Recommended Further Reading

Margaret Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian is a literary masterpiece.

Robert Graves' I, Claudius and its sequel, Claudius the God are based largely on Suetonius' biographies of the early Roman emperors. They were the basis for the umpteen-episode BBC dramatization, starring Derek Jacobi as Claudius.

There are currently several series of detective novels set in ancient Rome. Those by Steven Saylor are set in the late Republic and feature Gordianus the Finder, private inquiry agent and sometime employee of the great Marcus Tullius Cicero. The series traces his career from the 70s BC down to the civil war. Titles include Arms of Nemesis; The Venus Throw; Catilina's Riddle; A Murder on the Appian Way; The House of the Vestals.

Lindsey Davis' novels take place under the Flavian emperors and star the 'informer' Marcus Didius Falco. These are more light-hearted than Saylor. I find the scenes with Falco's upper-class girlfriend Helena Justina unbearably saccharine but Davis does have loyal fans.Titles include: Silver Pigs; Venus in Copper; The Iron Hand of Mars; Poseidon's Gold; Shadows in Bronze; Last Act in Palmyra; A Dying Light in Corduba.

Gore Vidal's Julian is a typically barbed historical novel about the fourth-century emperor who tried to bring back paganism, seen through the eyes of two of his associates.