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Good Roman Empire Fiction Novels (No Romance)

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 17, 2012 2:10:28 PM PDT
I have read most of Bodie and Brock Thoene's Roman fiction, so I was wondering did anyone know the title of a Roman fiction novel. I would prefer it without romance...Just an adventure or mystery story. Perhaps Christian fiction set in Roman times. I wanted to buy Caroline Lawrence's mystery stories, but the script is not in Kindle content, so I requested the publisher to put it in Kindle content. But does anyone have any good suggestions?

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 2:30:13 PM PDT
Cisco Kid says:
I like Colleen McCullough. Her storys are long and sometimes dry, but are based on much research.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2012 2:37:57 PM PDT
Try the "Gordianus the Finder" novels of Steven Saylor, beginning with Roman Blood: A Novel of Ancient Rome (Novels of Ancient Rome). There are quite a few, now, and they are excellent.

I second the Colleen McCulloch "Masters of Rome" novels, which start with The First Man in Rome. They are long (around 1,000 pages each, and there are seven of them), but they are brilliant. I don't agree with Cisco Kid that they are sometimes dry, but that's just a matter of taste - and I do understand why Cisco says that. Still definitely worth a shot!

Posted on Mar 17, 2012 10:46:48 PM PDT
Colleen McCullough's 7-book series is undoubtedly the most thoroughly-researched and meticulously-detailed.
Michael Curtis Ford has a few short, not-bad reads. Conn Iggulden's "Emperor" books are short, but are also much more alternate history than historical fiction. Simon Scarrow has numerous Ancient Roman reads, as does Steven Saylor and John Maddox Roberts, both of whose are mysterys. Ben Kane ("The Forgotten Legion") has a couple new rather popular books.
Some good individual reads include Wallace Breem's "Eagle In The Snow", Stephen Dando-Collins' "The Inquest", Robert Harris' "Pompeii" (he has a few other Roman reads now as well), and David Anthony Durham's "Pride of Carthage".

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 3:27:32 PM PDT
I have read Colleen McCullough. She is quite accurate historically, but sometimes she can get a bit raw.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 18, 2012 3:30:24 PM PDT
Conn Iggulden is historically inaccurate. Iggulden needs to do more research on his topics. Since I am knowledgeable about the Roman era, I am disgusted when I read a book that's not well-researched. I love John Maddox Roberts and Simon Scarrow. Thanks anyway for the recommendations.

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 10:16:14 PM PDT
Dingfelder says:
I, Claudius is the godfather of these novels, and extremely good from everyone I've heard tell it. It certainly made an incredible TV series. It's about a relative who plays stupid so his nephew I think it is, the brutal and insane dictator Caligula, doesn't kill him. Very tense and based on historical characters.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 9:29:28 AM PDT
I second the "I, Claudius" recommendation. It's sequel, "Claudius the God" is worthwhile too.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 8:52:26 PM PDT
LeighAna says:
Definitely the Colleen McCullough novels. Extremely well researched and historically accurate. Conn Iggulden is awful. I read one of his novels and was disgusted at the blatant inaccuracy.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 9:06:44 PM PDT
Rosmary Sutclif's books are wonderful, full of adventure and historical accuracy.

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 10:20:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2012 11:23:22 PM PDT
tom o'connor says:
I agree with with Collen McCullpugh , Steven Saylor , sub rosa series , John Maddox Roberts Spor series, but lets not forget David Wishart , excellent mysteries and Lindsey Davis , her Flaco series. All of these are very accurate and enjoyable. I also agree that Conn Iggulden 's writing is not accurate at all , except it is set Italy , a waste of time for anyone looking for good historical writing. Steven Saylors Roma and Empire are also excellent :) Simon Scarrow is excellent also, with no romance involed ^^. Rachel, Steven Saylors Empire deals in part with the rise of christianty in Rome Under Nero . quite gory . but well researched .I agree with the above recommendations of I , Claudis by Robert Graves, The God father of Roman Novels .

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 6:19:55 PM PDT
No! I don't want Colleen McCollough.. She's graphic and unseemly... her books should be X-Rated. The language makes me sick on my stomach.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 11:28:00 PM PDT
Menkaure says:
Rachel---how do you write a novel set in ancient Rome that is sanitized and still historically accurate? Rome was very graphic, violent, and by Christian standards, unseemly, so... leave all that out and it would not be accurate, would it?

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 1:11:25 AM PDT
Lindsey Davis does a Roman series. It's been years, but I remember that one was titled "Scandal Takes a Holiday". You could try those?

Posted on Jun 13, 2012 1:41:21 PM PDT
Gore Vidal's "Julian" is the best period!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 13, 2012 8:03:45 PM PDT
You are exactly right. But you still can write a book on the Roman Empire without writing about romance basically. And you certainly don't have to use profanity or crude language. Say it can't be done?
Bodie and Brock Thoene did it when writing their A.D. Chronicles. I did not see one WORD of profanity or crude language. Their books were clean enough for a classroom.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 6, 2012 9:11:52 PM PDT
tahoemary says:
Try The Robe by Lloyd Douglas - you will not be disappointed, I promise!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 1:05:20 PM PDT
Thanks so much for that recommendation! I really think I'll try this one.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 1:29:38 PM PDT
Larry Kelley says:
When I saw what you were interested in I immediately thought of John Maddox Roberts--but others had already mentioned him. He wrote some very funny novels (sci-fi) prior to his series set in old Roman times-one had the picture on the front of a 1957 Chevy-which he referred to in the book as an Impala--and Chevy Impalas did not come out until 1958. My brother met him at a San Diego Comic-con and asked him about it--he just laughed and said "I messed up". I am not sure how to start a new discussion here-I am new to this--but I would like to say that I understand your problems with otherwise well written novels that have steamy sex and unnecessary profanity. I am use to both and for the most part can ignore or simply skim those parts. What I would be curios about is how many of the readers here have been turned off completely by one or more specific authors and what were the causes or reasons. I use to read Steve Martini--but in every novel, not just his first two or three, he said something nasty about churches and Christians-and I got tired of it. I am not interested in his view of Christians or religion unless they pertain specifically to the story he is telling. the next author I dumped after enjoying hid Dirk Pitt novels for quite a while, was Clive Cussler. He wrote a Dirk Pitt book and in the intro or preface or somewhere, went into a rant about how stupid Americans were to not adopt the kilos/meters/grams system--and everywhere in the book when Dirk went some where or dove somewhere, he put it in miles or fathoms and then, in parenthesis (if I remember correctly) the equivalent in kilometers or whatever. I found that insulting, and wished I could call him up and tell him to kiss my patootie. Anyone else get fed up with an author? I also VASTLY disapprove of co-written novels. Tom Clancy and others are doing this and the books just are not up to par!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 5:24:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 7, 2012 5:32:32 PM PDT
Jim Elsberry says:
Larry Kelley-
Really enjoyed your thoughtful post. I agree about Clive Cussler, although for different reasons. I thought he started to get repetitious and formulaic; when he introduced new 'teams', it seemed like you could substitute one set of characters for another without being able to tell the difference. It could also be that I just wasn't reading close enough, I suppose. I felt the same way about John Grisham. His earlier books were page-turners, but they lost their spark for me after a while. Larry McMurtry is an interesting case. Lonesome Dove was so good, that nothing else he wrote quite measured up. Even the sequels, which others rave about, paled in comparison. I find it interesting that others say the same thing about James Michener, but I love every book I've read of his. In fact, if you were to start a list of "1,000-page" books that you slowed down towards the end and wished they were "2,000-page" books, Centennial and Lonesome Dove would be at the top of mine.

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 6:08:29 PM PDT
Larry Kelley says:
Jim I agree with you on just about everything. Grisham has always been a "back-up" author for me. When new books come out, I read his last. But he is good enough to read. I really, really, liked Michener. I thought "The Source" was one of the best books I had ever read. I faded in interest with "Caravans"? I think that was the name. I don't remember when it came out exactly but it seems to me it was about the "hippie" movement-and while I don't wish to offend you, I had some serious misgivings about hippies-even though I was of an age to have been part of them. I tried TEXAS later and just couldn't get into it. But all of his other books were exhausting--simply because I would read them hour after hour! I had the same problem with James Clavell. I belonged to a book club and got the two volumes of the follow up to Sho-Gun (my memory has really gotten bad the last two or three years, can't remember things) and I had a 16 page termpaper due 2 days later--and I sat and read through both of them with only a few hours sleep, wrote and typed my termpaper in about 8 hours, drove to school and delivered it--got an A and the professor was so impressed he wanted to work with me to get it published. My ex-wife was sure that I had my priorities all wrong--but when you are addicted to books, there isn't any cure that I am aware of that works--except another good book! Oh yeah, loved Centennial--and I thought the TV series, at that time, was almost as good as Roots.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 7, 2012 6:58:46 PM PDT
Jim Elsberry says:
No offense taken about Caravans. I read it a couple of years ago in an attempt to develop a better understanding of Afganistan, and thought it served that purpose; didn't really think about the hippie perspective. Sort of illustrates an interesting phenonomen I've noticed on these discussion boards, about how some people get really offended when their favorite books are criticized. To illustrate, several people raved about Charles Finch in these forums, so I bought a copy of A Beautful Blue Death. Just couldn't get into it; gave it a couple of tries, actually. In thinking about that, it occurred to me that the "fault" was likely in me, not the book. While some books are undeniably bad, others are just meant for different audiences. Or perhaps for different points in a person's life. Wouldn't surprise me at all if I were to pick that book back up sometime and find I really like it. That may help explain why people read books multiple times. Books don't change, but our perceptions of them, or maybe our readiness for them changes as we move on to different points in our lives.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2012 12:41:52 PM PDT
chartroose says:
I love those books, and they are on Kindle now! The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles, Sword at Sunset (Rediscovered Classics), The Silver Branch (The Roman Britain Trilogy), etc. Hooray! I can't wait to reread them.

Posted on Aug 23, 2012 12:51:30 PM PDT
chartroose says:
My Dad loves Anthony Riches' "Empire" series, but I don't think they're on Kindle. There are 4 or 5 books, and I think they are battle/adventure.
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Discussion in:  Book forum
Participants:  16
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Mar 17, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 23, 2012

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