When In Rome

Anne here, and today I'm diving right back into the past — my past and actual ancient history — sort of.

If you'd asked me, I probably would have said that my fascination with the Roman era began with the superb book and TV series I Claudius — but I'd be wrong. AsterixTheGaul

When I was a student, I fell heavily for the Asterix and Obelix comic book series by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. If you don't know it, it's a very funny satirical French series about a village of indomitable Gauls during the Roman Occupation. The stars are Asterix (the small smart one) and his friend the huge and not-too-bright Obelix, who delivers menhirs (giant stones). And of course their tiny dog, Dogmatix.

The Romans haven't been able to conquer this village because they have a secret weapon — a magic potion created by their druid, Getafix.  Yes, Get-A-Fix — the series is full of puns of this sort. The names are hilarious. There is a bard called Cacofonix, an ancient called Geriatrix, the chieftain's wife is called Impedimenta, the fishmonger is Unhygienix, and his wife is Bacteria. 

The Roman names are also hilarious — centurians with names like Armisurplus, Ignoramus, Crismus Bonus, Dubius Status and Nefarious Purpus, Vitriolix, an architect named Squareonthehypotenus and so-on. It's all beautifully silly and fun.

Whenever the Romans try to conquer them, the villagers line up for their potion and POW! Roman soldiers go flying in all direction. Only Obelix needs no potion — he's permanently invincible, having fallen into a cauldron of potion when he was a baby.

ObelixGerardThe delights of this series came back to me recently, when I was pottering around on a streaming service from a local multicultural TV station, and lo! There I saw a bunch of Asterix and Obelix movies. Obelix is played by the wonderful Gerard Depardieu. So of course I had to watch a few. I thoroughly enjoyed Asterix and Obelix go to Britain.

The version I watched was in French, of course, with English subtitles, but on the web I see that some movie versions have slightly different titles so they may be dubbed for all I know. The comics I have are English translations with puns that work in English, but they're hugely popular around the world and have been translated into many languages. I imagine the translators had a lot of fun working out the various puns that would work in their language. InBritain

If you haven't read these comics, I urge you to try them. Amazon says they're for ages 7— 12 but that's nonsense has no idea. It's adult humor and adult satire. I have almost all the books and I still treasure them. And pull them out occasionally for a smile and a chuckle.

But Asterix isn't the only Roman-era literature I've been delving into. I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley and under her Ashley Gardner name, she's begun a series about Leonidas the gladiator

Leonidas1Leonidas is Rome's champion gladiator. Found guilty when he was young of a crime he did not commit, he had the choice of execution or fighting in the ring. He chose to fight. At the height of his  career, his contract is anonymously bought, and Leonidas is set free — adrift, really, with a bare apartment, for which he must pay rent, and a mysterious, highly educated female slave. How they manage together, and the mysteries they solves is the basis of this excellent series. 

Another wonderful series is the Lindsay Davis "Falco" series, where Falco is a private informer, reluctantly employed as an occasional spy and solver of mysteries. 

The research is superb, the mysteries engrossing, and the human observations are delightful and often very funny. Another series follows that with Falco's adopted daughter, Flavia Albia. If you enjoy a well written mystery, then you'll find a gorgeously long backlist that will keep you happily occupied for months. And if you'd just like a glimpse into the mind of Lindsay Davis, I find her "rants" on her website entertaining and informative.

Another book I loved was Pauline Gedge's The Eagle and the Raven, a novel set during the Roman invasion of Britain. The Eagle in the title is, of course, the Romans and the Raven, the Britons. 

What about you — are you a fan of Roman era stories,or do they leave you cold? Have you read any of these books? Do you know the Asterix comics? Do you have any other Roman-era recommendations?

185 thoughts on “When In Rome”

  1. I’ve never been fond of the Roman era – probably due to three painful years of Latin in school – but there are some novels I’ve enjoyed.
    You mentioned the Falco series and I’ve read a few of those. I have read the odd Asterix comic but the whole series hasn’t come in my way.
    I would recommend the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, about the Roman occupation of Britain. Very civilized and can be enjoyed as much by adults as kids.
    There are some Roman novels in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain series, featuring Atta Olivia Clemens, one of St. Germain’s inductees. The author calls her books “historical horror” stories – she means that the horror is not in the vampirism, it’s in the history. St. Germain turns characters into vampires to save them from nasty deaths at the stake, by poison, murder, etc. connected to some well known historical era or event. The series begins with Hotel Transylvania, which I think came along a bit too early to cash in on the vampire craze, and which I liked much better than the Anne Rice books I’ve sampled.
    For drama, there’s the HBO series ROME, which ran two seasons – there would have been more but the sets burned down. It’s still around on streaming and dvd, and it’s definitely bingeworthy.

    Reply
  2. I’ve never been fond of the Roman era – probably due to three painful years of Latin in school – but there are some novels I’ve enjoyed.
    You mentioned the Falco series and I’ve read a few of those. I have read the odd Asterix comic but the whole series hasn’t come in my way.
    I would recommend the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, about the Roman occupation of Britain. Very civilized and can be enjoyed as much by adults as kids.
    There are some Roman novels in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain series, featuring Atta Olivia Clemens, one of St. Germain’s inductees. The author calls her books “historical horror” stories – she means that the horror is not in the vampirism, it’s in the history. St. Germain turns characters into vampires to save them from nasty deaths at the stake, by poison, murder, etc. connected to some well known historical era or event. The series begins with Hotel Transylvania, which I think came along a bit too early to cash in on the vampire craze, and which I liked much better than the Anne Rice books I’ve sampled.
    For drama, there’s the HBO series ROME, which ran two seasons – there would have been more but the sets burned down. It’s still around on streaming and dvd, and it’s definitely bingeworthy.

    Reply
  3. I’ve never been fond of the Roman era – probably due to three painful years of Latin in school – but there are some novels I’ve enjoyed.
    You mentioned the Falco series and I’ve read a few of those. I have read the odd Asterix comic but the whole series hasn’t come in my way.
    I would recommend the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, about the Roman occupation of Britain. Very civilized and can be enjoyed as much by adults as kids.
    There are some Roman novels in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain series, featuring Atta Olivia Clemens, one of St. Germain’s inductees. The author calls her books “historical horror” stories – she means that the horror is not in the vampirism, it’s in the history. St. Germain turns characters into vampires to save them from nasty deaths at the stake, by poison, murder, etc. connected to some well known historical era or event. The series begins with Hotel Transylvania, which I think came along a bit too early to cash in on the vampire craze, and which I liked much better than the Anne Rice books I’ve sampled.
    For drama, there’s the HBO series ROME, which ran two seasons – there would have been more but the sets burned down. It’s still around on streaming and dvd, and it’s definitely bingeworthy.

    Reply
  4. I’ve never been fond of the Roman era – probably due to three painful years of Latin in school – but there are some novels I’ve enjoyed.
    You mentioned the Falco series and I’ve read a few of those. I have read the odd Asterix comic but the whole series hasn’t come in my way.
    I would recommend the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, about the Roman occupation of Britain. Very civilized and can be enjoyed as much by adults as kids.
    There are some Roman novels in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain series, featuring Atta Olivia Clemens, one of St. Germain’s inductees. The author calls her books “historical horror” stories – she means that the horror is not in the vampirism, it’s in the history. St. Germain turns characters into vampires to save them from nasty deaths at the stake, by poison, murder, etc. connected to some well known historical era or event. The series begins with Hotel Transylvania, which I think came along a bit too early to cash in on the vampire craze, and which I liked much better than the Anne Rice books I’ve sampled.
    For drama, there’s the HBO series ROME, which ran two seasons – there would have been more but the sets burned down. It’s still around on streaming and dvd, and it’s definitely bingeworthy.

    Reply
  5. I’ve never been fond of the Roman era – probably due to three painful years of Latin in school – but there are some novels I’ve enjoyed.
    You mentioned the Falco series and I’ve read a few of those. I have read the odd Asterix comic but the whole series hasn’t come in my way.
    I would recommend the novels of Rosemary Sutcliff, about the Roman occupation of Britain. Very civilized and can be enjoyed as much by adults as kids.
    There are some Roman novels in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St. Germain series, featuring Atta Olivia Clemens, one of St. Germain’s inductees. The author calls her books “historical horror” stories – she means that the horror is not in the vampirism, it’s in the history. St. Germain turns characters into vampires to save them from nasty deaths at the stake, by poison, murder, etc. connected to some well known historical era or event. The series begins with Hotel Transylvania, which I think came along a bit too early to cash in on the vampire craze, and which I liked much better than the Anne Rice books I’ve sampled.
    For drama, there’s the HBO series ROME, which ran two seasons – there would have been more but the sets burned down. It’s still around on streaming and dvd, and it’s definitely bingeworthy.

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Janice — I knew I’d forgotten someone important. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth was a highlight of my grade 6 reading year, and I read as many of her books as the library had. Thanks for those other recommendations — I’ll chase them up.

    Reply
  7. Thanks, Janice — I knew I’d forgotten someone important. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth was a highlight of my grade 6 reading year, and I read as many of her books as the library had. Thanks for those other recommendations — I’ll chase them up.

    Reply
  8. Thanks, Janice — I knew I’d forgotten someone important. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth was a highlight of my grade 6 reading year, and I read as many of her books as the library had. Thanks for those other recommendations — I’ll chase them up.

    Reply
  9. Thanks, Janice — I knew I’d forgotten someone important. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth was a highlight of my grade 6 reading year, and I read as many of her books as the library had. Thanks for those other recommendations — I’ll chase them up.

    Reply
  10. Thanks, Janice — I knew I’d forgotten someone important. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth was a highlight of my grade 6 reading year, and I read as many of her books as the library had. Thanks for those other recommendations — I’ll chase them up.

    Reply
  11. Gillian Bradshaw’s Roman Empire novels are wonderful. My favourite is The Beacon at Alexandria, the story of Charis who wants to study medicine and how she manages to do this. A fascinating insight into the fourth century Empire, with Christian infighting and the threat of the Huns at the eastern frontier. And there is a beautiful love story as well.

    Reply
  12. Gillian Bradshaw’s Roman Empire novels are wonderful. My favourite is The Beacon at Alexandria, the story of Charis who wants to study medicine and how she manages to do this. A fascinating insight into the fourth century Empire, with Christian infighting and the threat of the Huns at the eastern frontier. And there is a beautiful love story as well.

    Reply
  13. Gillian Bradshaw’s Roman Empire novels are wonderful. My favourite is The Beacon at Alexandria, the story of Charis who wants to study medicine and how she manages to do this. A fascinating insight into the fourth century Empire, with Christian infighting and the threat of the Huns at the eastern frontier. And there is a beautiful love story as well.

    Reply
  14. Gillian Bradshaw’s Roman Empire novels are wonderful. My favourite is The Beacon at Alexandria, the story of Charis who wants to study medicine and how she manages to do this. A fascinating insight into the fourth century Empire, with Christian infighting and the threat of the Huns at the eastern frontier. And there is a beautiful love story as well.

    Reply
  15. Gillian Bradshaw’s Roman Empire novels are wonderful. My favourite is The Beacon at Alexandria, the story of Charis who wants to study medicine and how she manages to do this. A fascinating insight into the fourth century Empire, with Christian infighting and the threat of the Huns at the eastern frontier. And there is a beautiful love story as well.

    Reply
  16. The SPQR series of mysteries by John Maddox Roberts is great fun. It’s set in the last years of the Roman Republic and frequently incorporates actual events and people. There’s also the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Taylor. That series is a bit less light-hearted.

    Reply
  17. The SPQR series of mysteries by John Maddox Roberts is great fun. It’s set in the last years of the Roman Republic and frequently incorporates actual events and people. There’s also the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Taylor. That series is a bit less light-hearted.

    Reply
  18. The SPQR series of mysteries by John Maddox Roberts is great fun. It’s set in the last years of the Roman Republic and frequently incorporates actual events and people. There’s also the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Taylor. That series is a bit less light-hearted.

    Reply
  19. The SPQR series of mysteries by John Maddox Roberts is great fun. It’s set in the last years of the Roman Republic and frequently incorporates actual events and people. There’s also the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Taylor. That series is a bit less light-hearted.

    Reply
  20. The SPQR series of mysteries by John Maddox Roberts is great fun. It’s set in the last years of the Roman Republic and frequently incorporates actual events and people. There’s also the Roma Sub Rosa series by Steven Taylor. That series is a bit less light-hearted.

    Reply
  21. Yes, I just love Steven Saylor and his Gordianus the Finder series. Gordianus is his detective. He has a wonderful bunch of recurring characters in his novels as well. Gordianus gets to meet all kinds of famous people along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  22. Yes, I just love Steven Saylor and his Gordianus the Finder series. Gordianus is his detective. He has a wonderful bunch of recurring characters in his novels as well. Gordianus gets to meet all kinds of famous people along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  23. Yes, I just love Steven Saylor and his Gordianus the Finder series. Gordianus is his detective. He has a wonderful bunch of recurring characters in his novels as well. Gordianus gets to meet all kinds of famous people along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  24. Yes, I just love Steven Saylor and his Gordianus the Finder series. Gordianus is his detective. He has a wonderful bunch of recurring characters in his novels as well. Gordianus gets to meet all kinds of famous people along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  25. Yes, I just love Steven Saylor and his Gordianus the Finder series. Gordianus is his detective. He has a wonderful bunch of recurring characters in his novels as well. Gordianus gets to meet all kinds of famous people along the way as well. Very enjoyable.

    Reply
  26. Ooh! I love Asterix! I received my first Asterix & Obelix book for my 8th birthday, when we were living in England. Collected several more before we moved back to the states. Found them more entertaining than paper comic books. Pulled them out again when I was in high school and enjoyed them all over again, on a different level as I then understood more of the puns and jokes. Had no idea there were live action movies based on them. Will have to look for them.

    Reply
  27. Ooh! I love Asterix! I received my first Asterix & Obelix book for my 8th birthday, when we were living in England. Collected several more before we moved back to the states. Found them more entertaining than paper comic books. Pulled them out again when I was in high school and enjoyed them all over again, on a different level as I then understood more of the puns and jokes. Had no idea there were live action movies based on them. Will have to look for them.

    Reply
  28. Ooh! I love Asterix! I received my first Asterix & Obelix book for my 8th birthday, when we were living in England. Collected several more before we moved back to the states. Found them more entertaining than paper comic books. Pulled them out again when I was in high school and enjoyed them all over again, on a different level as I then understood more of the puns and jokes. Had no idea there were live action movies based on them. Will have to look for them.

    Reply
  29. Ooh! I love Asterix! I received my first Asterix & Obelix book for my 8th birthday, when we were living in England. Collected several more before we moved back to the states. Found them more entertaining than paper comic books. Pulled them out again when I was in high school and enjoyed them all over again, on a different level as I then understood more of the puns and jokes. Had no idea there were live action movies based on them. Will have to look for them.

    Reply
  30. Ooh! I love Asterix! I received my first Asterix & Obelix book for my 8th birthday, when we were living in England. Collected several more before we moved back to the states. Found them more entertaining than paper comic books. Pulled them out again when I was in high school and enjoyed them all over again, on a different level as I then understood more of the puns and jokes. Had no idea there were live action movies based on them. Will have to look for them.

    Reply
  31. Thanks for that recommendation, Catherine. I will try The Beacon. Am chuckling at the Goths/Huns mix-up — easy to do, as these days we just use both as synonyms for “scary barbarians.”

    Reply
  32. Thanks for that recommendation, Catherine. I will try The Beacon. Am chuckling at the Goths/Huns mix-up — easy to do, as these days we just use both as synonyms for “scary barbarians.”

    Reply
  33. Thanks for that recommendation, Catherine. I will try The Beacon. Am chuckling at the Goths/Huns mix-up — easy to do, as these days we just use both as synonyms for “scary barbarians.”

    Reply
  34. Thanks for that recommendation, Catherine. I will try The Beacon. Am chuckling at the Goths/Huns mix-up — easy to do, as these days we just use both as synonyms for “scary barbarians.”

    Reply
  35. Thanks for that recommendation, Catherine. I will try The Beacon. Am chuckling at the Goths/Huns mix-up — easy to do, as these days we just use both as synonyms for “scary barbarians.”

    Reply
  36. Thanks, Shirley — yes my copies of Asterix are quite battered these days. I pull them out every few years and they still make me chuckle. And yes, for children, they work on a fairly simple adventure/comedy level, but they retain their appeal for adults in a different way, don’t they?
    Seeing Gerard Depardieu as Obelix is a delight.
    It shows how the French value Asterix when you have actors of his calibre appearing in the movies. And In Asterix in Britain (or whatever the movie title variation is in different places) Catherine Deneuve played the Queen.

    Reply
  37. Thanks, Shirley — yes my copies of Asterix are quite battered these days. I pull them out every few years and they still make me chuckle. And yes, for children, they work on a fairly simple adventure/comedy level, but they retain their appeal for adults in a different way, don’t they?
    Seeing Gerard Depardieu as Obelix is a delight.
    It shows how the French value Asterix when you have actors of his calibre appearing in the movies. And In Asterix in Britain (or whatever the movie title variation is in different places) Catherine Deneuve played the Queen.

    Reply
  38. Thanks, Shirley — yes my copies of Asterix are quite battered these days. I pull them out every few years and they still make me chuckle. And yes, for children, they work on a fairly simple adventure/comedy level, but they retain their appeal for adults in a different way, don’t they?
    Seeing Gerard Depardieu as Obelix is a delight.
    It shows how the French value Asterix when you have actors of his calibre appearing in the movies. And In Asterix in Britain (or whatever the movie title variation is in different places) Catherine Deneuve played the Queen.

    Reply
  39. Thanks, Shirley — yes my copies of Asterix are quite battered these days. I pull them out every few years and they still make me chuckle. And yes, for children, they work on a fairly simple adventure/comedy level, but they retain their appeal for adults in a different way, don’t they?
    Seeing Gerard Depardieu as Obelix is a delight.
    It shows how the French value Asterix when you have actors of his calibre appearing in the movies. And In Asterix in Britain (or whatever the movie title variation is in different places) Catherine Deneuve played the Queen.

    Reply
  40. Thanks, Shirley — yes my copies of Asterix are quite battered these days. I pull them out every few years and they still make me chuckle. And yes, for children, they work on a fairly simple adventure/comedy level, but they retain their appeal for adults in a different way, don’t they?
    Seeing Gerard Depardieu as Obelix is a delight.
    It shows how the French value Asterix when you have actors of his calibre appearing in the movies. And In Asterix in Britain (or whatever the movie title variation is in different places) Catherine Deneuve played the Queen.

    Reply
  41. I adore Asterix and Obelix too and have all of them! They never fail to amuse. I’ve read them in Swedish and you’re right – the translators must have had fun with that. The names are great but my favourites are deliberate mistranslations or misuse of Latin words or phrases. For example when Cesar’s invasion of Britain doesn’t go to plan and instead of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ (I came, I saw, I conquered) he says something like ‘I came, I saw, I couldn’t believe my eyes …’ LOL!
    I’ve seen those films too and some cartoon ones. Apparently there’s a new film just out but it got slated in France so not sure about that one!

    Reply
  42. I adore Asterix and Obelix too and have all of them! They never fail to amuse. I’ve read them in Swedish and you’re right – the translators must have had fun with that. The names are great but my favourites are deliberate mistranslations or misuse of Latin words or phrases. For example when Cesar’s invasion of Britain doesn’t go to plan and instead of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ (I came, I saw, I conquered) he says something like ‘I came, I saw, I couldn’t believe my eyes …’ LOL!
    I’ve seen those films too and some cartoon ones. Apparently there’s a new film just out but it got slated in France so not sure about that one!

    Reply
  43. I adore Asterix and Obelix too and have all of them! They never fail to amuse. I’ve read them in Swedish and you’re right – the translators must have had fun with that. The names are great but my favourites are deliberate mistranslations or misuse of Latin words or phrases. For example when Cesar’s invasion of Britain doesn’t go to plan and instead of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ (I came, I saw, I conquered) he says something like ‘I came, I saw, I couldn’t believe my eyes …’ LOL!
    I’ve seen those films too and some cartoon ones. Apparently there’s a new film just out but it got slated in France so not sure about that one!

    Reply
  44. I adore Asterix and Obelix too and have all of them! They never fail to amuse. I’ve read them in Swedish and you’re right – the translators must have had fun with that. The names are great but my favourites are deliberate mistranslations or misuse of Latin words or phrases. For example when Cesar’s invasion of Britain doesn’t go to plan and instead of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ (I came, I saw, I conquered) he says something like ‘I came, I saw, I couldn’t believe my eyes …’ LOL!
    I’ve seen those films too and some cartoon ones. Apparently there’s a new film just out but it got slated in France so not sure about that one!

    Reply
  45. I adore Asterix and Obelix too and have all of them! They never fail to amuse. I’ve read them in Swedish and you’re right – the translators must have had fun with that. The names are great but my favourites are deliberate mistranslations or misuse of Latin words or phrases. For example when Cesar’s invasion of Britain doesn’t go to plan and instead of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ (I came, I saw, I conquered) he says something like ‘I came, I saw, I couldn’t believe my eyes …’ LOL!
    I’ve seen those films too and some cartoon ones. Apparently there’s a new film just out but it got slated in France so not sure about that one!

    Reply
  46. I’ve heard of Asterix and Obelix, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds delightful.
    I’ve enjoyed the first 2 Leonidas books, especially learning about everyday Roman life, which I knew nothing about, in spite of reading and watching every episode of I, Claudius. What a fabulous series that was! A friend of mine named her cat Livia after a character in the series, which I think was a mistake, because it was a very nasty, jealous and unfriendly cat. She disliked everyone except her owner!

    Reply
  47. I’ve heard of Asterix and Obelix, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds delightful.
    I’ve enjoyed the first 2 Leonidas books, especially learning about everyday Roman life, which I knew nothing about, in spite of reading and watching every episode of I, Claudius. What a fabulous series that was! A friend of mine named her cat Livia after a character in the series, which I think was a mistake, because it was a very nasty, jealous and unfriendly cat. She disliked everyone except her owner!

    Reply
  48. I’ve heard of Asterix and Obelix, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds delightful.
    I’ve enjoyed the first 2 Leonidas books, especially learning about everyday Roman life, which I knew nothing about, in spite of reading and watching every episode of I, Claudius. What a fabulous series that was! A friend of mine named her cat Livia after a character in the series, which I think was a mistake, because it was a very nasty, jealous and unfriendly cat. She disliked everyone except her owner!

    Reply
  49. I’ve heard of Asterix and Obelix, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds delightful.
    I’ve enjoyed the first 2 Leonidas books, especially learning about everyday Roman life, which I knew nothing about, in spite of reading and watching every episode of I, Claudius. What a fabulous series that was! A friend of mine named her cat Livia after a character in the series, which I think was a mistake, because it was a very nasty, jealous and unfriendly cat. She disliked everyone except her owner!

    Reply
  50. I’ve heard of Asterix and Obelix, but I had no idea what it was about. It sounds delightful.
    I’ve enjoyed the first 2 Leonidas books, especially learning about everyday Roman life, which I knew nothing about, in spite of reading and watching every episode of I, Claudius. What a fabulous series that was! A friend of mine named her cat Livia after a character in the series, which I think was a mistake, because it was a very nasty, jealous and unfriendly cat. She disliked everyone except her owner!

    Reply
  51. I first read Asterix when I took French in high school. I enjoyed the books, but I suspect my French was not up to the task of appreciating the wit. My daughter got to enjoy Asterix in Latin (yes, Latin) when she studied that language in high school and college. She has been living in Korea for over nine years, and I’m suddenly wondering if Asterix has been translated into that language.
    My husband and daughter are both fans of I, Claudius (books and show). My husband has watched Rome (the series) and read some of those Falco mysteries. I enjoyed the first Leonidas the gladiator book. There really are a lot of Rome focused materials available!

    Reply
  52. I first read Asterix when I took French in high school. I enjoyed the books, but I suspect my French was not up to the task of appreciating the wit. My daughter got to enjoy Asterix in Latin (yes, Latin) when she studied that language in high school and college. She has been living in Korea for over nine years, and I’m suddenly wondering if Asterix has been translated into that language.
    My husband and daughter are both fans of I, Claudius (books and show). My husband has watched Rome (the series) and read some of those Falco mysteries. I enjoyed the first Leonidas the gladiator book. There really are a lot of Rome focused materials available!

    Reply
  53. I first read Asterix when I took French in high school. I enjoyed the books, but I suspect my French was not up to the task of appreciating the wit. My daughter got to enjoy Asterix in Latin (yes, Latin) when she studied that language in high school and college. She has been living in Korea for over nine years, and I’m suddenly wondering if Asterix has been translated into that language.
    My husband and daughter are both fans of I, Claudius (books and show). My husband has watched Rome (the series) and read some of those Falco mysteries. I enjoyed the first Leonidas the gladiator book. There really are a lot of Rome focused materials available!

    Reply
  54. I first read Asterix when I took French in high school. I enjoyed the books, but I suspect my French was not up to the task of appreciating the wit. My daughter got to enjoy Asterix in Latin (yes, Latin) when she studied that language in high school and college. She has been living in Korea for over nine years, and I’m suddenly wondering if Asterix has been translated into that language.
    My husband and daughter are both fans of I, Claudius (books and show). My husband has watched Rome (the series) and read some of those Falco mysteries. I enjoyed the first Leonidas the gladiator book. There really are a lot of Rome focused materials available!

    Reply
  55. I first read Asterix when I took French in high school. I enjoyed the books, but I suspect my French was not up to the task of appreciating the wit. My daughter got to enjoy Asterix in Latin (yes, Latin) when she studied that language in high school and college. She has been living in Korea for over nine years, and I’m suddenly wondering if Asterix has been translated into that language.
    My husband and daughter are both fans of I, Claudius (books and show). My husband has watched Rome (the series) and read some of those Falco mysteries. I enjoyed the first Leonidas the gladiator book. There really are a lot of Rome focused materials available!

    Reply
  56. Thanks, Christina — there was another variation of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ in the Asterix and Obelix go to Britain and it made me laugh at the time — but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
    And yes, not all the films are of equal quality. I suppose it’s inevitable.

    Reply
  57. Thanks, Christina — there was another variation of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ in the Asterix and Obelix go to Britain and it made me laugh at the time — but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
    And yes, not all the films are of equal quality. I suppose it’s inevitable.

    Reply
  58. Thanks, Christina — there was another variation of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ in the Asterix and Obelix go to Britain and it made me laugh at the time — but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
    And yes, not all the films are of equal quality. I suppose it’s inevitable.

    Reply
  59. Thanks, Christina — there was another variation of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ in the Asterix and Obelix go to Britain and it made me laugh at the time — but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
    And yes, not all the films are of equal quality. I suppose it’s inevitable.

    Reply
  60. Thanks, Christina — there was another variation of ‘veni, vidi, vici ‘ in the Asterix and Obelix go to Britain and it made me laugh at the time — but I’ve forgotten exactly what it was.
    And yes, not all the films are of equal quality. I suppose it’s inevitable.

    Reply
  61. Anne-I am also a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley, but I’ve never read her Ashley Gardner work. Now I feel I must. I also find myself imagining Leonidas as Russell Crowe in the movie The Gladiator. Thanks for a very thought-provoking column.

    Reply
  62. Anne-I am also a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley, but I’ve never read her Ashley Gardner work. Now I feel I must. I also find myself imagining Leonidas as Russell Crowe in the movie The Gladiator. Thanks for a very thought-provoking column.

    Reply
  63. Anne-I am also a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley, but I’ve never read her Ashley Gardner work. Now I feel I must. I also find myself imagining Leonidas as Russell Crowe in the movie The Gladiator. Thanks for a very thought-provoking column.

    Reply
  64. Anne-I am also a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley, but I’ve never read her Ashley Gardner work. Now I feel I must. I also find myself imagining Leonidas as Russell Crowe in the movie The Gladiator. Thanks for a very thought-provoking column.

    Reply
  65. Anne-I am also a huge fan of Jennifer Ashley, but I’ve never read her Ashley Gardner work. Now I feel I must. I also find myself imagining Leonidas as Russell Crowe in the movie The Gladiator. Thanks for a very thought-provoking column.

    Reply
  66. Well, the cat got that name as a kitten, so I guess it was predictive of her personality. But she was a good mouser.

    Reply
  67. Well, the cat got that name as a kitten, so I guess it was predictive of her personality. But she was a good mouser.

    Reply
  68. Well, the cat got that name as a kitten, so I guess it was predictive of her personality. But she was a good mouser.

    Reply
  69. Well, the cat got that name as a kitten, so I guess it was predictive of her personality. But she was a good mouser.

    Reply
  70. Well, the cat got that name as a kitten, so I guess it was predictive of her personality. But she was a good mouser.

    Reply
  71. Being French I grew up with Asterix like many of my friends, I would recommend to watch Asterix&Obelix : mission Cleopatra movie by Alain Chabat, the best of them all for me.
    I had a time during my teenhood I liked roman era stories, maybe more when set in Egypt like all the Christian Jacq novels.
    I now I have marked the Jennifer Ashley books for later read.

    Reply
  72. Being French I grew up with Asterix like many of my friends, I would recommend to watch Asterix&Obelix : mission Cleopatra movie by Alain Chabat, the best of them all for me.
    I had a time during my teenhood I liked roman era stories, maybe more when set in Egypt like all the Christian Jacq novels.
    I now I have marked the Jennifer Ashley books for later read.

    Reply
  73. Being French I grew up with Asterix like many of my friends, I would recommend to watch Asterix&Obelix : mission Cleopatra movie by Alain Chabat, the best of them all for me.
    I had a time during my teenhood I liked roman era stories, maybe more when set in Egypt like all the Christian Jacq novels.
    I now I have marked the Jennifer Ashley books for later read.

    Reply
  74. Being French I grew up with Asterix like many of my friends, I would recommend to watch Asterix&Obelix : mission Cleopatra movie by Alain Chabat, the best of them all for me.
    I had a time during my teenhood I liked roman era stories, maybe more when set in Egypt like all the Christian Jacq novels.
    I now I have marked the Jennifer Ashley books for later read.

    Reply
  75. Being French I grew up with Asterix like many of my friends, I would recommend to watch Asterix&Obelix : mission Cleopatra movie by Alain Chabat, the best of them all for me.
    I had a time during my teenhood I liked roman era stories, maybe more when set in Egypt like all the Christian Jacq novels.
    I now I have marked the Jennifer Ashley books for later read.

    Reply
  76. Ruth Downie is another author who writes about Roman matters – this time about a Roman “medicus” (doctor) who is stationed in Britain and his slave girl – Tulla – whom he eventually marries and they solve crimes together.

    Reply
  77. Ruth Downie is another author who writes about Roman matters – this time about a Roman “medicus” (doctor) who is stationed in Britain and his slave girl – Tulla – whom he eventually marries and they solve crimes together.

    Reply
  78. Ruth Downie is another author who writes about Roman matters – this time about a Roman “medicus” (doctor) who is stationed in Britain and his slave girl – Tulla – whom he eventually marries and they solve crimes together.

    Reply
  79. Ruth Downie is another author who writes about Roman matters – this time about a Roman “medicus” (doctor) who is stationed in Britain and his slave girl – Tulla – whom he eventually marries and they solve crimes together.

    Reply
  80. Ruth Downie is another author who writes about Roman matters – this time about a Roman “medicus” (doctor) who is stationed in Britain and his slave girl – Tulla – whom he eventually marries and they solve crimes together.

    Reply
  81. What a lovely list of recommendations. I was just about to mention Ruth Downie’s series. It’s excellent.
    I love Asterix and Obelix. Haven’t read them for ages, but will do so again soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I just pre-ordered the next in the Leonidas series. 🙂
    I am very fond of Roman-era stuff and after visiting Hadrian’s Wall, I even put the ghost of a Roman soldier in one of my stories.

    Reply
  82. What a lovely list of recommendations. I was just about to mention Ruth Downie’s series. It’s excellent.
    I love Asterix and Obelix. Haven’t read them for ages, but will do so again soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I just pre-ordered the next in the Leonidas series. 🙂
    I am very fond of Roman-era stuff and after visiting Hadrian’s Wall, I even put the ghost of a Roman soldier in one of my stories.

    Reply
  83. What a lovely list of recommendations. I was just about to mention Ruth Downie’s series. It’s excellent.
    I love Asterix and Obelix. Haven’t read them for ages, but will do so again soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I just pre-ordered the next in the Leonidas series. 🙂
    I am very fond of Roman-era stuff and after visiting Hadrian’s Wall, I even put the ghost of a Roman soldier in one of my stories.

    Reply
  84. What a lovely list of recommendations. I was just about to mention Ruth Downie’s series. It’s excellent.
    I love Asterix and Obelix. Haven’t read them for ages, but will do so again soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I just pre-ordered the next in the Leonidas series. 🙂
    I am very fond of Roman-era stuff and after visiting Hadrian’s Wall, I even put the ghost of a Roman soldier in one of my stories.

    Reply
  85. What a lovely list of recommendations. I was just about to mention Ruth Downie’s series. It’s excellent.
    I love Asterix and Obelix. Haven’t read them for ages, but will do so again soon. Thanks for the reminder.
    I just pre-ordered the next in the Leonidas series. 🙂
    I am very fond of Roman-era stuff and after visiting Hadrian’s Wall, I even put the ghost of a Roman soldier in one of my stories.

    Reply
  86. I thank you for all the new books etc you have introduced to me. I just realized, I took Latin in high school and if I were dropped into Rome right now, I would be able to say hello and then it would be obvious I am a spy.
    Thanks to everyone for all the lists of books and films

    Reply
  87. I thank you for all the new books etc you have introduced to me. I just realized, I took Latin in high school and if I were dropped into Rome right now, I would be able to say hello and then it would be obvious I am a spy.
    Thanks to everyone for all the lists of books and films

    Reply
  88. I thank you for all the new books etc you have introduced to me. I just realized, I took Latin in high school and if I were dropped into Rome right now, I would be able to say hello and then it would be obvious I am a spy.
    Thanks to everyone for all the lists of books and films

    Reply
  89. I thank you for all the new books etc you have introduced to me. I just realized, I took Latin in high school and if I were dropped into Rome right now, I would be able to say hello and then it would be obvious I am a spy.
    Thanks to everyone for all the lists of books and films

    Reply
  90. I thank you for all the new books etc you have introduced to me. I just realized, I took Latin in high school and if I were dropped into Rome right now, I would be able to say hello and then it would be obvious I am a spy.
    Thanks to everyone for all the lists of books and films

    Reply
  91. Annette N, I could imagine a fun time travel romance where a present day Latin instructor travels back to ancient Rome!

    Reply
  92. Annette N, I could imagine a fun time travel romance where a present day Latin instructor travels back to ancient Rome!

    Reply
  93. Annette N, I could imagine a fun time travel romance where a present day Latin instructor travels back to ancient Rome!

    Reply
  94. Annette N, I could imagine a fun time travel romance where a present day Latin instructor travels back to ancient Rome!

    Reply
  95. Annette N, I could imagine a fun time travel romance where a present day Latin instructor travels back to ancient Rome!

    Reply
  96. I’m afraid Roman stories leave me cold. I love history but Roman history has always been a no no for me. My son and daughter read and collect the Asterix books. They’re big fans.

    Reply
  97. I’m afraid Roman stories leave me cold. I love history but Roman history has always been a no no for me. My son and daughter read and collect the Asterix books. They’re big fans.

    Reply
  98. I’m afraid Roman stories leave me cold. I love history but Roman history has always been a no no for me. My son and daughter read and collect the Asterix books. They’re big fans.

    Reply
  99. I’m afraid Roman stories leave me cold. I love history but Roman history has always been a no no for me. My son and daughter read and collect the Asterix books. They’re big fans.

    Reply
  100. I’m afraid Roman stories leave me cold. I love history but Roman history has always been a no no for me. My son and daughter read and collect the Asterix books. They’re big fans.

    Reply
  101. I left out Lady Hilary’s Halloween by Anne Barbour, an old Signet regency in which a first century Roman soldier guest ghosts. I still have a paper copy somewhre, but it’s out on ebook as well.

    Reply
  102. I left out Lady Hilary’s Halloween by Anne Barbour, an old Signet regency in which a first century Roman soldier guest ghosts. I still have a paper copy somewhre, but it’s out on ebook as well.

    Reply
  103. I left out Lady Hilary’s Halloween by Anne Barbour, an old Signet regency in which a first century Roman soldier guest ghosts. I still have a paper copy somewhre, but it’s out on ebook as well.

    Reply
  104. I left out Lady Hilary’s Halloween by Anne Barbour, an old Signet regency in which a first century Roman soldier guest ghosts. I still have a paper copy somewhre, but it’s out on ebook as well.

    Reply
  105. I left out Lady Hilary’s Halloween by Anne Barbour, an old Signet regency in which a first century Roman soldier guest ghosts. I still have a paper copy somewhre, but it’s out on ebook as well.

    Reply
  106. Thanks, Elodie. I did enjoy the Cleopatra one, but I think the Britain one gave me more laughs. And I think the very first movie I watched was wonderful, as Gerard Depardieu seemed to really throw himself into the role. In the later ones he didn’t seem quite so invested in the role — still good, though.

    Reply
  107. Thanks, Elodie. I did enjoy the Cleopatra one, but I think the Britain one gave me more laughs. And I think the very first movie I watched was wonderful, as Gerard Depardieu seemed to really throw himself into the role. In the later ones he didn’t seem quite so invested in the role — still good, though.

    Reply
  108. Thanks, Elodie. I did enjoy the Cleopatra one, but I think the Britain one gave me more laughs. And I think the very first movie I watched was wonderful, as Gerard Depardieu seemed to really throw himself into the role. In the later ones he didn’t seem quite so invested in the role — still good, though.

    Reply
  109. Thanks, Elodie. I did enjoy the Cleopatra one, but I think the Britain one gave me more laughs. And I think the very first movie I watched was wonderful, as Gerard Depardieu seemed to really throw himself into the role. In the later ones he didn’t seem quite so invested in the role — still good, though.

    Reply
  110. Thanks, Elodie. I did enjoy the Cleopatra one, but I think the Britain one gave me more laughs. And I think the very first movie I watched was wonderful, as Gerard Depardieu seemed to really throw himself into the role. In the later ones he didn’t seem quite so invested in the role — still good, though.

    Reply
  111. Thank you Barbara. I first visited Hadrian’s Wall when I was 8 and how I wanted to see the ghost of a Roman soldier! I’ll have to chase up your story and meet one at long last. I too have the next Leonidas book pre-ordered. And thanks for the Ruth Downie endorsement. I’ll definitely chase her up.

    Reply
  112. Thank you Barbara. I first visited Hadrian’s Wall when I was 8 and how I wanted to see the ghost of a Roman soldier! I’ll have to chase up your story and meet one at long last. I too have the next Leonidas book pre-ordered. And thanks for the Ruth Downie endorsement. I’ll definitely chase her up.

    Reply
  113. Thank you Barbara. I first visited Hadrian’s Wall when I was 8 and how I wanted to see the ghost of a Roman soldier! I’ll have to chase up your story and meet one at long last. I too have the next Leonidas book pre-ordered. And thanks for the Ruth Downie endorsement. I’ll definitely chase her up.

    Reply
  114. Thank you Barbara. I first visited Hadrian’s Wall when I was 8 and how I wanted to see the ghost of a Roman soldier! I’ll have to chase up your story and meet one at long last. I too have the next Leonidas book pre-ordered. And thanks for the Ruth Downie endorsement. I’ll definitely chase her up.

    Reply
  115. Thank you Barbara. I first visited Hadrian’s Wall when I was 8 and how I wanted to see the ghost of a Roman soldier! I’ll have to chase up your story and meet one at long last. I too have the next Leonidas book pre-ordered. And thanks for the Ruth Downie endorsement. I’ll definitely chase her up.

    Reply
  116. LOL Annette. One of the things that some modern authors forget in situations like that is how much people’s accents revealed about them. Although in a multicultural city like Rome they’d be used to a wide variety of foreign accents.

    Reply
  117. LOL Annette. One of the things that some modern authors forget in situations like that is how much people’s accents revealed about them. Although in a multicultural city like Rome they’d be used to a wide variety of foreign accents.

    Reply
  118. LOL Annette. One of the things that some modern authors forget in situations like that is how much people’s accents revealed about them. Although in a multicultural city like Rome they’d be used to a wide variety of foreign accents.

    Reply
  119. LOL Annette. One of the things that some modern authors forget in situations like that is how much people’s accents revealed about them. Although in a multicultural city like Rome they’d be used to a wide variety of foreign accents.

    Reply
  120. LOL Annette. One of the things that some modern authors forget in situations like that is how much people’s accents revealed about them. Although in a multicultural city like Rome they’d be used to a wide variety of foreign accents.

    Reply
  121. Interesting, Teresa — not all settings suit everyone. I think the Roman era has parallels with a lot of more modern empires and societies.
    Glad your son and daughter enjoy Asterix.

    Reply
  122. Interesting, Teresa — not all settings suit everyone. I think the Roman era has parallels with a lot of more modern empires and societies.
    Glad your son and daughter enjoy Asterix.

    Reply
  123. Interesting, Teresa — not all settings suit everyone. I think the Roman era has parallels with a lot of more modern empires and societies.
    Glad your son and daughter enjoy Asterix.

    Reply
  124. Interesting, Teresa — not all settings suit everyone. I think the Roman era has parallels with a lot of more modern empires and societies.
    Glad your son and daughter enjoy Asterix.

    Reply
  125. Interesting, Teresa — not all settings suit everyone. I think the Roman era has parallels with a lot of more modern empires and societies.
    Glad your son and daughter enjoy Asterix.

    Reply
  126. I remember Asterix and Obelix from High School. I took French for three years. our teacher encouraged us to read them.

    Reply
  127. I remember Asterix and Obelix from High School. I took French for three years. our teacher encouraged us to read them.

    Reply
  128. I remember Asterix and Obelix from High School. I took French for three years. our teacher encouraged us to read them.

    Reply
  129. I remember Asterix and Obelix from High School. I took French for three years. our teacher encouraged us to read them.

    Reply
  130. I remember Asterix and Obelix from High School. I took French for three years. our teacher encouraged us to read them.

    Reply

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