Ancient Rome

Lavinia

by Ursula K. Le Guin

‘Like Spartan Helen, I caused a war. She caused hers by letting men who wanted her take her. I caused mine because I wouldn’t be given, wouldn’t be taken, but chose my man and my fate. The man was famous, the fate obscure; not a bad balance.’ Lavinia is the daughter of the King of Latium, a victorious warrior who loves peace; she is her father’s closest companion. Now of an age to wed, Lavinia’s mother favors her own kinsman, King Turnus of Rutulia, handsome, heroic, everything a young girl should want. Instead, Lavinia dreams of mighty Aeneas, a man she has heard of only from a ghost of a poet, who comes to her in the gods’ holy place and tells her of her future, and Aeneas’ past… If she refuses to wed Turnus, Lavinia knows she will start a war – but her fate was set the moment the poet appeared to her in a dream and told her of the adventurer who fled fallen Troy, holding his son’s hand and carrying his father on his back.

Augustus: A Novel

by John Williams

After the brutal murder of his great-uncle, Julius Caesar, Octavian, a shy and scholarly youth of 19, suddenly finds himself heir to the vast power of Rome. He is destined, despite vicious power struggles, bloody wars and family strife, to transform his realm and become the greatest ruler the western world had ever seen: Augustus Caesar, the first Roman Emperor. Building on impeccable research, John Williams brings the legendary figure of Augustus vividly to life, and invests his characters with such profound humanity that we enter completely into the heat and danger of their lives and times.

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic

by Tom Holland

In 49 B.C., the 705th year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.

The Severans: The Changed Roman Empire

by Michael Grant

The Severans analyses the colorful decline of the Roman Empire during the reign of the Severans, the first non-Italian dynasty. In his learned and exciting style, Michael Grant describes the foreign wars waged against the Alemanni and the Persians, and the remarkable personalities of the imperial family. Thus the reader encounters Julia Domna’s alleged literary circle, or Elagabalus’ curious private life – which included dancing in the streets, marrying a vestal virgin and smothering his enemies with rose petals. With its beautifully selected plate section, maps and extensive bibliography, this book will appeal to the student of ancient history as well as to the general reader.

Look Inside a Roman Town

By Conrad Mason (Author) & Alfredo Belli (Illustrator)

Children will love following the Flavius family as they go shopping, visit the baths and watch a thrilling chariot race in this informative book about life in an ancient Roman town. There are lots of scenes to explore and over 100 flaps to lift, revealing fascinating historical facts and delightful surprises, including flaps beneath flaps.

The Archaeology of Sanitation in Roman Italy: Toilets, Sewers, and Water Systems

by Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow

The Romans developed sophisticated methods for managing hygiene, including aqueducts for moving water from one place to another, sewers for removing used water from baths and runoff from walkways and roads, and public and private latrines. Through the archeological record, graffiti, sanitation-related paintings, and literature, Ann Olga Koloski-Ostrow explores this little-known world of bathrooms and sewers, offering unique insights into Roman sanitation, engineering, urban planning and development, hygiene, and public health. Focusing on the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Ostia, and Rome, Koloski-Ostrow’s work challenges common perceptions of Romans’ social customs, beliefs about health, tolerance for filth in their cities, and attitudes toward privacy. In charting the complex history of sanitary customs from the late republic to the early empire, Koloski-Ostrow reveals the origins of waste removal technologies and their implications for urban health, past and present.

The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration

by John R. Clarke

In this richly illustrated book, art historian John R. Clarke helps us see the ancient Roman house “with Roman eyes.” Clarke presents a range of houses, from tenements to villas, and shows us how enduring patterns of Roman wall decoration tellingly bear the cultural, religious, and social imprints of the people who lived with them. In case studies of 17 excavated houses, Clarke guides us through four centuries of Roman wall painting, mosaic, and stucco decoration, from the period of the “Four Styles” (100 B.C. to A.D. 79) to the mid-3rd century. The First Style Samnite House shows its debt to public architecture in its clear integration of public and private spaces. The Villa of Oplontis asserts the extravagant social and cultural climate of the Second Style. Gemlike Third-Style rooms from the House of Lucretius Fronto reflect the refinement and elegance of Augustan tastes. The Vettii brothers’ social climbing helps explain the overburdened Fourth-Style decoration of their famous house. And evidence of remodelling leads Clarke to conclude that the House of Jupiter and Ganymede became a gay hotel in the second century.

Gabby and Maddox Adventure’s in Italy!

by Steve Altier

From the author who brought you We Can’t Move at Christmas!, now comes the first book in the Gabby and Maddox adventure series. Travel back in time with the siblings to the days of ancient Rome. Enjoy the Roman chariot races and visit the Coliseum where great classic gladiator battles were fought. See the fine paintings of Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. Their journey also includes stops in Pisa where they visit The Leaning Tower of Pisa and a final stop in Venice, the city entirely built on the water! And much, much more. Also includes lots of fun facts about Italy, an “Anti-Bully,” and “Good Sportsmanship” messages.

If I Were a Kid in Ancient Rome

by Cobblestone Publishing

Life for youngsters in ancient Rome was both different and similar to today. There were schools, but only wealthy children attended them. There were pets, but monkeys and magpies were popular as well as dogs and cats. Baths were a must, but most children took them at one of the city’s 1,000 public baths. Even the favorite hangout of contemporary youngsters, the mall, originated in Rome. This book explores one of the world’s great historic cultures, from its religious life to its distinctive cuisine, as experienced by its younger members.

Classical Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in Ancient Greece and Rome (Hands-On History)

by Laurie Carlson

Travel back in time to see what life was like in ancient Greece and Rome while having fun with hands-on activities such as making a star gazer; chiseling a clay tablet; weaving Roman sandals; making a Greek mosaic; creating Roman jewelry; throwing Greek pottery; casting a vote in a Roman-style election; and much more. Learn how these civilizations contributed to our present-day world by participating in art, math, cooking, science, and geography activities. Interesting facts and trivia are included throughout. Helpful illustrations explain project steps.