History Gift Guide – Books on Ancient Rome

History Gift Guide – Books on Ancient Rome

The drama of Ancient Rome was amazing.  There were so many battles, betrayals, and personal ambitions.  As one of the greatest empires the world has ever seen history books practically write themselves.  Your History Buff would love to sink their teeth into one these brilliant history books.

Here’s a list of some of the best history books on Ancient Rome!

[amazon_link id=”0300126891″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy[/amazon_link]

As Adrian Goldsworthy writes in the introduction to this book, “in his fifty-six years, Caesar was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator . . . as well as husband, father, lover and adulterer.” In this landmark biography, Goldsworthy examines all of these roles and places his subject firmly within the context of Roman society in the first century B.C.

[amazon_link id=”0306813637″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon by Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart[/amazon_link]

Scipio Africanus (236 – 183 b.c.) was one of the most exciting and dynamic leaders in history. As commander, he never lost a battle. Yet it is his adversary, Hannibal, who has lived on in public memory.As B.H. Liddell Hart writes,”Scipio’s battles are richer in stratagems and ruses–many still feasible today–than those of any other commander in history.” Any military enthusiast or historian will find this to be an absorbing, gripping portrait.

[amazon_link id=”1400078970″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland[/amazon_link]

In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth 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.

[amazon_link id=”0812978676″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert L. O’Connell[/amazon_link]

For millennia, Carthage’s triumph over Rome at Cannae in 216 B.C. has inspired reverence and awe. No general since has matched Hannibal’s most unexpected, innovative, and brutal military victory. Now Robert L. O’Connell, one of the most admired names in military history, tells the whole story of Cannae for the first time, giving us a stirring account of this apocalyptic battle, its causes and consequences.

[amazon_link id=”0812970586″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Augustus: The Life of Rome’s First Emperor by Anthony Everitt[/amazon_link]

He found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. As Rome’s first emperor, Augustus transformed the unruly Republic into the greatest empire the world had ever seen. His consolidation and expansion of Roman power two thousand years ago laid the foundations, for all of Western history to follow. Yet, despite Augustus’s accomplishments, very few biographers have concentrated on the man himself, instead choosing to chronicle the age in which he lived. Here, Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of Cicero, gives a spellbinding and intimate account of his illustrious subject.

[amazon_link id=”0500288992″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Complete Roman Army (The Complete Series) by Adrian Keith Goldsworthy[/amazon_link]

The Roman army was one of the most successful fighting forces in history. Its organization and tactics were highly advanced and were unequaled until the modern era. Spectacular monuments to its perseverance and engineering skill are still visible today, most notably Hadrian’s Wall and the siegeworks around the fortress of Masada.

[amazon_link id=”0670022667″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization by Richard Miles[/amazon_link]

The devastating struggle to the death between the Carthaginians and the Romans was one of the defining dramas of the ancient world. In an epic series of land and sea battles, both sides came close to victory before the Carthaginians finally succumbed and their capital city, history, and culture were almost utterly erased.
Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles vividly brings to life this lost empire-from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest seapower in the Mediterranean. And at the heart of the history of Carthage lies the extraordinary figure of Hannibal-the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest military leaders, but a man who also unwittingly led his people to catastrophe.

[amazon_link id=”0195325419″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by P.J. Heather[/amazon_link]

The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe’s barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome’s European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire.

[amazon_link id=”0674029763″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Beard[/amazon_link]

Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day. Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman Empire. But the eruptions are only part of the story. In The Fires of Vesuvius, acclaimed historian Mary Beard makes sense of the remains. She explores what kind of town it was—more like Calcutta or the Costa del Sol?—and what it can tell us about “ordinary” life there.

[amazon_link id=”0143117424″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Inheritance of Rome: Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000 by Chris Wickham[/amazon_link]

Defying the conventional Dark Ages view of European history between A.D. 400 and 1000, award-winning historian Chris Wickham presents The Inheritance of Rome, a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material and featuring a thoughtful synthesis of historical and archaeological approaches, Wickham agues that these centuries were critical in the formulation of European identity. From Ireland to Constantinople, the Baltic to the Mediterranean, the narrative constructs a vivid portrait of the vast and varied world of Goths, Franks, Vandals, Arabs, Saxons, and Vikings. Groundbreaking and full of fascinating revelations, The Inheritance of Rome offers a fresh understanding of the crucible in which Europe would ultimately be created.

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