'Hugely entertaining and illuminating' —Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den
A WATERSTONES BEST HISTORY BOOK OF 2023
Here's how the history of the Roman Empire usually goes...
We kick off with Romulus murdering his brother, go on to Brutus overthrowing Tarquin, bounce through an appallingly tedious list of battles and generals and consuls, before emerging into the political stab-fest of the late Republic. After 'Et tu, Brute?', it runs through all the emperors, occasionally nodding to a wife or mother to show how bad things get when women won't do as they're told, until Constantine invents Christianity only for Attila the Hun to come and ruin everything.
Let's tear up this script. The history of Rome and its empire is so much more than these 'Important Things'.
In this alternative history, Emma Southon tells another story about the Romans, one that lives through Vestal Virgins and sex workers, business owners and poets, empresses and saints.