambridge Companion to Ovid

By Philip Hardie
Cambridge University (2002)
426 Pages

Chapters by leading authorities discuss the backgrounds and contexts for Ovid, the individual works, and his influence on later literature and art. Coverage of essential information is combined with exciting new critical approaches. The book is essential reading for all interested in Ovid and his influence.

The single most influential ancient poet for post-classical literature and culture!

The Aeneid

By Virgil
Translated By Robert Fagles
Penguin Classics (2008)
484 Pages

An unsparing portrait of a man caught between love, duty, and fate, the Aeneid redefines passion, nobility, and courage for our times. Robert Fagles, whose acclaimed translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey were welcomed as major publishing events, brings the Aeneid to a new generation of readers, retaining all of the gravitas and humanity of the original Latin as well as its powerful blend of poetry and myth.

Fleeing the ashes of Troy, Aeneas, Achilles’ mighty foe in the Iliad, begins an incredible journey to fulfill his destiny as the founder of Rome!

Josephus - The Complete Works

By Titus Josephus
Attic Books
944 Pages

A first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, Josephus fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 to Roman forces led by Vespasian.

 

Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War. His most important works are The Jewish War and Antiquities of the Jews. 

Eyewitness account of Roman Rule!

 

The Great Courses - Ancient Rome

 

Documentaries - Ancient Rome

Rome – Rise and Fall of an Empire

2008 - History

Told from the point of view of the Roman people under violent attack, HISTORY takes viewers inside the fiery battles of a civilization crumbling in the face of brutal invasions. From the first Roman-Barbarian War through every gruesome battle, Rome follows each harrowing moment of the famed empire's slow decline and the human struggle for survival in this exciting 13-episode series.

The Battle for Rome

2006 - History

This expansive collection presents a vivid portrait of one of the world's most powerful and advanced civilizations. Depicting the city and its inhabitants from the beginning, the set highlights the role of the most significant actors, documents the physical growth of the empire, and lays out the ceaseless internal and external struggles for power.

Digging for the Truth

2006 – History

Josh Bernstein and the History Channel team up to explore some of the world's most baffling archaeological and historical mysteries -- including El Dorado, Stonehenge and Pompeii -- and explain why these places are so significant.

Incredible Monuments of Rome

2006 – A/E

They stand today as testaments to the glory and grandeur of Ancient Rome. But what outrageous lewd and murderous acts helped build and sustain the imperial monuments? There were splendid arenas where no form of torture was deemed too cruel... Places of worship where the Gods were frequently honored with shocking ritualistic sacrifices.

Caligula: Reign of Madness

2008 – A/E

He ruled for only four years and was dead at age 28. Yet he is one of the most notorious rulers in history. Caligula packed a lot into a very short life. Had he focused his considerable energies on governing his empire history might have remembered him differently. As it is he is known for perversion and depravity his rule was a legendary frenzy of lunacy murder and lust.

The Hidden History of Rome

2003 – Xive

Who better to scrutinize and investigate the quirkier achievements of the impressive and expansive Roman Empire than co-creator of the brilliantly accomplished question; ‘What have the Romans ever done for us’? Terry Jones is in search of an answer. Unearthing the secrets of the Roman world in his own idiosyncratic and bizarre way, he reveals how ordinary people really lived in ancient Rome.

Secrets of Archaeology

2003 – A&E

Take a virtual tour through rediscovered cities and see archaeological sites as their inhabitants saw them centuries ago. Explore the magnificent city of Pompeii, the architectural treasures of the Roman Empire, the legendary city of Troy, the mighty pyramids of the pharaohs and much more in this comprehensive 6 disc collection.

The Germanic Tribes

2009 – Kultur

The series breathes new life into the little known world of the Germanic tribes. We see how they lived, fought, and worshiped their gods. Intricate 3D animation shows us how they built their settlements, buried their kings, vanquished their enemies.

Engineering an Empire

2005 – History

Despite their personal short comings, many of the Roman Empires great engineering accomplishments were introduced during the reign of the Caesars. The tradition continued under Vespasian, builder of the Coliseum, Trajan, builder of the Forum, and Hadrian, builder and possibly the designer of the Pantheon. Finally, a decade later Caracalla built a bath complex/recreation center in an effort to secure his own reputation in history. 

The Etruscans

2009 – Cicada

Relive one of the high points of European civilization in an utterly engrossing look at the Etruscans, whose sophisticated culture laid the foundations for the great Roman Empire. From their territories in modern-day Tuscany, they became the envy of the Mediterranean. They grew wealthy from trade, agriculture and mining, indulged in banqueting and sporting games, created elegant art and jewellery, and built some of Rome’s most important landmarks. Yet their origins, and the reason for their dramatic decline, remain a mystery.

The Roman Empire in the First Century

2001 – PBS

Two thousand years ago, at the dawn of the first century, the ancient world was ruled by Rome. Through the experiences, memories and writings of the people who lived it, this series tells the story of that time -- the emperors and slaves, poets and plebeians, who wrested order from chaos, built the most cosmopolitan society the world had ever seen and shaped the Roman empire in the first century A.D.

Ancient Civilizations: Rome and Pompeii

2001 – Questar

Imagine being among the bloodthirsty thousands at a gladiator bout in the Colosseum, or at the chariot races in the Circus Maximus. Count yourself among the decadent few in the ancient baths, theatres, temples, and palaces. Be an eyewitness to the burning of Nero's Rome. See the devastation caused by Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii. 

The Punic Wars

2007 - Kultur

Dramatic storytelling and state-of-the-art computer animation re-create Classical Greece of the 4th and 5th centuries, B.C, founder of modern science, politics, warfare, philosophy, and source of breathtaking art and architecture. This dazzling production charts the rise, triumph, and eventual decline of the world's first democracy. Witness it all through the eyes of Pericles, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Nero's Golden House

2008 – History

Rome had burnt to a cinder but the 26-year-old Emperor Nero turned tragedy into triumph by ordering the construction of the grandest, most ostentatious building on earth the Domus Aurea or Golden House. From the ashes of central Rome rose a vast complex of palaces, pavilions and temples set in 200 acres of parkland. The Golden House was a creation of great beauty but became renowned for violence and sexual perversion.

Barbarians

2004 – History

Bloodthirsty warriors who lived on the fringe of civilization, defied authority and terrorized the people of Europe, the Barbarians -- whose name still evokes images of cruelty and chaos -- led a much more complicated existence than many people know. This History Channel series chronicles the fascinating stories of the Vikings, the Goths, the Mongols and the Huns, tracing 1,000 years of conquest and adventure with extensive reenactments.

Terry Jones – Barbarians

2006 – BBC

In Greece and Iran, Jones argues that far from being a godless rabble of swarthy bruisers in tiny skirts, it seems the barbarians of Greece and Persia were peaceable boffins whose innate humanity saw them develop what were, in essence, welfare states.

The Roman Invasion of Britain

2007 – Kultur

Motivated by an emperor’s greed and political ambition, Rome added Britain to its empire in the first century CE, changing the land and its people forever. Join historian Bettany Hughes (When the Moors Ruled in Europe) as she examines new research and the latest archaeological evidence to reveal the brutal realities of the Roman conquest.

Boudicca – Warrior Queen

2006 – History

When Boudicca, a Celtic princess, rose up against Britain's Roman invaders, she became a symbol in later British consciousness of many things. This documentary examines the history and myth of this queen of an obscure Celtic tribe who levied the greatest force ever put together in Britain. Extras include readings of event accounts and more.

Rome: Power and Glory

1999 – Discovery

Rome: Power & Glory is a six-volume comprehensive introduction to the rise, rule, and fall of the Roman Empire. The series covers the political, military, and social history of the empire from its miraculous engineering feats to the exorbitant taxation that contributed to its downfall.

The Great Empire: Rome

1998 – A/E

Documentary traces the rise and fall of the Roman Empire from Romulus and Remus to the rise of Christianity. At its peak, the Roman Empire spread over three continents, from England to Egypt, across Western Europe, to Asia and the Middle East.

Pompeii – Buried Alive

1995 – A/E

Two-thousand years ago, Rome was an all-powerful empire and Pompeii was one of its prosperous provincial towns-until Mount Vesuvius exploded in the largest eruption ever recorded. In a matter of hours the thriving city was entombed under a thick layer of ash and debris, undiscovered for centuries.

The Gallic Wars

2007 – Kultur

The dramatic story of the campaigns of 58 to 53 B.C. in which Julius Caesar and his Roman Legions conquered Gaul -modern day France. Caesar's intervention in the brutal Gallic inter-tribal warfare was originally prompted by genuine concern for Italian security, but as the campaign developed, Rome's greatest commander began to hatch plans for full conquest. Remarkably, Julius Caesar's own account of the Gallic Wars have survived to this very day.

Gladiators – Bloodsport of the Colosseum

2001 – Questar

This fascinating video follows gladiators through their training, choice of costumes, weapons and style of combat to their rise to stardom and their inevitable violent death. So popular did some gladiators become that many Roman women were prepared to give anything to meet and be with the idol they worshiped. A compelling video insight into the violent, deadly world of the gladiators.

Decisive Battles of the Ancient World

2006 - History

They are the moments when history was written in blood; when armies determined the fate of empires and men became myths. They are the DECISIVE BATTLES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. In a groundbreaking four-disc release, The History Channel presents the 13 defining points of ancient warfare-moments that altered the course of history and shaped the modern world. 

Barbarians II

2007 – History

This second volume in acclaimed Barbarians series from THE HISTORY CHANNEL follows four of history's most fearsome tribes: the Vandals the Saxons the Franks and the Lombards as they cut a swath of destruction through the heart of the Roman world.

Battlefield Britain

2005 – BBC

Father and son team Peter and Dan Snow make a charismatic pair of presenters in Battlefield Britain, an excellent documentary series from the BBC examining key battles on British soil throughout that kingdom’s turbulent history. These eight episodes on three discs cover two thousand years of British history, starting with Boudicca’s Revolt against the Romans in A.D. 61.

A History of Ancient Britain

2000 – BBC

This fascinating documentary discards timelines and tiresome lineages for a lively look at the personalities and cultures that infuse England's past. Hosted by noted historian Simon Schama, the series travels from India to Ireland, and from the Norman Invasion to the American Revolution, spotlighting the epic themes and towering figures that transformed an island at the edge of the world into the greatest empire on earth.

Theatrical Features

 

Rome (2005-07)

Combining the epic sweep of history with the intimate drama of family life, this gripping series follows two common soldiers, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, whose destinies intertwine with those of the most powerful citizens of ancient Rome.

Masada (1981)

In this Emmy Award-winning dramatization of historical events, Peter O'Toole stars as the Roman general tasked with crushing a group of Jewish rebels who have sought refuge on Masada, a desert fortress, in A.D. 72. Despite superior numbers and supplies, the Romans find themselves endlessly frustrated in their attempts to thwart the rebels' last stand. The star-studded cast also includes Peter Strauss, Barbara Carrera and Anthony Quayle.

The Eagle (2011)

Haunted by the disappearance of his father, who vanished with the Roman Ninth Legion on an expedition into the north of Britain, centurion Marcus Aquila sets out to unravel the mystery and recover the legion's eagle standard.

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