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To celebrate THE JUDGEMENT OF CAESAR and Gordianus’s encounter with Cleopatra, we offer a bookshelf of noteworthy titles about the legendary queen as portrayed by novelists and filmmakers...


CLEOPATRA DISMOUNTS by Carmen Boullosa An intermingling of fantasy and history by an up and coming Mexican author.

THE HOUSE OF EAGLES by Duncan Sprott begins The Ptolemies Quartet, the multi-generational saga of the family that ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander to the death of Cleopatra. Volume II: DAUGHTER OF THE CROCOCILE.

KLEOPATRA by Karen Essex recounts the queen
’s early life amid the political machinations and incestuous sexual intrigues of the royal Ptolemy clan. KLEOPATRA II: PHARAOH gets to the meat of the story — the fateful encounters with Caesar, Antony, and Octavian.

WHEN WE WERE GODS by Colin Falconer With considerable gusto, Falconer takes on the perennial task of the historical novelist: bringing the ancient world’s most famous queen to life.

CLEOPATRA by H. Rider Haggard The Egyptian priest Harmachis betrays all else for his love of the goddess-queen. By the author of She and King Solomons Mines.

MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA by Margaret George Mammoth (964 pages) novel of Cleopatra told in her own words, from childhood to a famous encounter with an asp.

•••••The Movies!

This restored DVD version of the 1963 epic includes a 2-hour documentary about the tumultuous making of the film — a story as epic as that of Cleopatra herself!

CAESAR & CLEOPATRA Claude Rains is Caesar and Vivien Leigh is Cleopatra in the wonderful version by George Bernard Shaw.


From student of Aristotle to conqueror of the world, Alexander’s legacy reverberates across the ages.

THE MAKING OF ALEXANDER by Robin Lane Fox Official guidebook to the epic movie; foreword by Oliver Stone

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: DEATH OF A GOD by Paul Doherty What...or who...really killed the young conqueror of the known world?

THE ALEXANDER TRILOGY by Mary Renault set a standard few historical novelists can match: I. Fire From Heaven, II. The Persian Boy, and III. Funeral Games. Renault also wrote a nonfiction work, The Nature of Alexander the Great.

THE ALEXANDER TRILOGY by Valerio Massimo Manfredi The sensational international bestsellers: I. Child of a Dream II. The Sands of Ammon III. The Ends of the Earth. To see other Manfredi novels, click here.

ALEXANDER: THE VIRTUES OF WAR and THE AFGHAN CAMPAIGN Steven Pressfield Stirring novels of Alexander by the bestselling author of Gates of Fire.

EMPIRE OF ASHES by Nicholas Nicastro A novel of Alexander by the author of The Isle of Stone.

by Paul Doherty kicks off a series of mystery novels centered on Alexander, followed by THE GODLESS MAN and THE GATES OF HELL.

QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS by Judith Tarr Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, encounters Alexander the Great as he sweeps through Persia.

THE CONQUEROR by Judith French When Alexander conquers her territory and takes her as his wife, the princess Roxanne falls under his spell. Sequel: The Barbarian.

IN THE SHADOW OF ALEXANDER by G.A. Hauser A young soldier, in love with Alexander the Great, does his best to prevent the conqueror’s death.

by Tom Holt Parallel tales of two Alexanders — one busy conquering the world, the other struggling to care for his own village.

A BLOODLINE OF KINGS by Thomas Sundell An epic novel of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. “A great saga!” (Bernard Cornwell)

LION OF MACEDON by David Gemmell re-imagines the world of Alexander the Great with wizardry and magic. Sequel: DARK PRINCE.


For centuries, the proud cities of Rome and Carthage waged war to determine who would control the Western Mediterranean Sea — and go on to conquer the world. The Carthaginian general Hannibal, crossing the Alps with his elephants and mercenary hordes, posed the greatest threat to Rome — but ultimately met his match in the greatest of Roman generals, Scipio Africanus. The ultimate triumph of Rome came with the total destruction of Carthage in an orgy of fire and ruin...

FIRE AND BRONZE by Robert Raymond A novel about the foundation of Carthage, future enemy of Rome, and the city’s first queen, the legendary Dido.

PRIDE OF CARTHAGE by David Anthony Durham Epic novel of Hannibal’s extraordinary life and his lifelong war on Rome, set against a heady evocation of ancient Carthage.

THE LION’S BROOD: The Story of Hannibal by Rafael Scott First volume of a trilogy about the great military strategist details the upbringing that fed his fanatical passion to destroy Rome.

TYRANT by Valerio Massimo Manfredi Sicily, 405 AD: Dionysius, Tyrant of Syracuse, challenges Carthage, mistress of the seas, in a battle of titans. Click here for more Manfredi novels.

THE SWORD OF HANNIBAL by Terry McCarthy A young mercenary joins Hannibal’s army in a quest for riches and revenge.

THE CARTHAGINIAN TRILOGY by Ross Leckie spans the generations of war between Rome and her rival: I. HANNIBAL, in which the scarred and defeated general recounts the epic story of his life; II. SCIPIO, in which the greatest of all Roman generals tells how he vanquished Hannibal; and III. CARTHAGE , in which 300 years of conflict reach a thundering climax, as one city will inherit the world and the other faces total destruction. Of related interest: Leckie’s humourous and handy The Bluffer’s Guide to the Classics.

A SPY FOR HANNIBAL by Elisabeth Roberts Craft While Hannibal crosses the Alps, Hasdrubal, high priest of Carthage, spies for the great general in Rome. Also by Craft: In the Court of the Queen, a novel of Mesopotamia.

CARTHAGE by Peter Huby The Roman siege of Carthage ends in a merciless orgy of fire, destruction, slaughter, and enslavement.

HANNIBAL’S CHILDREN by John Maddox Roberts A novel of alternate history in which Rome falls to Carthage. Sequel: The Seven Hills. By the author of the SPQR mystery series.

SALAMMBO by Gustave Flaubert Towering novel of Carthage by the author of Madame Bovary, as intoxicating today as it was when it was first published in 1862.


The advent of the horrible Hun marked the end of one world, and the beginning of another...

THE NIGHT ATTILA DIED by Michael A. Babcock Nonfiction speculation on the possible assassination of Attila and the cover-up that followed.

ATTILA by William Napier “The end of the world will come from the East...” The trilogy continues in The Gathering of the Storm and concludes with The Judgement. By the author of Julia.

ATTILA (DVD) Epic, brooding mini-series stars Gerard Butler as Attila and Powers Booth as the Roman general Aetius, locked in a struggle for the fate of the Western World.

THE SCOURGE OF GOD by William Dietrich 450 A.D.: On the plains of Hunuguri, Attila the Hun is gathering the most menacing army Rome has ever faced. By the author of Hadrian’s Wall.

ATTILA: THE SCOURGE OF GOD by Ross Laidlaw explores the rivalry between the Roman general Aetius and his nemesis, Attila the Hun. Click here to read Allan Massie’s review in The Scotsman.

GUDRUN’S TAPESTRY by Joan Schweighardt Armed with the cursed sword of Wodan, Gudrun sets out on a heroine’s quest to destroy Attila the Hun.

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