Books for Your Roman Empire Obsession

By Kat La Mantia | September 28 2023 | AdultsChildren'sGeneralAllBlog

How often do you think about the Roman Empire? The answer for some, apparently, is literally all the time. Okay, fine. We hear you, and we have the books to feed any ancient history obsession.

For the brave and the patient, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a classic, if lengthy, read. (Get the abridged version–we won’t tell.) Alternatively, DK’s Ancient Rome: The Definitive Visual History is a beautifully illustrated guide for those intrigued by the history, art, and politics of ancient Rome but who don’t quite have the stamina to make it through a six volume epic.

From famous figures like Julius Caesar and Nero to children’s books on daily ancient life to charming art collections celebrating the enduring beauty of the Eternal City, check out our Roman favorites down below to delight your local ancient history lover.

Ancient Rome
The Definitive Visual History
DK
978-0-7440-6982-2
A definitive history of ancient Rome that tells the story of its dramatic rise and fall in rich visual detail
$50.00 US
Apr 25, 2023
9-1/4 x 11-1/16
Hardcover
400 Pages
DK

Journal Like a Stoic
A 90-Day Stoicism Program to Live with Greater Acceptance, Less Judgment, and Deeper Intentionality (Includes Teachings of Marcus Aurelius)
978-0-593-43589-2
Bring Stoicism to your daily life with this guided journal based on the teachings of great Stoic thinkers. Explore why leaders, artists, and athletes have relied on these principles to achieve success for thousands of years.
$14.99 US
Nov 22, 2022
6 x 9
Paperback
224 Pages
Zeitgeist

Meditations
A New Translation
978-0-8129-6825-5

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Meditations offers a glimpse into [Marcus Aurelius’s] mind, his habits, and his approach to life. . . . I think any reader would find something useful to take away from it.”—James Clear, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits “To me, this is the greatest book ever written. . . . It is the definitive text on self-discipline, personal ethics, humility, self-actualization, and strength. . . . If you’re going to read it, you absolutely have to go with the Gregory Hays translation.”—Ryan Holiday, #1 New York Times bestselling…

$11.00 US
May 06, 2003
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
256 Pages
Modern Library

The Daily Stoic
366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living
978-0-7352-1173-5
From the team that brought you The Obstacle is The Way and Ego is The Enemy, a beautiful daily devotional of Stoic meditations, with a ribbon and endpapers. An instant Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.
$29.00 US
Oct 18, 2016
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
416 Pages
Portfolio

Letters from a Stoic
978-0-14-139585-2
Pocket Hardbacks: world-changing ideas meet eye-catching design: the best of the extraordinarily successful Great Ideas series, now packaged in Coralie Bickford-Smith's award-winning clothbound covers
$22.00 US
Apr 28, 2015
4-1/8 x 6-5/8
Hardcover
352 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Abridged Edition
978-0-375-75811-9
Edited, abridged, and with a critical Foreword by Hans-Friedrich Mueller Introduction by Daniel J. Boorstin Illustrations by Giovanni Battista PiranesiEdward Gibbon’s masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second century A.D. to its collapse in the west in the fifth century and in the east in the fifteenth century, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written. This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, but in a breadth comparable to a novel. Casual readers now have access to the full sweep of Gibbon’s narrative, while instructors and students have a volume that can be read in a single term. This unique edition emphasizes elements ignored in all other abridgments—in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.
$22.00 US
Aug 12, 2003
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
1312 Pages
Modern Library

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volumes 1 to 6
978-0-307-70076-6
Edward Gibbon’s classic timeless work of ancient Roman history in 6 volumes collected into 2 box sets, in beautiful, enduring hardcover editions with elegant cloth sewn bindings, gold stamped covers, and silk ribbon markers. Easily the most famous historical chronicle in English, Gibbon’s account of Roman decline remains a remarkably fresh and vital contribution to the subject more than two centuries after its first publication. A landmark in its time for classical and historiographical scholarship, its fame today, however, rests more on the scope and force of Gibbon’s argument and the brilliance of his style, which is still an utter delight to read. But above all, the book is a superb monument to the Enlightenment ideal of rational enquiry which Gibbon made the object of his life’s work. With an introduction by renowned scholar Hugh Trevor-Roper. Everyman's Library pursues the highest production standards, printing on acid-free cream-colored paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, and European-style half-round spines. Everyman’s Library Classics include an introduction, a select bibliography, and a chronology of the author's life and times.
$200.00 US
Dec 21, 2010
Hardcover
3980 Pages
Everyman's Library

Selected Works (Cicero, Marcus Tullius)
978-0-14-044099-7
Collecting the most incisive and influential writings of one of Rome's finest orators, Cicero's Selected Works is translated with an introduction by Michael Grant in Penguin Classics.Lawyer, philosopher, statesman and defender of Rome's Republic, Cicero was a master of eloquence, and his pure literary and oratorical style and strict sense of morality have been a powerful influence on European literature and thought for over two thousand years in matters of politics, philosophy, and faith. This selection demonstrates the diversity of his writings, and includes letters to friends and statesmen on Roman life and politics; the vitriolic Second Philippic Against Antony; and his two most famous philosophical treatises, On Duties and On Old Age - a celebration of his own declining years. Written at a time of brutal political and social change, Cicero's lucid ethical writings formed the foundation of the Western liberal tradition in political and moral thought that continues to this day.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$17.00 US
Sep 30, 1960
Paperback
272 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Makers of Rome
Nine Lives
978-0-14-044158-1
Nine biographies that illuminate the careers, personalities and military campaigns of some of Rome's greatest statesmenThe lives of the statesmen featured in this collection span the earliest days of the Republic to the establishment of the Empire. Selected from Plutarch's Roman Lives, they include prominent figures who achieved fame for their pivotal roles in Roman history, such as soldierly Marcellus, eloquent Cato and cautious Fabius. Here too are vivid portraits of ambitious, hot-tempered Coriolanus; objective, principled Brutus and open-hearted Mark Anthony, who would later be brought to life by Shakespeare. In recounting the lives of these great leaders, Plutarch also explores the problems of statecraft and power and illustrates the Roman people's genius for political compromise, which led to their mastery of the ancient world. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
$16.00 US
Oct 30, 1965
Paperback
368 Pages
Penguin Classics

Metamorphoses
(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
978-0-14-313423-7
Winner of the 2023 Academy of American Poets Harold Morton Landon Translation Award “The best translation of a work of ancient literature that I read this year”- Emily WilsonThe first female translator of the epic into English verse in over sixty years, Stephanie McCarter addresses accuracy in translation and its representation of women, gendered dynamics of power, and sexual violence in Ovid’s classic.A Penguin Classic
$22.00 US
Nov 14, 2023
5-5/8 x 8-7/16
Paperback
608 Pages
Penguin Classics

Metamorphoses
978-0-14-139461-9
Ovid's deliciously clever and exuberant epic, now in a gorgeous new clothbound edition
$26.00 US
May 17, 2016
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
Hardcover
768 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Roman Poets
978-0-375-40071-1
The urban and pastoral poetry of the Roman republic, and of the empire that succeeded it, was both the culmination of the magnificent classical tradition of the Mediterranean and the seedbed for almost all the subsequent poetic traditions of Western and Central Europe. The stateliness of Virgil's Eclogues and the grandeur of his epic line, the unsurpassable lyricism - by turns tender, incisive, and scabrous - of Catullus's elegies and satires, the philosophical splendor of Lucretius's meditations, the relentless imaginative energy of Ovid's narratives, and the sonorous beauty of the odes of Horace have been for two millennia a source of endless delight and instruction, and the work of these writers has given to Europe its frames of literary reference and its enduring canons of taste.
$20.00 US
Nov 11, 1997
Hardcover
256 Pages
Everyman's Library

Rome Stories
978-1-101-90788-7
From Plutarch to Pasolini, from Henry James to Alberto Moravia, this collection of classic tales of the Eternal City draws on a wide range of brilliant writers from ancient times to the present. A gorgeously jacketed hardcover anthology. EVERYMAN'S POCKET CLASSICS.
$16.00 US
Mar 07, 2017
4-1/2 x 7-1/4
Hardcover
416 Pages
Everyman's Library

Poems of Rome
978-1-101-90801-3
A beautiful hardcover Pocket Poets anthology of poems inspired by the art and architecture of the Eternal City.
$14.95 US
Apr 03, 2018
4-1/8 x 6-1/4
Hardcover
256 Pages
Everyman's Library

The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome
A Handbook for Time Travelers
978-1-101-99810-6
NOW IN PAPERBACK! The kid-friendly series that makes history approachable, engaging, and funny! From the publishing house that brought you the Who Was? books.
$8.99 US
Aug 20, 2019
6 x 9
Paperback
160 Pages
Puffin Books
Age 8-12 years

Roman Diary
The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave
978-0-7636-7053-5
"Like Platt’s previous ‘diaries’ about castles, pirates, and ancient Egypt, this offers an accessible introduction to history." — BooklistIliona never imagined that her sea voyage from Greece to Egypt would lead to Rome, but when she is captured by pirates and auctioned off as a slave, that’s where she lands. Readers are invited to view the wonders of Rome through Iliona’s eyes—the luxury, the excess, and the politics.Back matter includes notes for the reader, a glossary, an index, and sources.
$7.99 US
Apr 22, 2014
5-5/16 x 7
Paperback
128 Pages
Candlewick
Age 9-12 years

DKfindout! Ancient Rome
DK
978-1-4654-5427-0
From the creators of DK findout!, the free online resource for kids, comes an exciting new book series full of amazing images, incredible quizzes, and cutting-edge information kids need to know. The DK findout! series helps kids become experts on their favorite subjects--from dinosaurs to space. Learning doesn't get more fun.
$10.99 US
Sep 06, 2016
7-3/16 x 9-1/4
Paperback
64 Pages
DK Children
Age 6-9 years

What Was Pompeii?
978-0-448-47907-1
The morning of August 24, AD 79, seemed like any other in the Roman city of Pompeii. So no one was prepared when the nearby volcano Mount Vesuvius suddenly erupted, spouting ash that buried the city and its inhabitants. The disaster left thousands dead, and Pompeii was no more than a memory for almost 1,700 years. In 1748, explorers rediscovered the port city with intact buildings and beautiful mosaics. This easy-to-read account is gripping and includes photos of the ruins.
$6.99 US
Mar 13, 2014
5-5/16 x 7-5/8
Paperback
112 Pages
Penguin Workshop
Age 8-12 years

Rome Silent Beauty
978-88-918320-0-9
After the pandemic, Rome will never be the same again, because the Eternal City has discovered the silence of man’s absence, an overpowering loneliness.
$95.00 US
Apr 18, 2023
11-2/5 x 14-3/8
Hardcover
272 Pages
Rizzoli

Quiet Corners of Rome
Cloisters, Gardens, Archaeological Sites, Piazzas, Fountains, Villas, Architectural Ruins, Courtyards
978-1-892145-92-5
This charming guidebook celebrates more than fifty of the most beautiful, tranquil, and often hidden places in the Eternal City: courtyards where mossy fountains splash; landscaped staircases clinging to Rome's Seven Hills; cool, quiet cloisters; atmospheric ruins dating to the days of Caesar; gorgeous gardens scented by boxwood and bay trees. Some of Rome's quiet corners boast breathtaking views, while others are filled with archaeological or architectural details, from crumbling aqueducts or majestic stone archways, to Renaissance garden follies, frescoed walls, and baroque fountains. Author David Downie and photographer Alison Harris climb the Janiculum-the highest hill within Rome's ancient walled fortifications-and find hidden benches with see-forever views; a church forecourt where Goethe sat and sighed, drinking in the inspiration; and the park of a once-noble villa now luxuriantly overgrown, its long trellises knotted with fragrant wisteria and climbing roses. On the Palatine, they find a narrow lane that passes over the ancient ruins, affording rare glimpses of the Forum and Colosseum, free of charge and with no wait. Beyond the Domus Aurea of Emperor Nero, they discover a sweeping staircase from a century ago and the massive brick remains of a temple to Isis. Even the most intrepid travelers who think of themselves as Rome “insiders” will be surprised when they follow the author and photographer of this guidebook through the Roman labyrinth. Historical anecdotes and quotations from antiquity to the present day are woven throughout the text, bringing Rome alive.
$16.95 US
Apr 26, 2011
6-3/4 x 6-3/4
Hardcover
200 Pages
Little Bookroom

Julius Caesar
978-0-14-312860-1
The acclaimed Pelican Shakespeare series, now repackaged in dazzling new covers to excite Shakespeareans of all ages
$10.00 US
Nov 01, 2016
5-1/16 x 7-3/4
Paperback
160 Pages
Penguin Classics

Augustus
978-1-59017-821-8
From the author of the international bestseller, Stoner, John Williams' third novel is a dazzling historical fiction about the life of Emperor Augustus, heir to Julius Caesar. A novel-in-letters, this edition of Augustus will go on sale on the 2000th anniversary of the emperor's death, thus taking part in an international publishing event.
$18.95 US
Aug 19, 2014
5 x 8
Paperback
336 Pages
NYRB Classics

Nero
Matricide, Music, and Murder in Imperial Rome
978-0-593-13321-7
A striking, nuanced biography of Nero—the controversial populist ruler and last of the Caesars—and a vivid portrait of ancient Rome."This exciting and provocative book grabs the reader while supporting its arguments with careful classical scholarship." —Barry Strauss, author of The War That Made the Roman Empire
$22.00 US
Nov 14, 2023
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Paperback
448 Pages
Random House Trade Paperbacks