Ancient Rome Book List

Visit Ancient Rome in these picture books and historical fiction.

Escape from. Pompeii by Benjamin Richmond, Thalia is excited to visit the city of Pompeii while performing with her traveling troupe of actors, while Felix longs for a life of adventure away from his strict politician father. When these two from completely different worlds cross paths, they quickly become friends. Meanwhile, a lethal fire is brewing at Mount Vesuvius, and Pompeii in its shadow awaits total destruction. As the volcano erupts, will Thalia and Felix escape one of the deadliest natural disasters in history? Paperback, 144 pages. Ages 7-10

Step into Reading with Pompeii... Buried Alive! Did you know a volcano can erupt without warning? Did you know a whole town can disappear? Read this book to find out what happened to a town named Pompeii when a Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2,000 years ago! This book is a recommended reading level of Grades 2-3

Marcus is an eleven-year-old runaway slave, who with his father, are fleeing the hands of a brutal master. They shouldn't be anywhere near the bustling city of Pompeii but as it so happens, fate intervenes and the father and son find themselves right at the center of chaos when Mount Vesuvius erupts and decimates the entire city. Marcus and his father are afraid of the mountain, unlike all the residents who expect the "great monster" to quiet down. Will they have time to escape? A fictionalized account based on true events.

Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),comes a dazzling new series: Classic Starts. The stories have been rewritten for younger audiences. Classic Starts treats the world's beloved tales (and children) with the respect they deserve.
Several of the best-loved Roman myths are gathered in this one beautiful abridged collection, from “Romulus and Remus” (which tells how Rome came to be) to “Cupid and Psyche,” “Oedipus and the Sphinx,” and more. For easy reference, theres also a detailed list and family tree of all the important gods and goddesses right at the start.

Abridged version.

Discover the life of Irenaeus of Lyon (circa 130- circa 200) with this beautifully illustrated biography. As a young man Irenaeus studied under Polycarp, spent time learning about the teachings of the Gnostics and a man named Marcion, and eventually moved to Gaul and became an elder in Lyon. After a time of intense persecution, followers were asking questions about how a good God could allow so much sin and suffering - much as Marcion's followers had done. Since Irenaeus had studied these teachings, he wrote a series of five volumes called Against Heresies which refuted heretical teaching and codified the central tenets of what Christians believed. Includes a time line of his life, a "Did You Know?" section, and an introduction. 62 pages, hardcover.

Gladiator medic, bold traveler, and personal physician to emperors, Galen lived an adventurous life in 2nd-century Rome---and became the greatest doctor in history! Weaving compelling biography with a fascinating account of ancient medicine and culture, Bendick introduces your kids to the surgeon and scientist who would become the standard medical authority for 1,300 years. Ages 10 and up. 131 pages, softcover from Bethlehem Books.

The superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information that distinguish all of David Macaulay's books is nowhere more evident than in this marvelous creation of the imaginary Roman city of Verbonia. Through his impressively detailed drawings and clear descriptive text, Macaulay shows how superbly the Romans built new and exciting, yet functional, cities for the people who were to inhabit them. Recommended for ages 9 and up.

Onesimus is a slave and longs for freedom and for the love of Eirene, a wealthy merchant's daughter. Onesimus' master is Philemon, a follower of Christ, but Onesimus wants nothing to do with religion. Take a journey back to biblical times and learn, along with Onesimus, that Christ is the only way to freedom.

Journey back to Palestine, when the Roman empire ruled over the historical territory of the Jews. Mala makes her living by sewing for the rich and often haughty ladies of the Roman Empire, dreaming of a better existence. But a when a mysterious stranger heals a physically twisted beggar in her town, there might be more to think of than just this world...154 pages, softcover.

Murder by one slave in a Roman household meant death for the other slaves. When Senator Caius Pomponius is found stabbed, the seventeen-year-old secretary Hylas manages to escape arrest. In a desperate attempt to save his mother and fellow slaves, he is unexpectedly helped by Varro, a secret Christan, through whom he enlists the help of Camillus, a young tribune. Camillus soon finds himself reluctantly picking a dangerous way through the political plots of Nero's Rome to discover the real murderer. Recommended for ages 14 and up, 165 pages.

Travel back to first-century Palestine and experience the drama of life after Christ's resurrection! In this sequel to The Ides of April, young Philo befriends a mysterious man that his father rescues in the desert. Why was the man left to die by the Romans? And why can't he remember his past? Ages 14 and up.

Join Neil Perkins, Latin student at Haltwhistle Grammar School in England, as he uncovers a story of usurpation, treachery, and betrayal. After unearthing an ancient Roman manuscript, Neil dedicates himself to studying Latin and translates this exciting story from the third century. Disaffected centurion Rusticus serves Rome at Hadrian's Wall, an unruly frontier. He is saved from massacre by Cadwal, a Celt who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman Colosseum. Readers will learn the differences between ancient paganism and the primal Christian faith practiced in third-century Britain by only a remnant. They, along with Neil, will begin a more thoughtful approach to life as they reckon with all they have learned. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Con, son of Aemilius, a centurion, and his friend Julius, son of Septimius, a merchant, find their lives inextricably entwined with that of the young stranger and his elderly companion. These are dangerous times for those who challenge the persecution of the Roman authorities against Christians, as the two boys learn to their cost. They are given unexpected help by a legionary, Aaron the Hebrew, as this exciting tale of courage and friendship reaches its climax at Isca, the base camp of the Roman legion.

From Sir H. Rider Haggard, the author of the famous novel, King Solomon's Mines, comes this classic adventure of Miriam, a young Christian woman living in the Roman Empire during the first century after Christ, and Marcus, the Roman officer who desired to win her hand. As Miriam faces hardships and fiery trials, her faith is continually strengthened by the Lord. The historic events portrayed in Pearl Maiden culminate in the Roman siege and destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in A.D. 70.

Now in a newly revised and updated Centennial Edition, Pearl Maiden continues to be a wonderful story of faith for modern readers, stirring events, captivating characters, and careful attention to historical detail are seamlessly blended here to produce a truly uplifting novel. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Grades 8-Adult.

Now a major motion picture!
The Ninth Legion marched off into Britain, and disappeared completely. Marcus' father led this legion of men and he is determined to discover what happened to them. But will Marcus manage to return from a mission that is so dangerous, nobody else has returned?

Justin and Flavius find themselves in the middle of a dangerous situation when they discover a plot to overthrow the emperor. They gather together a ragged group of men and lead them into battle to defend Rome . . . but will there be enough time to save the emperor?

Rome has abandoned Britain, and the country is divided by civil war and the threat of a Saxon invasion. Aquila stayed behind to be with his family but everything that he loves is soon destroyed, leaving him with only one thing to carry on---his thirst for revenge.

After witnessing his father's crucifixion by Roman soldiers, Daniel bar Jamin is fired by a single passion: to avenge his father's death by driving the Roman legions form the land of Israel. Consumed by hatred, Daniel joins the brutal raids of an outlaw band living in the hills outside his village. Though his grandmother's death slows his plans by forcing him to move home to care for his sister, he continues his dangerous life by leading a group of boy guerrillas in spying and plotting, impatiently waiting to take revenge.

In nearby Capernaum, a rabbi is teaching a different lesson. Time and again Daniel is drawn to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, only to turn away, disappointed and confused by Jesus' lack of action in opposing the Romans. Devoid of tenderness and forgiveness, headstrong Daniel is also heedless of the loyalty of his friend Joel; the love of Joel's sister, Malthace; and the needs of his own disturbed sister, Leah, dragging them down his destructive path toward disaster.

Elisabeth George Speare won the 1962 Newbery Medal for this magnificent novel of Daniel's tormented journey from a blind, confining hatred to his acceptance and understanding of love. Booklist called it "a dramatic, deeply felt narrative whose characters and message will be long remembered." Recommended for ages 9 and up. The 1962 Newbery Medal winner.

This classic tale stands as one of the most notable achievements in American writing. The tale of a Judah Ben-Hur's conversion to Christianity, his life runs parallel and even intersets with Christ's in many spots. Illustrating both the spiritual promises of the kingdom to come, as well as the human want for revenge, this heroic novel has captivated thousands. Unabridged. 382 pages, softcover.

Marga Munkelt has added a new section and pictures to the Introduction of this updated edition of Julius Caesar. It surveys stage and critical interpretations since the 1980's of Shakespeare's most famous Roman play. The reading list has also been brought up to date

Martyr of the Catacombs, by James DeMille

Powerful and historically accurate fiction that brings the early church to life! Follow Marcellus, a young army captain in third-century Rome, who sees firsthand the suffering endured by Christians. Their faith in the midst of persecution convinces Marcellus to join them, even though he is fully aware that it could cost him his life. 

St. Augustine of Hippo, is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and this book is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defense of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, this book is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity.

Spines and References