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NOVELS BY THE ANCIENT GREEKS & ROMANS When Gordianus settled back to read a good yarn, it might have come from B.P. Reardon’s Collected Ancient Greek Novels, a 827-page volume of the first novels ever written. The Romans later gave us The Golden Ass by Apuleius, a ribald tale of a man transformed into a donkey, and the even more ribald Satyricon by Petronius (inspiration for the film Fellini Satyricon).

LIVY’S HISTORY OF ROME Few historians can match the magisterial sweep of Livy, who lived in the age of Augustus and recounted the story of Rome from its beginning. The surviving texts fill four volumes brimming with tragedy and triumph: I. The Early History of Rome, II. Rome and Italy, III. The War with Hannibal, and IV. Rome and the Mediterranean.

CICERO: MURDER TRIALS trans. by Michael Grant Includes Cicero’s speech for Sextus Roscius, accused of parricide — the inspiration for Steven’s first novel, Roman Blood. Great reading for true crime fans!

CICERO: SELECTED POLITICAL SPEECHES trans. by Michael Grant Includes speeches which inspired three of Steven’s novels — Catilina’s Riddle, The Venus Throw, and A Murder on the Appian Way.

JULIUS CAESAR: THE CONQUEST OF GAUL trans. by S.A. Handford Caesar’s fascinating account of his campaigns in Gaul. (As readers of Rubicon know, Gordianus’s son Meto did a lot of ghost-writing for J.C..)

JULIUS CAESAR: THE CIVIL WAR trans. by Jane Gardner A primary inspiration for Steven’s ongoing novels dealing with the Civil War between Caesar and Pompey, including Rubicon and Last Seen in Massilia.

SALLUST: CONSPIRACY OF CATILINE Our primary source (along with material in Cicero: Selected Political Speeches) for the events which inspired Steven’s novel Catilina’s Riddle.

SUETONIUS: THE TWELVE CAESARS trans. by Robert Graves The primary source for Robert Graves’ I, Claudius also includes Suetonius’s seminal biography of Julius Caesar.

POEMS OF CATULLUS trans. by Peter Whigham The complete works of the scandalous poet who figures so prominently in Steven’s novel The Venus Throw, rendered in vivid English translation.

STUDENT’S CATULLUS (Latin) ed. by Daniel Garrison All the poems in the original Latin with copious notes that are refreshingly frank about the sexual innuendos. A wickedly fun way to brush up on your Latin!

PLAUTUS: THE ROPE & OTHER PLAYS trans. by E.F. Watling When Gordianus goes to the theater, often it’s to see a comedy by Plautus, who inspired Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

PLAUTUS: THE POT OF GOLD & OTHER PLAYS trans. by E.F. Watling “The Pot of Gold” is the comedy Gordianus and Eco see in the story “Death Wears a Mask” in Steven’s The House of the Vestals. The plays are great fun to read.

PLUTARCH: FALL OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC trans. by Rex Warner Includes Plutarch’s biographies of Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, and Crassus (villain of Steven’s Arms of Nemesis).

PLUTARCH: MAKERS OF ROME trans. by Ian Scott Kilvert The lives of nine Romans including the rebel general Sertorius (subject of Steven’s short story “The White Fawn” in A Gladiator Dies Only Once).

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