Numismatic and History Discussions > Books and References

Books About the Flavian Era

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David Atherton:
I recently acquired The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan by Kevin Butcher and Matthew Ponting. This book is a must for any serious first century collector!

Skip a coin and purchase this book, it's that important.

David Atherton:
Added Steve Mason's A History of The Jewish War, a fantastic critical analysis of the Jewish War and the events surrounding it. After reading it you will come away with the realisation that politics has not changed very much in the intervening 2000 years. Highly recommended if only for the chapter on Masada.

Oops just goes to show you should check your posting when your tired, sorry I put in a book about the Severan period when the thread is Flavian!

Ignore the picture of the book Syrian Princesses, (still a good book).

Thankfully the rest of my post is still- sort of- relevant.
Now I hope you will forgive me for pushing the envelope a little but I thought some members would like to know about a popular literary take on the Flavian era- the works of Lindsey Davis.

Delightful to read, her Falco series is concerned with character of Marcus Didius Falco who as a literary invention is to the Flavian period what Patrick O’brian’s character Jack Aubrey is to the Napoleonic period. I have yet to meet a person who is knowledgeable about the Royal Navy in the time of Nelson who does not have a deep affection for O’brian’s engaging character.
Likewise all my friends who are interested in Roman history and who have read Lindsey Davis have a great affection for Falco.
I read my first Falco story the Silver Pigs over 25 years ago while I was in still the Army. I was astounded how Davis, at the time a woman working in the civil service, could describe the military male character with such accuracy.    

Now I know historical fiction can be a beguiling fantasy that sometimes leads to a less solid understanding of the past than an academic history can. But if you know your period well, and the author has researched the period meticulously, then partaking in the fictional story  of a character from that period can be a deeply satisfying experience.

Davis has also done a more seriously ‘deep’ Flavian historical novel, The Course of Honour which is about Vespasian and his lover Caenis. If you want literature that moves the soul I believe it rivals Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian.

Best Regards,

Parthicus Maximus:
It seems that a new book about Domitian will be published soon.  It is related to a major exhibition about Domitian in the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, The Netherlands. The book will contain a group of articles that focus on various aspects of Domitian.
The info with the book looks promising.



Jay GT4:


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