Roman Fictions

Collected with annotations by Jerise Fogel

I've listed the name of the recommender after each set of Roman novels (or other info--the people on this list are astonishingly knowledgeable, as I already knew, but continue to marvel at). Lisa Avanger ( sent info about Johanna Shafer's list which is included here; Stefan Cramme ( has compiled a list of 1500 or so titles (that's not a typo!) of fictional books dealing with ancient Rome and written in modern European languages, and has on the back-burner a Roman-fiction project that sounds incredibly interesting, if a bit daunting. Jan van Puffelen ( sent a list compiled by Rick Heli, I believe, and available by ftp (supposedly: I've had bad luck with getting it) from The file is called /ftp/pub/he/heli/RomanMys/roman.mysteries, and e-mail questions or comments on it should be sent to

I've kept with each book an edited-down version of the responder's comments on books (I hope I haven't misquoted anyone), when that was given. When I could, I added missing info to responses. (If anyone's interested in receiving a completely updated list, let me know and I'll send that along when I have finished sorting!) At the end I've appended Johanna Shafer's list of recent mysteries, etc., and some excerpts (mostly of English selections) from the large annotated compilation that Jan van Puffelen sent of Roman mysteries in modern European languages and English (including some translations of English-language potboilers!) THEN I've added my own previous list to this already despicably long posting, at the request of some responders I hasten to add. There's some duplication, but not much considering how many different people were giving their favorites. Thanks to everyone who responded, again! Notes in brackets are mine; names of contributors are put in brackets at the end of each group of suggested novels.

My original suspicions about the lack of interest in Carthage were perhaps a bit too strong, and Flaubert's *Salammbo* is a sort of big thing to have overlooked, considering that several movies, including *Cabiria*, the early silent movie which Fellini shows clips from inside *Roma*, were based (if somewhat loosely) on it.

Happy Romanizing!

--Jeri Fogel
Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign