Have you ever found yourself daydreaming about chariots, gladiators, or Roman emperors when you should be doing something entirely unrelated? Well, you're not alone. In September 2023, a peculiar TikTok trend emerged, asking the world a rather unexpected question: "How often do you think about the Roman Empire?"
This viral sensation began when Swedish Instagram user and Roman reenactor Arthur Hulu, or as he's known online, Gaius Flavius, decided to stir the digital arena. In a Reels video posted on August 19th, he dropped the bombshell: "Ladies, many of you do not realize how often men think about the Roman Empire."
Cue the collective eyebrow raise from the internet.
Now, the trend has taken on a life of its own, with everyone from celebrities to sports teams weighing in on their own Roman musings. But if you find yourself pondering the Roman Empire more than you'd like to admit, fear not! We've got a solution that will both indulge your historical curiosity and keep those daydreams entertaining. It's time to dive into some captivating books on the Roman Empire.
Why the Roman Empire, Anyway?
Before we get to the reading list, let's address the elephant in the Colosseum: Why are people so intrigued by the Roman Empire? One theory is that the West has a long history of highlighting this era. They built an empire that ruled for centuries, left an indelible mark on art, architecture, and governance, and basically set the standard for all things ancient and awe-inspiring.
But there's more to it than that. From epic movies like "Gladiator" to a resurgence of interest in ancient philosophies like stoicism, being in the arena, the Roman Empire keeps sneaking its way into modern life.
The Books That Will Feed Your Obsession
Now, if you can't stop thinking about the Roman Empire, it's time to indulge your historical cravings with these seven fantastic books:
If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of the Roman Empire, Mary Beard's "SPQR" has got you covered. From the rise to the fall and everything in between, this book will take you on a thrilling journey through the annals of Roman history.
Ever wondered what a Roman Emperor thought about during his downtime? Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-king, offers a glimpse into his mind with his personal writings. This book is like having a one-on-one chat with one of the most respected Emperors in history.
Edward Gibbon's classic work delves into the juicy details of the Roman Empire's fall. With six volumes of epic storytelling, it's like the "Game of Thrones" of Roman history – minus the dragons.
Before the empire, there was the Republic, and Tom Holland's book explores the juicy bits leading up to the Roman Empire's grand entrance. Think of it as the prequel to the main event.
Ever wanted to get up close and personal with Roman emperors? Suetonius' biographical sketches will introduce you to the first twelve emperors, complete with all their quirks and eccentricities.
Augustus, the man behind the empire, gets his own biography in this book. Explore the life and times of the founder of the Roman Empire, and discover what made him tick.
Stoicism, an ancient philosophy that had a profound influence during the Roman Empire, is experiencing a modern resurgence. "The Daily Stoic" provides daily wisdom and practices to help you embrace this philosophy in your daily life.
There you have it, seven books that are perfect for quenching your thirst for all things Roman. So whether you're pondering the empire's politics, philosophy, or epic battles, there's a book on this list that's bound to satisfy your cravings. Embrace your inner gladiator and embark on a literary journey through the grandeur and drama of the Roman Empire.
And if you want to take your Roman Empire obsession to the next level, here's a bonus: Dive into some movies, films, or documentaries on the Roman Empire to enjoy as well. After all, there's no such thing as too much Rome!