Books about Romans

Romans on the Rampage

Over a thousand years, the Romans left a lasting legacy, and we are still discovering more and more about them. This selection of books shows what various aspects of Roman life was like, from gladiatorial action to their religious rituals. It includes fiction and non-fiction and is suitable for primary-aged children.

  • Empire's End: A Roman Story

    Author: Leila Rasheed
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    In 207 AD, how will a young North African girl survive amidst the unpredictability of life at the furthest reaches of the Roman Empire? 

  • Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans

    Author: Gary Northfield
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 8-12
    Reading age: 8

    Set in ancient Rome, this is the hilarious tale of Julius, a zebra who is seized from his African watering hole and shipped hundreds of miles away to face the gladiators in combat at the Colosseum.

  • The Roman Mystery Scrolls: The Sewer Demon

    Author: Caroline Lawrence Illustrator: Helen Forte
    Publisher: Orion Children's Books
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 8+

    Historically accurate, wonderfully atmospheric, peppered with humour and, being set in a sewer, features plenty of poo, wee, bottoms and farting.

  • A Roman Rescue

    Author: Kelly Gerard Illustrator: Emma Dodd
    Publisher: Templar
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Charlie and his trusty dog Bandit fall down a sinkhole and are transported to ancient Rome where he meets Cosmo and goes on an adventure...

  • Queen of Darkness

    Author: Tony Bradman
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 9-12
    Reading age: 9+

    Rhianna and Eleri are taken in by Queen Boudica following the death of their parents. When Boudica's determination to rule enrages the Romans, the sisters find themselves in the midst of a frightening military campaign, beginning to question the Queen's very humanity. A gripping adventure portraying one of history's most legendary female icons.

  • Asterix the Gaul

    Author: Renné Goscinny Illustrator: Albert Uderzo Translator: Anthea Bell and Derek Hockridge
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 6-10
    Reading age: 7+

    In a tiny corner of Brittany, one small village of indomitable Gauls hold out against the almighty, all-conquering Romans.

  • Live Like a Roman: Discovering the Secrets of Ancient Rome

    Author: Claire Saunders Illustrator: Ruth Hickson
    Publisher: Button Books

    A comprehensive, accessible guide to what it would have been like to live in Ancient Rome, with engaging activities and illustrations to bring the facts to life. Enjoyable reading at school or at home.

  • The History Keepers: Circus Maximus

    Author: Damian Dibben
    Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 9+

    In this exciting installment of the History Keepers series, Jake must embark on risky missions to 18th century Sweden and Ancient Rome.

  • Eagle of the Ninth

    Author: Rosemary Sutcliff
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 10+

    In AD 117AD, the Ninth Legion marched into the mists of northern Britain... and were never seen again.

  • Circus Maximus: Race to the Death

    Author: Annelise Gray
    Publisher: Zephyr
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6-8

    In the exhilarating but brutal world of chariot racing the rewards are huge but so is the death-toll. This is the background to Dido’s quest for victory and justice; she must win, her life depends on it.

  • Ancient Games: A History of Sports and Gaming

    Author: Iris Volant Illustrator: Avalon Nuovo
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    A stunning book exploring the history of sport across the world, from the sword fighter the Lady of Yue to boat-jousting on the Nile in Ancient Egypt. As ever with Flying Eye titles, the illustration and lovely book production means that this is a special treasure of a book that kids will adore.

  • Romans on the Rampage

    Author: Jeremy Strong Illustrator: Rowan Clifford
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6+
    Reading age: 7+

    Strong's hilarious and pun-filled text, and Rowan Clifford's numerous excellent comic illustrations provide an ideal introduction to Roman life.

  • Black and British: A Short, Essential History

    Author: David Olusoga
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 9-14
    Reading age: 9+

    David Olusoga’s latest edition of Black and British has been revised and rewritten especially for secondary school children, and explains and illustrates the much-overlooked history of Black peoples in Britain and beyond.

  • The Romans: Gods, Emperors and Dormice

    Author: Marcia Williams
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    A comic-strip style retelling of the most famous stories from Roman history, from the birth of Romulus and Remus to the death of Julius Caesar.